The Fix.

There is nothing and no one that can fix your grief. No one can bandage you up and make you feel better. You can't fix it and it won't go away. Intense grief only exists because it goes hand in hand with intense love. I don't say this to be the bearer of bad news, and I don't mean that it is a hopeless situation though I do believe that when we realise that we can't just put a bandage on it and wait for it to heal that this is when true healing and progress can be made.

I write this as someone who is bereft and as someone who has walked with the bereaved and who continues to. Before I lost my babe I became the norm in our culture, numb to grief, unsure as to what to do or say and sometimes even practiced avoidance. As society we like to fix things, it's quintessentially British! We see that someone is upset or hurting and we want to fix it and when we see that person is still struggling we feel as though we have failed or as though we haven't done enough and therefore we just stop.

Can I say that as someone who is still grieving every single day that I am incredibly thankful for the people around me that have not tried to pull a quick fix manoeuvre on me but have continually stuck by my side and understood that some days will be harder than others. That is what has been truly healing for me. I wish we were all much better at admitting that we don't know how to help someone sometimes.

When we found out I would have to deliver Zachary stillborn, my mother-in-law spoke to my wonderful midwife friend to ask how they could help. The truth is that in this situation she and I included didn't know what would help or what would make it better to any degree and I am so incredibly thankful that she asked. When my husband and I arrived home from the hospital our house was spotless, it smelled of fresh flowers and there were cards of encouragement on our kitchen table. You may ask how this could help, I'll tell you why. We had been living in a den of other peoples tupperware dishes, dying flowers and cobwebs. Our home had become something that we had now placed little value on, the place where we had sobbed endlessly and waited for the inevitable. Another incredible gesture was my midwife friend, Sarah coming to pack a hospital bag for me the night before as I just couldn't fathom that this was my reality.

I'd like to challenge you, the bereft, the broken, the hurt and also offer you some encouragement. I feel like there is so much unnecessary heartache that we can avoid in this frankly ugly season. As we are in the middle of the storm, we can expect too much from people. We want nothing more than to be fixed and to be normal and to be 'us' again -- we must cut people some slack. If we are not able to understand what we need in our chaos then we can't expect others to be able to. We have just as much of a responsibility ourselves to look after ourselves, to push ourselves a little every day, to be proud of our small victories and to open up to others.

So, if you are supporting the bereaved today, I salute you and I thank you. I thank you that you have stepped out of your comfort zone, that you have said clumsy yet heartfelt words, that you have delivered meals, that you have offered to clean, that you have just been present, that you have recognised when have shown up and most importantly that you have loved. You have loved us enough to stick with us when we have felt unloveable and when our presence has been anything but pretty.

And if you are the bereaved, I also salute and thank you too. I honour your progress, I recognise you, I see the big steps that seem small to the outside world, I applaud that you still show up, I am grateful that you share your story and I am grateful for how you have understood me.

Grief can never be a quick fix, but we can learn to walk through it and carry it well. I would describe it as a huge weight that has been thrown on me and it is awkward and heavy and I don't know how to carry it. Yet every so often someone comes and adjusts it so that it is equally placed on my shoulders and whether that is from sitting in silence with me, wiping away my tears or just including me, it helps.

To the people supporting and the people walking through it.

Thank you.


Comments

  1. My darling I am so incredibly proud of you!!! These are so much more than words... it’s a life lived out with real hope and faith in the most difficult of seasons. You are faithful in the seen and the unseen. ❤️ 1 Thes 4:13 ‘We do not grieve without hope’ - you are His words in beautiful colour. ❤️

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts