Grief Is

I found this poem today at MDC.  I just have to share it here.

Grief is a quiet thing
Deadly in repose.
A raging horror, a thunder of abuse.

Raucous -
Demanding -
Incomprehensible -
Tearing all that one has ever loved.

Hopeless,
Forlorn,
Fear-ridden and misunderstood;
Ceasing a moment, and through the years,
Returning…to destroy.

To rage
To curse all that is happy -
Or contented,
Or trusting.

To threaten every beauty that is true.

Grief?
It’s a quiet thing.

- Melba Colgrove, from How to Survive the Loss of a Love

Indeed grief is a quiet thing.  In real life when someone asks, “How are you today?!” or “How are you doing?” I am compelled to answer, “Just fine!” or something similar.  People don’t seem to really be asking me if I’m doing better with the expectation that I might actually tell them how hard every day is.  People don’t understand that it’s not terribly easy to just be fine after a pregnancy loss much less after three.  They don’t want to hear about it – not really.

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6 responses to “Grief Is

  1. Oooh, I get it. I felt the same way after my (one) miscarriage; it was like after a certain amount of time, I didn’t feel I had a right to complain anymore, because I “ought” to be moving on by then.

    But I’m sure there are those who really do want to know. Those who have suffered a miscarriage (or more) know it’s not easy to “just be fine”; maybe there are some who are asking because they really want to know. I know I really appreciated the friends who thought to ask me, even months later, how I was coping. I knew they meant it and I appreciated that they hadn’t forgotten.

    Sending you warm thoughts…

  2. Grief is also something that makes you feel all alone – that you are the only one going through it and that the rest of the world is phony and superficial. There is this invisible cloud that makes life seem foggy and different. When I suffered subtle and long-lasting unhappiness a few years ago (2002-2003), I felt almost suicidal – or at least that I would rather have my life end. But, I emerged stronger and the word that comes to mind often is ENDURANCE. I’ve wanted to write something on endurance, but have not made the time.
    Life is filled with joy, struggle and the deep emotions add the richness to our lives and strengthen us for the future. In the absence of these difficulties or elations, we are living a superficial existence. Unite yourself to the three beautiful souls in heaven that you may someday meet.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. I am a widow of four years and that was a heartbreaking experience, losing my husband, but I can only imagine losing a child must be even more heartrending. You are courageous to write about it and I give you alot of credit for that. Unfortunately, it is true in many instances, people ask those questions, “how are you” of the grieving but in many instances they don’t really want to know the details. It’s almost, sometimes, like a reflex action. I wish you the best. elaine

  4. I know just how you feel, especially about other people asking how you are. It’s like answering honestly would just pile way too much emotion on their heads.

  5. I feel the same way (I’m mammaheather on mdc)

    I’ve realized that people don’t feel comfortable with our pain and grief, and so they want to be reassured that everything is okay. Days like these, I just stay inside.

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