Dear loved ones,
I am struggling. I don’t know what I need from you, and I know how hard it is for you when you don’t know what to give. I am on egg shells, and I feel like you will be too. Even from the greatest of intentions and love, sometimes your words can hurt, even good words, even helpful and loving words. Yesterday I faced an awful truth, I am not excited about coming home, I am anxious and worried. Worried about how people are going to act around us and react to us. We are different. The famous Leah glimmer is burned out of my eyes. I can fight for joy, I can have happy, joyful, giggly moments but they aren’t as full or as deep, and they are followed by exhaustion and tears. Also it’s not just me, Brandon is struggling to dig his way from a dark place as well. We are torn, empty, broken. We don’t want to be here, and as much as we love you, we don’t want to be there either. Please don’t be offended. The biggest reason that we or I, am not excited about coming home is because I don’t know who I will “be” in the midst of our beloved ones. I know that you all say, “it’s okay, be whatever you are at the moment” but there is a huge amount of pressure that we feel to be “normal” to be “us” and to let you know that we are okay. The truth is we are not, and I know we will be again someday, but right now, we are not. The things that have ALWAYS given me hope and excitement and joy (birthdays, Christmas, children, my family) I cannot find that within my self this year. I am not excited. It’s really unsettling. I don’t mean for this to be an uber depressing letter, but I am trying to prepare you, to prepare myself.
I don’t know what we will need from you, or how you should act. Also I understand that you don’t know either. So we’re going to try and give you grace for that, if you will give us some too. I could be wrong, it could be a wonderful time of healing, I really hope that is. Something could snap as we drive through mountains and up the dirt road that leads to home. We might reach yonder mountain, hug my family and get a bit of that joy back, but I can’t even imagine that. I can’t see that happening. I have never been the type of person who would think through upcoming situations and could only see negative. I have NEVER been that person. I don’t like it.
Anyway, I thought I would share somethings that you should and shouldn’t do. We understand that if you haven’t been through this, (even if you have, everyone’s grief is different) you can’t understand and don’t know how to respond. Honestly I don’t know how to respond either, or how to help you respond better. All I can be is honest, and upfront.
1. Don’t dance around our pain, acknowledge it.
2. After acknowledging it, don’t expect us to grieve on command. “okay, I’m here now to hug you..grieve”
So basically, ask about it and then let us respond and then if we answer, good, if not move on. We will talk about it when we want to, if we want to. You might be our therapy for the day, and just by you asking we able to heal a little. If we don’t want to open up, then maybe that is our therapy too, just have a bit of “normalcy”.
3. Understand that going a full day with no crying and without sadness gripping our hearts, is rare. If we’re having a good day, LET US, join us.
4. If you need to talk to us about some of this, and work through your own grief, that is fine. But be sensitive to us, it’s hard to comfort people when you’re hurting.
5. We actually appreciate that people love our Cash and are hurting for us, and with us, so let us know. But again, be sensitive, let us come to you, and if we’re having a good day, if we’re being silly or just wanting to talk about something else, LET US.
6. We love your children, but most of our anxiety is about being around them, we still want to be around you and them, but if we need a minute, or if it takes a while for us to warm up, don’t be hurt or offended. (again I could be wrong, we might react differently)
7. Let us know that you are there for us and love and want to share in this with us, but do it without expectation. Give us comfort without asking anything in return. We don’t have a whole lot to give right now. We need a rest.
8. Validate our pain. Sometimes statements like, “you will get pregnant again” or “this is the Lord’s timing” or “be thankful it happened sooner rather than later”, do not validate our pain. We don’t know that we will get pregnant again, we hope that the Lord will bless, us, but we don’t know! Also, yes, we are trusting God, but we also know that He is weeping with us and He did not want Cash to die. In general we don’t want or need the cheesy hallmark statements that are meant to comfort us, I don’t what we do need, but I know that is not it.
9. We’re trying not to have to travel around a ton, and our minds might change when we get there, but don’t be hurt if we don’t see you this time. We just need rest.
10. When we feel good about ourselves, we feel better in general, so understand that we/I have been struggling with weight gain and self-image. Don’t go overboard with compliments, but let us know if we’re having a “good” day.
Feed us. literally. spiritually. just feed us.
Please understand that this not a list of complaints, I’m not pin pointing all of the things that you have done wrong. I’m actually analyzing how I have reacted in the past to people’s grief. I know this seems like a list of “don’ts” and it might that all I am giving you is a list of what doesn’t help, I’m not. I’m just trying to be open and honest. I wish I could give you some magical words or something you could do that would help. But I don’t know. I don’t know what will trigger the tears.
we love you, we need you, we have anxiety and worries about being with you. Love us anyway.
There is a blog that I have been reading that I want to share with you. Molly Piper and her husband had a baby girl that was still born and she writes a lot about her grief and is very honest and open. Her blogs are what have encouraged me to be so open with all of this.
If you click on the above links they will send you to Molly’s blog. Those are some of the ones that have really helped me. I want to encourage you to read them.
Thanks for reading this. We really do love you all and are thankful for you, and that we will get to see you, even if we are anxious.
The Lord is faithful, and He is good. Give thanks to the Lord.