Sunday, October 1, 2017

The faces of grief

I know eight parents whose children have died before their time.
Nine if I count my grandmother
Whose son died far too early
And I was too young to know how truly young a forty nine year old is

I know two mothers each of whom had a  daughter die
Days before she was to be born
Years ago, and yet their private grief is etched into their hearts

I have seen wives lose husbands, and heard the grief in their voice as they mention his name.

I have seen a father so torn with grief over the loss of a daughter that he can only bury his head in this hands unable to look up for what must seem like interminable hours.

I have seen the face of a friend wrapped in a towel  The resolute look on that beautiful face.  The selfie of a brave face etched with grief from the loss of her breast.

I have seen my own grief in a mirror's reflection
My face distorted
The ugliness of my tears so vivid that I can only stare at the visual representation of a breaking and broken heart.

I have heard the wailing of my grief, my voice unrecognizable.

I have held others as they wailed, giving voice to the unthinkable. 

And yet.

And yet there are those still moments of laughter, of carrying on, of, what?





Those moments when memories can flood in from a time when we were full of hope and innocence.

Before the world was lost and too real. 

Before death had the final say. 

As I walk past strangers I see grief etched on every face.

Except the faces of the very young. 

And it is those faces that make me brave enough to carry on and to know that what my mother said to me all those times over all those years is true.

This too shall pass.


  1. I lost my mother when I was 11. I'm 68 and she is still with me. The pain gets easier as the giant hole gets filled in with other aspects of life but it is always there.

  2. A teary time for me, just after mom's 3rd year departure anniversary and lost dad 42 years ago.

  3. Ah yes. Grief. Strikes us all at some time.

  4. As always, thank you for sharing, Mary-Anne.

    1. You are welcome. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  5. My best friend of more than 45 years is here in London. She came from a messy family and almost lived at our home in her teens. Her mum died when we were 18.
    10 days ago her dad died.
    We were returning from our trip to Iceland.
    I do not understand her choice, but she is still here. Holidaying as planned.
    Grief internalised.

    I thank you for your beautiful insightful heartfelt words.
    You are one in a squillion.

    1. Grief is witnessed and felt in a myriad of ways. We all just do our best with it, right?

  6. I'm sorry to add to your tally another mother who lost a child. Stillborn. Always carried in the hearts of that mother, father and siblings. Yet happiness and contentment exists, no, survives through and despite the profound grief to triumph in new joys. The human spirit is incredible. Thank God!

    1. Yes, the tally continues to grow as I think of others - children who have lost parents to suicide, and vice versa. But you are so right the human spirit is incredible.


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