It will swallow you whole (if you let it).

Now that the weather has been warming up, everyone has come outside to socialize and catch up, since winter hibernation has ended! It is wonderful to see and hear the children laughing and playing. Sports season has come upon us, so we get to see families we haven’t seen in some time; it is quite enjoyable. With that, however, comes the dreaded question, “How are you doing? Are things better?”

Wow. Are “things” better? Hmm.

I get annoyed by such a simple question of, “How are you?” And for goodness sakes, what do you mean by “things”?! I never really thought about the meaning or interpretation, really, until we suffered our loss. Now, the question just annoys me. I never know how to respond, and I usually respond in a polite manner. Yet, I just want to casually say, “How do you think I should be?” or “What do you think?” Basically, “Hell no! But I think we are doing a pretty damn good job of keeping it together!” My husband and I just shake our heads and smirk at one another.

People ask other questions that make me reflect more on the process of grieving, like, “So, how have you been feeling, and how can I help?” Honest, upfront, and comforting. People that know me, really know me, understand how sensitive certain topics can be and know how easily I can speak about certain topics. I have come to have strong opinions lately! I do get annoyed, more now than ever, by lack of compassion or selfishness. I have learned to read people better, become a better listener. I have also become a great observer, seeing how people relate to each other. I think it is because we have become more compassionate; this journey has not made us an angry family. Nor has it made us a family that has fallen apart, which some may have thought.

I look at our journey, thus far, as this: Your sadness will swallow you whole, if you let it.

We are sad, will be sad, and accept that it is okay to be sad over this. Miss him with every second of every minute and every breath. Completely natural. Yet, I accept that I have laughed, been out with my girlfriends, had dates with my husband, attended family functions we all love to hate, taken up boxing, stayed up late to watch reality television…I accept living in the now.

We are living. We are not questioning why or how or when or who. We are grieving, yet we are living. Some people can’t, or choose not to, move beyond losses. Some cannot appreciate what wonderful happenings are occurring right now. Well, that can be very sad. We, however, will not let sadness make our lives miserable.

Advice to all: You certainly know life is too short. So, what are you waiting for?




14 responses to “It will swallow you whole (if you let it).

  1. Love the photo, how well it goes with the topic. Another touching blog, which brought tears to my eyes. Every word resonates with me. Tomorrow is the 8th anniversary of my son’s death. I plan to take roses up to his marker, where he collapsed during a triathlon, 8 miles up a mountain road near our town. Yes we parents know as only a bereaved parent can, how short life is, how little control we have. My son’s motto was “you only live once, so live it!” Take care.

  2. I love the photo you chose, which goes so well with the title. Again, another touching blog, that moved me to tears.Every word resonates with me. Tomorrow is the 8th anniversary of my son’s death. I plan to take roses up to the marker that marks the spot where he collapsed and died during a triathlon, 8 miles up a mountain road near our town. Yes, we bereaved parents know how short life is, and that we have no control over that. My son’s motto was: “You only live once, so live it!” Take care.

  3. I think it’s made u guys stronger….definitely not falling apart. I tell you all the time that I admire your strength.

  4. Well said 🙂 I think grief will always live with you but you certainly don’t have to make it your life – if nothing else our loved ones who aren’t here wouldn’t want that.

  5. I find the “how are you question” really difficult at times too – I have written 2 posts on this question (
    and I have tried all kinds of responses since my sons have died. My latest is fine (which in my mind stands for F*!*!D UP INSECURE NEUROTIC EMOTIONAL).

    Thinking of you and your family. Take care.

  6. It’s not the “how are you” questions that really got to me…it was the “are things better” part, especially right after Jason died.

  7. I can not imagine your loss I am so sorry. After losing my baby (which got listed as a spontaneous abortion) when people would ask me how I was (innocent people at the grocery store) I would reply “my baby died” or something of the sort I was awful. Now I feel terrible for it. Once on a return visit to my doctor the nurse didn’t read my file and asked how my baby was doing. I went off and informed her she could go check the cemetery to find out.

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