What Do You Say?

By Molly Bice-Jackson - 2:22 PM

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What do you say when you are so sad you don't even want to talk about it?
What do you say when you all you want to say is that you hate people who haven't lost a child? HATE. Resent. Loathe. Despise. Ok, that is too harsh. Some of the greatest support we've received has been from people who haven't lost a child. But it isn't fair! I know life isn't fair...but it isn't fair! (Insert punching your lights out)

What do you say when all you want to do is kick and scream and curse and flail around in a sobbing fit?

What do you say when you don't know if you like your life, who you are, what you do with your time?

What do you say when you feel you've said it all before, over and over. Anger, bitterness, confusion, unfairness...

What do you say when you have seen your angelic, perfect, gorgeous, full-of-life, first born child gasping for breath, eyes full of fear, right in front of your face?

What do you say when you feel so lonely in a cold, empty, quiet house?

What do you say when you feel like no one cares or understands?

What do you say when you don't have the words?
Why do I want to say what I can't say?

Why do I try?

What did I do before facebook and blogs when I needed help with understanding my inner turmoil, questions, doubt, despair?

Did I pray more?

Did I rely on face-to-face human contact more?

Family?

Phone calls to friends?

Is it foolish to speak of it publicly?

What am I hoping to accomplish by shouting it to the world?

How can love be so damaging?

From A Grief Observed
by C.S. Lewis
After losing his wife:

He shows impatience with those who try to pretend that death is unimportant for the believer, an impatience which most of us feel, no matter how strong our faith.

Don't talk to me about the consolations of religion, or I shall suspect that you do not understand.

I am grateful to Lewis for having the courage to yell, to doubt, to kick at God with angry violence. This is a part of healthy grief not often encouraged. It is helpful indeed that C.S. Lewis, who has been such a successful apologist for Christianity, should have the courage to admit doubt about what he has so superbly proclaimed. It gives us permission to admit our own doubts, our own angers and anguishes, and to know that they are a part of the soul's growth.

This book is a man emotionally naked in his own Gethsemane. It tells of the agony and the emptiness of a grief such as few of us have to bear, for the greater the love the greater the grief.

I almost prefer the moments of agony. These are at least clean and honest.

I sometimes think that shame, mere awkward, senseless shame, does as much towards preventing good acts and straightforward happiness as any of our vices can do.

Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery's shadow or reflection; the fact that you don't merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.

To some I'm worse than an embarrassment, I am a death's head.

An odd byprodcut of my loss is that I'm aware of being an embarrassment to everyone I meet. At work at the club, in the street, I see people, as they approach me, trying to make up their minds whether they'll say something about it or not.

"There is no death", or "Death doesn't matter." You might as well say birth doesn't matter.

"She will live forever in my memory!" LIVE? That is exactly what she won't do. You might as well think like the old Egyptians that you can keep the dead by embalming them. Will nothing persuade them that they are gone? What's left? A corpse. A memory. A ghost. All mockeries and horrors.

I was getting from it the only pleasure a man in anguish can get--the pleasure of hitting back.

Whatever fools may say, the body can suffer twenty times more than the mind.

I think I am beginning to understand why grief feels like suspense. It comes from the frustration of so many impulses that had become habitual. Thought after thought, feeling after feeling, action after action, had Lucy for their object. Now their target is gone.

How often--will it be for always?--how often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, "I never realized my loss till this moment? " The same leg is cut off time after time. The first plunge of the knife into the flesh is felt again and again...


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39 Loving Lines

  1. Go Molly. Way to express yourself. You lost your beautiful baby girl, your sunshine. It's not fair and you deserve to be mad. In fact, in my opnion it's just plain shitty. And I'm sorry times a million.

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  2. You say... whatever is inside you to be said, and if need be, yell it, scream it...let all of us know. Don't hold back. We can take it, and we want to. Be mad, be livid, be angry. Feel betrayed, feel forgotten, feel alone and say what it's like... tell it all. It's you and when it comes to your grief, you are doing it perfectly right, because it's yours, so how could it be wrong. Then, when it passes a bit, Pick up Peter and gently tell him how angry you are, how betrayed, how lonely, and then give him a kiss and send him on his way. Rejoice in the lull before the next storm. There will be another storm...don't fear it, don't avoid it, just be gentle and loving with yourself in the midst of it.

    Lucy and you and Vic and Peter are all loved and destined to be an eternal family. Until then it sucks that you can't be together!!!

    One foot in front of the next!

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  3. Life is so strange. I admit to feeling a little bit jealous of your life lately. Not of your loss and grief, of course. But of your marriage, your talent, the fun and outgoing way you live your life, how you seem like an effortlessly wonderful mother, how many friends you have and how you change people's lives...you are more positive and seem to love and embrace life more than I do, and I have not suffered what you have. You have put in more than your share of strength. This is my convoluted way of saying: though you have made a meaningful, beautiful life since losing Lucy, you are MORE than entitled to scream and rage and mourn and even hate. If you were to post the dark angry depths of your soul here every day, I don't think anybody would blame you, and it wouldn't take anything away from the loving, joyful parts of your life. I have no answers for you and know nothing, except that people DO care...even random readers like me who don't know you. I would sacrifice everything I own, my health, my limbs...if it would bring Lucy back to you.

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  4. You don't know me, but I've followed your blog for a while now, and I have to tell you that it makes me mad too that you've suffered such a loss. I've wondered what the reason is behind it and bemoaned about how unfair such tragedies are. It's not fair. It sucks. You lost your precious child and that is just plain unfair. I am very sorry for your loss and think about your family often. I wish I could bring Lucy back to you. And all the little children back to their parents who've gone on.

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  5. Although I haven't lost a little one, I stand to someday due to my son's illness. I completely understand the anger at God...it's something I feel keenly. And I also feel that he is ok with me being mad at him. It is a natural response to losing a child. He doesn't love me any less for it.

    Your honesty is, well, honest. Raw and poignant and I thank you for it. I know you don't want to be in this position, you want your Lucy back...and I know it is absolutely no consolation whatsoever, but your honesty is helping me deal with my son being sick.

    I truly hope you don't mind, but this excerpt has been showing up around the SMA (disease family my son is in) blog world. SMA is a terminal disease, and I know some SMA parents who have found some comfort in this, so I offer it hoping it may help you as well, at least a little bit...

    Meet my Friend Grief

    "I would like you to meet my best friend. His name is Grief. We met each other unexpectedly and became friends instantly. He follows me wherever I go. When I go to sleep at night he tucks me in and whispers in my ear, "I'll see you in the morning." When I awake surely he has held true to his promise and greets me with a frown. He frowns because he is sad he had to meet me. He is the most loyal friend in the world. You can forget him for a while and not even think about him and he is willing to return at the drop of a dime. Grief is unselfish though. When other friends are around, he takes a back seat. He is quieted by the chattering of my other friends. It's nice to have a break from Him. Sometimes he's unrelenting and can be a drag. Other times I am grateful he's my friend because when he's around I know I haven't Forgotten.

    A while back he was my very best friend. Slowly other friends are taking his place and he doesn't visit as often. I have even made friends with Joy again. I thought I had lost her friendship forever. Joy is a good friend too. Hopefully one day I will be able to be as good friends with Joy as I was with Grief. Maybe one day we can all be friends and share the same heart. To live in the Joy of today, to remember the grief of yesterday and to love all of my tomorrows. When all three of us can attain the same heart, I know our new best friend will be peace."
    -by Michelle Krainich

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  6. I dont know you, but I love you. I am aching so much just reading your post wishing I could hug and cry with you in person if it would make it any better.

    Lucy's life and death has changed me, and for what its worth, I live my life differently because of her life and your willingness to share it.

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  7. Thank you Molly. For putting in to words what I can't most days. I too, find myself so mad, resentful, and impatient with the world. Mad at my friends - for living their lives like nothing ever happened to me. Mad because they DON'T GET IT. I don't fully comprehend your loss, because mine was different. However, loss is painful, and we share that in common. I am still trying to figure out how to get through life without being mad or sad....not sure if I ever will. Maybe that's ok. Hugs to you.

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  8. I read... hang on your words... and wish that you weren't having to write them... say them... feel them. That your precious girl could be with her Mommy and Daddy and brother. I can only imagine what your loss feels like... and it leaves me horrorfied.

    Such heart wrenching sadness....
    love .n. hugs.

    ToOdLeS.

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  9. I am aching and crying with you Molly. And I don;t know you other than through your blog. Tears are streaming right now. For you. For Peter. for Vic. Why? Why do I get to keep my 2 boys here on this earth and you had to suffer this enormous loss? Do whatever you need to. I can't fathom your loss...and I won't even try. Know that you are loved by many who don't know you. Know that you are thought of by those who have never met you. I have literally prayed for you and your little family. May you be lifted up and held in our Heavenly Father's warm embrace.

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  10. Every time I see that picture of you and Lucy it is just heartbreaking. I can't imagine what have must been going on in your heart and mind at that moment.

    I am thankful for your honesty. I don't know what it's like to lose a child but I know you have handled it with such dignity and grace, and you remind me to be thankful for each day with my children.

    I continue to find comfort in the plan and I'm so thankful that you have knowledge of that, although it seems like such a long wait to watch it come to pass.

    I love you. Please call any time you want to talk, cry, yell, or anything.

    Shannan

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  11. I'm so glad you put into words what I feel but don't have enough courage too write....reading your real words is healing for me...thank you for keeping it so real, hang in there, your amazing!!!

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  12. anger is so real.
    i remember when my dad died feeling like everyone around me was saying, "i'm so glad thats not me" and just HATING them. how dare they relish that they were not me. i certainly didn't choose my grief, or choose to lose my dad.
    i dont have the answers for you, molly, but i do hope that you find them. i think about you and Lucy every day of my life.
    may this new year be a better one for you and your family as you trudge through the mundane... the heart wrenching day after day.
    all i can offer is a cyber hug, my real tears that you may never see in person, and a huge handful of hope.
    much love.

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  13. Molly,
    I wish I could put that in words as well as you did. All I can say is I get it and we're not alone.
    Love You!
    Amy

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  14. I love Jan's comment, it's exactly what I was feeling as I read your beautiful post. Don't fear the storm though it brings pain, a peace will follow. Thinking of you.

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  15. Molly darling we will be lead by you in this. If you want to scream, we will scream with you. If you want to talk about Lucy, we will ask questions about her. If you want to drink Tequila and sing, we will be at the bar with you. We are your friends. We will be with you, whenever, wherever, however.

    xx

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  16. I've been thinking a lot about suffering lately. How there really is no limit to what people are forced to live through in this life. I had a stillborn baby last year. I feel like no one understands what that is like. I think of your family and I know I don't know what that is like. I visited Auschwitz last spring and imagining what the mothers faced there absolutely staggers me. The enormity of the pain suffered by so many people - especially mothers- in this world is mind blowing. I truly do not know its purpose. I just know it is A LOT. And we have to live through it. I don't know how any of us really does that. And why do we think it is so important for everyone in the world to understand US? To know the pain WE know? Why does it bother us so that some people seem oblivious to tragedy? Would it really help you if every other parent in the world DID know the pain of losing of a child? Probably not, because they still wouldn't know what it was like for YOU to lose Lucy. Would it help me if every other mother had a stillborn baby? Of course not, but yet, that's how we feel - if I had to suffer it, why not everyone? I haven't figured out where this feeling comes from, but I know it is real.

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  17. Molly, When a love exists so deeply as a mother's, it is plainly understandable how very deeply the pain is felt in losing the precious object of that love. I am so very sorry for the unspeakable pain and anguish that you experience. I pray that peace and love will envelope you through your suffering and longing. XO. Sue

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  18. love this. so true. my thoughts exactly!

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  19. Molly,

    I hear you. My heart aches. I wish I could help shoulder your burden.

    Is it fair to admit that I have similar thoughts and feelings in my life over things far less consequential? I am ashamed that I do not live my life with more gratitude and joy.

    Be angry. I think you have every right to be.

    Words do not suffice and my actions seem only...blundering.

    Wishing that somehow what I say and do could be more relevant. Sending love and prayers, in any case.

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  20. And what I say, the only thing anyone can say in response to such agony and loss is "I am so sorry". Because anything else is trite and insufficient. Of course we all pray for you and Vic and sweet Pete (that is what I call my nephew Peter) and we want to and do believe Lucy is somewhere beautiful and wonderful, so much better than what we could imagine...but how do you tell a mother her child is somewhere better than in her arms. Grieving parents want to be loved. They want to hear their child's name. They want to know you remember her. They want to be able to be sad and hurt in the presence of their friends without fear that loved ones will recoil given their own fear of this level of intimacy because that is what grief is, the most intimate expression of love imaginable. After 22 years as a pediatric oncology nurse, I have learned that the single best thing to say is I am sorry. The praying and believing, and every other well intentioned thought we do silently and on our own and in our hearts. If enough of us do just that Molly and Vic will feel it without us every saying a word. So dear Molly, a lovely lady I have never met, I am so very sorry your Lucy is gone. She is remembered!

    P.S. Have you ever read Tear Soup??? I do so recommend it!

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  21. Oh Molly...
    What do you say when you have a friend that grieves so deeply...that has lost something so dearly precious that it can never be replaced...
    What do you say when you want to tell her that everything will be all right, but you know you can't say that because you have never been through what she has?
    My heart hurts for you, my friend. I wish so badly I could take all the pain away and bring her back to you. I wish I could heal that deep hole in your heart.
    I wish I could say I wouldn't feel mad at people who haven't lost a child if I had, but I'm sure I absolutely would.
    Love you Molly.

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  22. My son died last year during my pregnancy with him; not only did I lose him while never learning anything about the person he was, but he almost took me out with him due to extreme bleeding. Why that happened to a family who would provide a good home and not to some crazy like Octomom defies logic.

    It's a senseless loss, and I've come to accept that. But I have become extremely appreciate of the resiliency of human beings, to be able to carry on despite the hellish trauma of such a loss. I am stronger than ever, all the while sustaining a permanent hole to the heart. This sense of awareness is not for the weak; it's just not.

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  23. I am sorry. I am so sorry. I can't say anything and I can't do anything to help you, and I wish I could. I wish there were words, but there aren't. I love you.

    Wendy

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  24. I never took any pictures of Caydin at the hospital, but whenever I see that picture of you and Lucy, I'm right back there. CS Lewis is amazing; we did our Festival of Tree for Caydin this year with a Narnia theme.

    Just when you think grief is over, and you've got the hang of things, it all goes down the drain! It's like a knife stuck in your heart. You get used to it so that you can move in certain ways which makes it so you hardly feel it, but then, every once in a while, you make a sudden unexpected move and it stabs you all over again with all the same pain and heartache as before!

    I'm sorry it is so hard for you right now. I'm so sorry you don't have Lucy here with you. I'm so sorry it hurts so much.

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  25. My beautiful Molly- so courageously expressed. I'm not one to give advice on grief, because let's be honest, grief is everyone to their own. But a few thoughts on the post. . . Take them or leave them sweetheart. You ask what do you say? The matter is you say nothing. . . . no matter how long and loud you scream, those around you won't ever hear until they experience, thus where the anger floods in. . . anger of misunderstanding. So for me, I don't yell and say anything anymore, I've learned how to listen. Not listen to man, but to God. For me it took years to learn this lesson but I was yelling my grief to the world as I felt so misunderstood. Finally I hit rock bottom and I recognized the flesh of man will ALWAYS inevitably fail you in one form or the other. And that is where listening comes into play. If you listen and stop yelling that is when the Holy Spirit will whisper to your soul the lessons and insights and revelations you need. BUT, you have to be ready to stop yelling. It is a stage, a very vital stage you are living my dear in coming to resolution. I wish you could skip this step, but it's Gods way of humbling us to speak the purest of truths to us when we have been sufficiently prepared. You are being prepared my lovely friend to have answers at a depth unimaginable to you at the moment. One day it will make sense this suffering you are enduring. God has a plan for you.

    "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

    I turned to the world to find peace for far too long. The Lord is the source of peace. He is the one who will and can instill it and he does so silently, intimately with his children as they turn their hearts to Him. But let me stress, this stage you are in cannot be rushed, nor forced. The Lord will know when the time is right for you to testify of the truthfulness of the things you seek after. Until then, Tie a Knot to the End of your Rope and Hang On:) Love You Princess. You are a princess and you are your Heavenly Father's child who he loves and adores and is keenly aware of, I can promise you that from my own personal experience. Kisses a million times over. I wish I could hug the pain away, every last ounce. I wish my grief would be sufficient to pay for the grief you live with. But when you need someone to understand and not judge and yell with you, I will be there. IN Fact, we should go smash some plates, it is REALLLLY theraputic, because you really can YELL at the world and get what is inside out in the universe.

    LOVE Your friend in Grief,
    Michelle

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  26. Oh Molly - you have such a gift for writing. It feels strange and somewhat voyeristic when I post a comment, as we have never met. I once told you that your posts have made me a better mother and person. I feel if I were in your shoes I would want to tell me "Hey - I'm glad this is helpful to you, but I'd rather you remain less introspective and not as present for your children in exchange for having my precious daughter back." When you mention her eyes on the day of the accident and the "yellow line" at the hospital the day she passed. Oh Molly, I am so sorry. I so admire how you have used this catastrophic loss to glorify God by continuing to share your faith in Him. I admire how you and your husband seek joy in the midst of this unspeakable loss. I admire how you share your heart so generously in such a way that all who read are inspired to make the best of their lives. I also wish I didn't know who you were - because that would mean that this unfathomable tragedy would not have occurred. It will be glorious to see the effects of Lucy's life and your writing once our time on this earth is over. But until then it is almost unbearable. I am so sorry. So very sorry.

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  27. December brought me some of the same feelings. The. Whole. Month.

    Thinking of you Miss Molly. Love you SO much.

    My little Isabella is Lucy's age when she died and I'll be darned if I don't just kiss her a million times for you. And me.

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  28. I love CS Lewis. LOVE. He gave me hope in those early days like no one else could (not even God). If a man like him, who is so lauded for his spirituality, could be so torn and honest and angry and doubting, and STILL find his faith again...then surely, someone plain and ordinary like me can do it...right??? That little glimmer of hope was sometimes all that sustained me. I haven't read that book in awhile. I think its time to revisit it.

    I have felt like this lately. I haven't posted much of anything on my blog, because most of it is too harsh. Or no one will understand anyway. Or really, is there any point? It won't change anything...

    Sometimes there's just nothing for it...whether you grip the dentist chair arm rests or fold your hands peacefully in your lap, the drill drills on...

    ~Bethany

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  29. Whoa. . .um, I think that'll do it!!! When you talk like that you should be throwing plates or something. . . something needs to be physically shattering or exploding. I have felt that so many times since Luke's passing. But I am glad it doesn't stay too long. . . it always comes back for a visit for a few days and then leaves and I climb back to happy. Let it out, Molly!!!!
    With Love,

    Jan Taylor
    brianandjansboys.blogspot.com

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  30. everything you say is perfect. perfect for you. perfect for others who feel this. i feel like you said everything i feel. the up and down's, all the mixed emotions. i adore you. i adore ms. lucy. she is so perfect. i think about her all the time. i think about her and my makenzie. thank you for writting like this. it helps me know my emotions are real and they are okay. i dont need to be ashamed by them. know i love you.

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  31. Everytime I see that picture I cry. While I haven't lost a child and I can't even imagine what that pain feels like, I know what the absence of a child is like. I know what it feels like to grieve for "what ifs". While Aidan has been such a blessing, God made us wait 2 1/2 years for him. Now we are already almost 2 1/2 years into to trying for baby #2 and I have no idea why he has made the decision that I can't have a baby when so many out there have them and don't even appreciate their children. I know how I feel about pregnant women who look miserable or mom's that are draped in kids and complain about what a pain it is. I know what it's like to feel a loss, even though I've never know this child that I'm waiting for I feel like there is someone missing. I love how real you are and how you let everyone in on your dark thoughts. I also loved that poem because I understand the pain, if only a fraction. I think everyone should give themselves a day to fall the pieces in order to get thru the rest of the days. You are amazing to have come thru this and share. Thank you.

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  32. This post is so HEARTBREAKING!!!! I want to understand why these things happen! How the pain can be so terribly real for every single breath I take. Thank you for writing this. Thank you thank you thank you.
    I am just so so sorry. So terribly sorry.
    I hope for your sake that it gets better.

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  33. I haven't posted to you in so long.. I have been keeping up with you though.. I am really glad you put this post back up ...I of course am sitting here bawling my eyes out... its good for people to really understand how it is... thanks so much for being so brave and honest here ...LaDawn

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  34. Words are useless and they never quite fit. I can empathize with your anger, I've just lost my husband 4 months ago and I have four young children and I'm pregnant with number 5. I couldn't imagine losing a child. I would die. But I am so angry sometimes when I see people who get to be together. I'm angry that I didn't get even 13 years with the love of my life. Life is unfair sometimes. And there is nothing to say sometimes. There is only moving forward and embracing what we do have right now.

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  35. The picture above says a lot. It's all too familiar. I hate that you had to experience it. I hate it.

    I want to thank you for this post, it helped me. Sometimes I feel crazy for feeling these things. It's so nice to know others have been where we've been. We've learned to look to people like you for guidance. Thanks for you comment on the blog, it's just nice to hear from someone who's walked in our shoes. It gives me a lot of hope.

    Love,
    Ashley

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  36. Wow. I don't even know what to say but what you said was spot on.

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  37. hey molly. i really have no words. i just really really want to give you a hug right now and ease your pain by taking some of it on myself. you don't deserve it and the question of why must plague you.

    i am thinking of you. sending love/prayers/goodness your way. for real. right now.

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  38. I'm a new reader, but got the jist of your story from your byutv link. I guess I want to say thank you for this post, I felt that way after a stillborn, but mostly towards pregnant women in general. I went and kissed my kids, cried holding them, and thanked God for each second he allows me to have with them. Thank you for that reminder of just how incredibly blessed I am. Because I am.

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