You are More Than What You Lost

We all have had trauma and loss in our lives. Sometimes our brains try to sort things out, and we need to be aware of what is going on. Other times, someone close to us, (especially children), need our help figuring it out.

It occurred to me recently that me losing my Mom 15 years ago isn’t just my loss. My girls never meeting their Mimi is a loss for them too. It seems so obvious to me now. However, they never really cried about it or expressed sadness unless they saw me being sad. You can’t miss what you never had, right?

Several years ago, Lauren told me she had a dream about Mom. In it, Mom was young and running around with dogs. At the time, I thought the dream was meant more as a comfort for me or maybe it was just a neat dream for Lauren to have.

Now I see that the dream is her brain’s way of dealing with a loss. She is still reconciling the stories I tell her about her Mimi with who she was as an actual person. This wasn’t just a character in a book but a flesh and blood piece of my little girl.

When we have birthday parties for Mom to celebrate her life, it is helping my girls. When I talk to them about who she was and what she liked, it is creating a picture for them. If they have questions for me, you better believe I answer them. Shutting a painful part of our story away is never a good long term solution. It will eventually come out.

You have had losses too. Your brain will keep trying to put pieces together like a big puzzle. Sometimes it may be difficult to see something as important if it is from the past. Or it may be too painful and you want to shut it down. After all, it isn’t happening now. Let it come out naturally in its time. Your growth and emotional well being depend on it.

Please don’t ever be afraid to ask for help in the healing process. Loss may be a natural part of life, but that doesn’t make it easy. There are people around you who love you and want to help. Let them. You have so much to offer and the world needs your perspective. Your experiences make you who you are. If you have reached a memory that is a stumbling block, find a way to hurdle it. You and your story are worth the effort.

Linking with Holley Gerth

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6 thoughts on “You are More Than What You Lost

  1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful post, Sarah. I’m glad you’re finding a way to commemorate your mom with your girls. My daughter has expressed loss over growing up so far away from her grandparents. (And my husband’s dad, she never met.) This is thought-provoking.

  2. Such true words: loss is natural but not easy. We seem to want to gloss over it sometimes to make it easier for others and instead make it more painful for ourselves. I know I’ve tried to shiled others but have come to realize it’s not helpful to me. So much to learn about loss and grief that bring us closer to grace. Thanks for sharing this Sarah. It’s so important.

  3. I love your reflections here, Sarah! I only ever knew one of my grandparents, and she died when I was 4 so I don’t have many memories of her. There definitely was a sense of loss as I grew up, realising that most people had grandparents and I didn’t. I’ve always wanted to know more about them and what they were like. I think it’s great that you’re talking about your Mom with your girls.

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