We were watching the show ‘Tin Star’ and one of the episodes dealt with the tragic murder of one of the character’s daughter. The make-believe tribe of Ammonites on the show gathered together at the grieving mother’s house, filling the dining room table with casseroles and pies, saying prayers, reading some scriptures, and then they proclaimed that the mother was now “absolved from her grief.” The mother was told she was no longer allowed to grieve in public since her time of grieving for her daughter was “over.”
One of the writers for that show must have experienced a devastating loss and had someone tell them it was time to move on; that they had grieved enough. There is no way a parent can ever grieve enough for their child, and there is certainly no way a parent can ever be absolved of their grief.
Grief is not like a pie.
You can’t slice it up, serve it up, swallow it, and then wash the pan and put it away. You can’t brush away the crumbs and you certainly cannot wash out any stains. Grief, especially grief over the loss of your son or daughter, is a stain on your heart and soul forever. Crumbs of memories are everywhere. You can’t sweep them away, and you surely do not even want to.
Your best friends and family will share the pie with you, but they get to put their dishes in the sink and walk away. They can digest their piece. A parent will carry that lump of indigestible grief in their stomach for the rest of their life.
Grief is bitter. It sours your stomach. It can make you want to starve yourself, throw dishes, say horrible things to the ‘Well-Wishers,’ and isolate yourself from the rest of the world forever.
No, grief is not like a pie. But, like the dessert that comes at the end of wonderful meal, grief comes at the end of a life. Whether that life was cut way too short, or extended through adulthood, your child is still, and always will be, your child.
Please, don’t ever think that there is something wrong with you when your grief overwhelms you; whether it is after eight months or eight years. Grief is a form of love and will be just as strong as the love you feel for your child. Nothing in the world is stronger than love, and there is nothing in the world that can ever absolve that.
If you are reading this, and you are fortunate enough to have never lost a child, some of what I’ve said won’t make a lick of sense. But, if you do know someone that has suffered the loss of a son or daughter, your love, your support, and your understanding will be appreciated and cherished way more than any baked good.