If Love Were Measured In Pain

mother hug

I was reading some journal entries from a few weeks ago and came across this and thought it was worth a share. I honestly would like to know if anyone can relate to this? Here it is, unedited.

Sometime in June….

“It was brief but memorable- a couple moments last week, before all the graduation festivities and people came to town, I felt some relief from the pain. Maybe it was busy-ness or distraction? My abdomen didn’t hurt and I was looking forward to something-having family come in. I felt “better”, lighter. But I was immediately hit by this terrible sadness and guilt for not being in so much pain! It felt wrong to feel better. I felt badly for Aiden that I had relief, like I wasn’t doing him justice. I’ve prayed for the pain to ease, for something to just.stop.hurting. And it did for a time- but then I didn’t want it. (I KNOW its crazy!) I wanted to pain for Aiden, because I love him enough to hurt like this forever, if needed. Like Aiden deserves this pain. Like if I stopped hurting he might think I didn’t love him enough ?”

If my love for him were measured in pain, it would take an eternity in the bowels of hell itself to measure up. There isn’t enough. How do we Moms contend with this need to continue to “show” our child our love for them, even though it’s only in our mind and through our inner “pain”? There is no gain to be had in it, it’s our private thing- in our mind and in our body. The world could never see this or understand this, its for us to have. Its our exclusive “right” as the Mother. The worst of it is that there is no satisfaction from our child who isn’t here to feel the love any more. And yet we feel wrong to have just a moments relief?

This has to be one of those things that brings a bereaved Mother to her knees (again and again)- the primal need to know, that our child knows, the depth of our love, but we’re left completely unquenched of that need since our child cannot receive it. So our bodies become the physical manifestation of what our souls long for but can’t have. Our bodies pain and our hearts break countlessly through the hours perhaps to prove our love to ourselves because we lost them? To prove it to our child somehow? Does our body even have a say in this, or is it just a willing puppet of our loss, reacting as the mind wills it? I don’t know. I just know this phenomenon is real, it eats me up. The need to hold him and touch him and remind him that he was my world.  To tell him he is worth this and I would endure this forever for him. And yes, to feel guilt in the relief.

I pray this is part of the growth and the healing. Part of getting to the acceptance that I haven’t reached yet. I’m struggling to find a word to stand on to believe against the grain that this too will pass. I love this prayer though and it’s fitting.


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About Jennifer

I am a mother first and foremost. I am also a mother who lost a child, suddenly and tragically. Like other bereaved Mothers, I am trying to find my way back, and writing and creativity is a huge part of that. I hope by documenting my climb out of this, that my walk, my struggles, my failings, my faith, my honesty, and my choice to live-in every sense of the word, will help someone else do the same.

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