Grief Bubble

Janis over at Glow in the Woods wrote a post recently about the shape of grief. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and since I haven’t been brave enough to comment over there yet I figured I’d write my thoughts here.

The image that came to me in the first day or two after Oliver’s death was a “grief bubble”. I described it to Brandon – it’s like there is this big bubble of grief that completely surrounds you all the time. People like him can get in – he was there; he feels much of what I feel. He understands, and  he can get in there with me and we can support each other, love each other, cry, miss him. When other people try to get in it feels sometimes like they are just kind of banging up against the outside of the bubble. They can’t get close and they can’t get in – they irritate more than they help. I mean that in the kindest way possible -it’s not that they are irritating; in almost all of the cases they are trying to help us and *are* helping us – they just aren’t in quite the same place and so they can’t understand in quite the same way, and sometimes – in the rawest moments – when they try, it chafes more than soothes.

The thing that frightened me most in those early days was the thought that Brandon might somehow move on in a way that I wasn’t able to yet and then he wouldn’t be able to get in the bubble with me anymore – and he would get annoyed with me for still being there. To be perfectly clear, this is an irrational fear borne of nothing but fear and desperation that an event like this can cause. My husband is a wonderful man and supportive of me in everything – this isn’t something he’d do.

As time continues to pass (slowly and quickly all at once) I think I see now that most of the time I am not operating exclusively in the grief bubble. It’s there, and I definitely retreat to it periodically, but it’s not all the time. And yes, Brandon and I do process and deal with things differently and at different rates but he can still get in there with me. We can be strong in this together – separately we’d be toast but together we will make it through.

God plays such a strong role in all of this. In some ways I’m afraid to put my trust in Him as strongly as I might have before this happened. But in other ways I think I know now that I can and am putting my trust in Him even MORE strongly than I might have before. It’s so weird – I read that and it doesn’t make sense but it’s how I feel. Like somewhere at the very root of myself – the very core; a place I can’t even access consciously –  I trust God and put my faith in Him in a way that I didn’t before.

So I guess what I’m really doing is trusting God to help me move past the grief – not the sadness; the loss of my baby won’t ever fail to make me sad – but past the intense sorrow and devastation and blackness that comes in waves. And I guess I’m also trusting God to show me how to use that grief bubble – as a place of retreat when it gets to be too much but also to let others in – to show them that yes; I am feeling this but I have hope in this also – so much hope.


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