Being “Good”

July 14, 2014 § 8 Comments

I’ve told more lies in the past 6 weeks than I have in my entire life. Mostly to my mom and my husband. Mostly to everyone I know. It’s just so much easier to paint a smile on my face and say “I’m good” or “I’m OK” and be done with it, than to say ” It feels like I’m dying inside, and I wish I was” and have to deal with the resounding chorus of “it will get better” or “you just have to choose joy” or “just have faith, God’s got a plan” or, (oh God please no) “there will be more babies.”  Because, while all of those things may be true, when I hear them now I just want to scream “It’s not, I can’t, I don’t, I’m scared.” Don’t get me wrong, I get it. I know that those uttered phrases are meant to offer hope and encouragement, and for the person that is speaking them, I believe that they do. I’ve come to realize that there is a selfishness in most of us that makes us feel the need to say something when we come face to face with someone else’s pain. Something light and fluffy and full of good intentions, to try and help lighten the mood of the situation. It’s almost like a buffer against the other persons pain. I remember being that way; wanting, needing to be able to offer words of comfort in the midst of unspeakable grief to try and make myself feel lighter. But now, standing on the other side, I have come to realize that there are no “right words”, and sometimes silence is the most helpful, healing gift you can give to a broken person.

Truthfully, as morbid as it may seem, I don’t want to “choose joy” or “fake it till I make it.” I want to be sad. I want to experience the hurt. All of it.


Because the alternative, feeling nothing, pretending to be something I am not, stuffing my emotions and true feelings deep down inside – that only leads to more pain. Pain that eats away at you every day of your life. Pain so unbearable, you self destruct in the most agonizing, horrifying ways. Pain that causes you to starve and cut and abuse your body and mind. Pain that steals your dreams and makes living unbearable. Pain that makes dying seem ideal.

I know about that pain, and even now, walking through the most devastating, heartbreaking loss of my life, I can’t go back to that place. I can’t let myself become that person again. So bring the sorrow, the rage, the fear and the emptiness. Let me walk, or even wallow in them for a while. My son is dead. My baby died before I ever got to see his eyes light up with life, or see him smile at me. That is devastating and infuriating and just all wrong even . So right now, for me not being OK, is OK. Not having words to speak or prayers to pray or songs to sing or hope to offer, is OK. In my heart I know that one day, all those things will come.

But for today and as many tomorrows as it takes, I’m not good. I want to cope in all the wrong ways. I want to scream and cry and break things. Some nights I lay in bed sobbing hearing “I’m sorry, I don’t see a heartbeat”  overandoverandoverandoverandoveragain until I’m paralyzed and I can’t breath. I replay the last “normal” day of my life, wondering what I was doing when my little boy’s heart beat for the last time, wondering if he was scared or in pain. I ache for my husband, who will never get to experience teaching our son how to golf, or ride a bike or take care of cars or any of the other things a father dreams of teaching his son. So many moments, lost before they ever came to be. That’s not “good.” That is horrible. That is agony. That, is where I am.


§ 8 Responses to Being “Good”

  • annestauffer1018 says:

    My sweet baby girl… It’s OK to not be OK! William Shakespeare said “Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.” You are using words to express your sorrow and you have no idea how much your words speak to others. I love you so much my sweet girl and know that I am praying for you and will continue to pray. Though right now your heart has no song and your lips no words to pray… God knows, he knows your heart and all that you are feeling. My heart shall sing and worship for you and my lips shall continue to pray with ever fiber of my being! Love, Love, Love YOU!!!

  • Suzy Goers says:

  • I truly am sorry for your loss. And that of your husband and both your families. Take your time and grieve, it is the Right Thing. When the time comes, do the next Right Thing.
    GOD Bless! And be WELL!

  • Grandma Penny says:

    I love you, Abbey, and you know soooo many people love you. We will wait for you to work thru your pain. I’m sorry that pain and sorrow do not pass by quickly.

  • In her book “Traveling Mercies” Anne Lamott wrote that “only grieving can heal grief. It is only by experiencing that ocean of sadness in a naked and immediate way that we come to be healed-which is to say,that we come to experience life with a real sense of presence and spaciousness and peace.”

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. Thank you for sharing.

  • cathykal says:

    If I could write a post without any “words” right now, I would. I know that words don’t help. I just wanted to tell you that I heard you and I’m saying a prayer. Thank you for sharing the words of your grief, I am sure that there are people reading who are grateful for your openness. I know I am.

  • Josie says:

    “I’m fine” is a common response between my friends and I at work…we’ve started calling each other out and digging deeper when the other is able to talk about it. I’ve also heard “Fine: freaked out, insecure, neurotic and emotional.” I’m usually feeling one or more of those things when I give the “I’m fine” answer. I’m proud of you for letting yourself be “not okay” and I’ll be praying that you find safe people to be “not okay” with! Thanks for sharing your story though we wish it didn’t have to be yours.

  • kaja says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. You have helped me a big deal.

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