grief writes me a love letter

Grief writes me a love letter

Dear Anne Moss,

I didn’t mean to hurt you. I numbed you at first because I had to protect you. One can take only so much pain and agony at once.

I watched you in your agonizing moments knowing that these would be building blocks to emotional healing. You suffered under my weight and tried unsuccessfully to lift it yourself when you got tired of it. But I do have a mind of my own and just when you thought you couldn’t take another minute, the weight would lift.

At first, you thought getting better meant getting past me. But then you learned that it was about incorporating me into your life in a way we could live together.

I will never go away because I represent the love you have for your child. I am that reminder that he lived and loved you. I hope you understand I’m not the nasty, bad thing people make me out to be. I’m not something people should avoid or be ashamed of. I’m not a “weakness.” Quite frankly, I don’t know where that comes from.

As you travel the path to emotional healing, I will inspire you to do things you would never have done. Meet people you would have never met. Help you become someone you never knew you could become.

I can make you feel like you can accomplish almost anything. You’ll be stronger for having had me in your life. I make life matter more.

I am sorry loss has to hurt so much but the path to joy is often through intense pain.

Remember, I didn’t take away your loved one. I’m the one that reminds you he lived.

I’m part of life. But most of all, I am love.

Yours Truly and Always in your Heart,

Grief

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, coping strategies/resilience, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

7 thoughts on “Grief writes me a love letter”

  1. It is hard to type after reading this letter from grief. Grief is a life long sentence we receive when we lose our child.
    There is no joy in our grief.
    Grief seems to stay on us – all the time – 24/7 – and then days will come when grief seems to bear down so hard my chest feel paralyzed and taking a small breathe physically hurts.
    I love and miss my son so very much – grief will end up being the death of me.
    ~ Andrew’s Mom #forever22

    1. I think if you want to move forward, you can. It takes a long time. At first, it consumes you– heart and soul. But over time it does soften. And then you are able to dose your grief. But at first, it has control over you and it feels like you are under its weight. Breathing for me was hard and so I learned breathing strategies. My mouth was always dry, I broke out in rashes. I had a whole toolbox of strategies that others helped me build. So maybe think of it as a lifelong journey and not a sentence. Words like “never” and “sentence” can be dangerous words that leave us stuck. You will always miss your son. Like I do. It will always hurt. But you can live, move forward and use your pain to help others including yourself. Because the pain you are feeling now is a building block to healing. Thanks for commenting. And let me know how long ago you lost your son.

      1. I lost my son July 21 2017. He was only 22.
        The first year was numb and lost and broken. The second year was sadness, hurt, anger at my son, at my husband, unhappiness. The third year (plus the last 6 months of the 2nd year) are suffocating me. Divorced. Discord with my older daughter (who is 31).
        In July 2020 I went to the Selah Carefarm in Arizona and had the best five days in the last 3 years.
        In November 2020 I went back to Selah Carefarm and I loved being outside with the animals but something went wrong inside me – I panicked, I felt ill, I could not be at peace – I flew home immediately.

        I have learned to put on the “brave face” and I go to work everyday, I go grocery shopping when needed, … I try to help others when they come to me.
        I got myself a puppy bc I needed someone to take care of.

        I don’t know how to get past this physical pain in my heart. My son should be here with me – growing up, doing all the things he had planned …

        So sorry. I’m just heartbroken 💔

  2. Much truth in this–especially the part about incorporating grief into our lives. Thanks, Anne Moss. It will be 4 years April 28th since we lost Mark. My grief journey is in a really good place. Between working on my grief, helping others and my very strong faith in God–I am full of peace and joy. Your words have been and still are a significant part of my healing. Thank you, my friend.

  3. Really nice and well said. And really emotionally mature….I’m still waiting for some of that to happen in me….4 years and counting…

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