Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I sit on the park bench eating cheesy popcorn and watching young children on the playground. I am enjoying the day, the sun on my face, and the smell of fresh grass.

Randomly I think, I wish Samantha could run and play with these kiddos.

And there it is, the cold hand in my cheesy popcorn; the presence taking up too much space on the park bench, blocking my sunshine. My Grief….

“Really?” I say. “I didn’t invite you. Get your hand out of my cheesy corn.” Instead, I end up having to scoot over, making more room for my Grief.

Grief comes and goes when I least expect it.  I’ll be in my car, driving along listening to music and I’ll catch it in the corner of my eye, kicking the back of my seat.

“Hey Heather.”

“Aww crap, what are you doing here?”

“It’s been a while. I thought I would stop in for a visit.”

“Well, make sure you fasten your seatbelt and be quiet. Samantha’s sleeping and I don’t want you to wake her up.”

“Can I change the station?”


“Can I play with the window?”

“No, you can just come along for the ride.”

 So we go on the ride together; fingernails thumping on the dashboard as a reminder of who decided to show up today. Yes, I am quite aware of your presence, you don’t need to remind me.

Grief’s appearance used to rattle me, send me into the bathroom, crying hysterically. Render me worthless for a day. Sometimes it still does but as Grief has been established as a consistent visitor in our household, we have drawn up a contract. We have an agreement.

As the mom of Samantha, a child who does not walk or talk, a child who is suffering from a mitochondrial disease, I will grieve. I will grieve for many dreams that will not come to fruition. I will grieve for a life I thought would be different.

I will grieve at times. And I will not grieve at times. I will laugh at times. I will not laugh at times.

Grief can come into our house but is not allowed to stay. If allowed to stay, it would devour the corners of our house. It would suck up the oxygen in the room. It would consume me.

And that is not acceptable.

Grief tends to run within the Special Needs community. I bump into him quite often.

How are you?

My daughter had pneumonia. She is in the hospital on a ventilator.

I look around and see Grief, sitting on the couch, smugly picking at dirty fingernails.

And I meet those who sadly keep very, very close company with this unwanted guest. Grief hangs over them like a shroud. It is hard to laugh. It is hard to love. Because in copious amounts Grief tends to ooze; like a nasty septic wound…draining life from us.

But we still have to laugh, we still have to play, we still have to live….life carries on…

….and on

....and on….

I cannot, at the end of my life say….well, it was long, hard and I was sad.

Surprisingly, our relationship is not based entirely on conflict. My interactions with Grief have allowed me to see myself entirely raw, unprotected, and exposed. At times I feel that I have lost my skin…..yes, here I am. Be careful, that’s my beating heart you see there. Oh no, no, do not touch.

I am no longer afraid to approach others regarding their own tragedies. I bring up the tough conversations. How is your mother? I am sorry for your loss. I am so sorry your daughter is in the hospital.  I hug, I cry, I listen. Not because I am an uber-sensitive but because I know Grief sometimes travels alone except when he travels with his favorites… Isolation and Loneliness.

Sometimes Grief shows up at a party…..drinks my wine, eats my last bite of fudgy dessert. It’s an annoyance really but since Grief is not a constant life guest, I have learned to tolerate the time we spend together. Sometimes we even enjoy an introspective moment or two.

We have set the rules and sometimes they are followed. We cannot have a permanent impy, uninvited, grievous house guest...we don't have the room...not in our lives, not in my heart...life is too short and despite the bad things that can happen... life is too sweet.


  1. Oh, thank you for that well written post! I find grief visiting me at unexpected times. In fact I think he was following me around today and I didn't notice him sitting in the corner.....Oh, how I wish he would call first. I think I will put the link to your post on my daughter's blog today. - Ainsley's Mom http://ainsleyrae.blogspot.com/

  2. Breathtaking, literally. I know this grief of which you write. We have a similar relationship. I've always wondered where it went when it left my home. Apparently, it likes to hang out at the park and eat cheesy popcorn, too.

  3. So that is who keeps moving my stuff!
    I am also posting this on my blog as a favorite. Your post really articulates the presence of grief in my everyday life. Beautiful and True.

  4. I bumped into grief last week. When I wasn't looking he stole some more of my daughter's hearing. From her good ear, gosh darn him. I wish he had had just told me he wanted cheesy popcorn, I would have gotten him a truckload

  5. Beautiful post. I like the idea of getting used to "talking" to our grief as in "oh, it's you again." We need that comfort level to know it won't consume us. Thanks!

  6. Thanks! Really--thanks!

  7. Nice. I have been accused of being "accepting" of our daughter's differences as though it's a bad thing that others cannot relate to, as though there is no sadness at all for me ever. But it's this understanding with despair as a temporary and occasional guest that makes the good come into clearer focus for me.
    Very nicely articulated.

  8. Beautiful Absolutely beautiful.

  9. This really resonated with me. Thank you for putting very difficult sentiments so eloquently into words. THANK YOU.

  10. Christopher SteeleApril 24, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    I jus t read your post about Grief. I don’t have any kids with special needs, losing hearing or anything like that.
    I'm writing you today because Grief is no different, it does not care about the person or even the circumstance. It is lonely and lost. It finds me in times when I don't expect it to. I find that Grief is the rain on a sunny day, the feeling I get when I remember the loss of a LOVED one.
    Its visits are important, serial and poignant.
    It reminds me that I am alive when things are dying or transforming around me. It could be faces, feelings or even thoughts of "Once Upon Time".
    Sometimes I find it as comforting as my teddy bear; it allows me to do just that Grieve.
    I've lost two of my Best Friends in the last 2 weeks. Both died, one of a heart attack and the other one was killed.
    Sometimes I hear a knock at the front door. I hesitantly go and find Grief waiting for me. I don't let it in... I try not to let it in... I even hold my breathe until it leaves..... but to no avail, I let it in.
    I think that God has a place for Grief, I know that it is not perminate. He (Grief) is a traveler
    a visitor of sorts. I don't hold back. I release and let go, knowing that I am held in its arms till I am ready to go forward. It’s a warm hug on an awful, rainy day.
    Then a Grief smile gets up and leaves.
    I am back to the "New" and improved me. I love my 2 friend. I miss them everyday there not here and I know that it is time to move forward knowing that they are there working to change the world.
    I Know that I am being held in the hands, the hands that creates, loves and see's everything about you and me.
    And you wonder why you’re taken care of.
    For me and Grief we have said enough.
    I find it quite exciting. I Googled My friends name "Joey" and found this wonderful blog. Thank you for letting me release the grief I have inside. It may not be the same situations and to me Grief is Grief anyway you look at it.
    I’m reminded from The Divine that nothing is lost, torn away. It has a purpose, that is to carry us over the rough parts of life with love and compassion.
    So thank you Grief, thank you for showing up to take care of me.
    Now its time for you to go. We have all had enough.
    Till next time.

  11. تابع معنا مع مؤسسة السبيعي تصميم افضل اشكال مجالس تراثية بتكاليف قليلة وخامات عالية الجودة

  12. يمكنك الان ان تكوني شيف في منزلك لما لدينا افضل طريقة عمل اللازانيا باسهل الطرق

  13. مركز صيانة ال جي يقدم اقوى العروض والخدمات المميزة من مركز صيانة بقطع غيار اصلية

  14. شركة مميزة من نقل اثاث مكة باقل الاسعار واعلى الخدمات المميزة من شركة الاخلاص والامانة

  15. اقوى العروض والخدمات المميزة من شركة الريان تقدم افضل العروض والخدمات من شركة تنظيف فى المدينة المنورة باقل الاسعار

  16. شركة سوقني هي شركة تسويق الكترونى متميزة و تقدم ايضا باستمرار اقوي العروض علي خدمات تصميم و تطوير المواقع

    للاتصال بنا عبر جوال


  17. التنظيف و العزل و كل ما يتطلبه الامر لحماية الخزان و توفير مياة نظيفة لكم ، سوف تحصل علي كل تلك الخدمات و بجودة عالية ، عبر شركة عزل خزانات بمكة مثل العنود

    للاتصال بنا عبر جوال


  18. اكبر شركة نقل اثاث الطائف بالمملكة العربية السعودية شركة الاخلاص والامانه حيث انها توفر خدمات نقل عفش الطائف بكل امان وسرعه .
    التواصل عبر البريد الالكتروني:

  19. خدمات شركة العنود اكبر شركة غسيل خزانات بمكة بالمملكة العربية السعودية والتي توفر تقدم شركة صيانة خزانات بمكة بأقل الاسعار .
    تواصل عبر البريد الالكتروني:

  20. خدمات شركة عزل خزانات بالمدينة المنورة من شركة فرسان الخليج يمكنك التمتع بها في اي مكان بالمملكة العربية السعودية وخاصه عزل خزانات المدينة المنورة وباقل الاسعار .
    اتصل على :
    او تواصل عبر البريد الالكتروني :

  21. تعمل شركة سوفني علي توفير خدمات اشهار المواقع الكترونيا بأقل الاسعار وعلي ايدي خبراء من اجل التسويق الالكتروني لبعض الشركات الغير معروفه .
    البريد الالكتروني:

  22. اذا كنت تريد خدمات صيانة جليم جاز يمكنك التواصل معها الان حيث توفر فريق عمل بمساعدة صيانة تكنوجاز والتي توفر افضل الخدمات لعملائها في كل مكان .
    للتواصل :

  23. اكبر مراكز صيانة يونيفرسال والتي توفر افضل الخدمات بأقل الاسعار الان مع صيانة جولدي التي تسعي بكل جهدها لتوفير افضل الخدمات .
    للتواصل :

  24. فريق عمل علي الاستعدادج التام في اي وقت لاصلاح جميع الاجهزه الكهربائية من صيانة كاريير الذي يعمل باحدث الاساليب المدرب عليها من قبل خبراء توكيل كاريير بكل خبرة وكفائه .
    للتواصل :


  25. تعلن شركة سفلت عن قيمها بسفلتة الطرق بأوجد الخامات والمهرات الممكنة في استخدمها لسفلتة الطرق وللذلك تقوم شركة مقاولات عامة بتحديد المواد والخامات المتا حه لها بأفضل الاشياء.

  26. الان تمتع بافضل خدمة مكافحة حشرات وذلك مع اكبر فريق متخصص في ابادة الحشرات من اشهر شركة مكافحة حشرات بالاحساء والتي توفر لكم العديد من المبيدات التي تستخدم في ابادة الحشرات والتخلص منها تماما كما اننا نوفر لكم اقوي الحملات ابادة الحشرات ونوفر لكم فريق متخصص في رش المنازل وغيرها من الاماكن باقل الاسعارhttp://abraj-dubai.net/%D8%B4%D8%B1%D9%83%D8%A9-%D9%85%D9%83%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%AD%D8%A9-%D8%AD%D8%B4%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AD%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%A1/

  27. تمتع بافضل خدمة امنية من اكبر شركة امن وحراسة في مصر شركة الحارس الخاص والتي توفر لكم افضل فريق من رجال الامن الذين تم اختيارهم بعناية كبيرة كي يوفروا لكم الامن والامان ونوفر احدث كاميرات المراقبة التي تستخدم في عملية المراقبة لذا نعد اشهر شركة حراسات امنية وذلك كي تتمتعوا بافضل خدمة امنية في مصرhttp://www.guards-security.com

  28. انتم لستم بحاجة الي الاعلان مطلوب جليسة لسيدة مسنة لان اكبر دور رعاية كبار السن توفر لكم عدد من جليسات مسنين في مصر واشهر جليسة لسيدة مسنة ونقوم باختيارهم علي اعلي مستوي من الجودة والكفاءة ونقوم بتدريبهم علي كيفية رعاية كبار السن من حيث الرعاية الطبية والنفسية والامراض التي تصاحب كبار السن جليسة مسنين مع اكبر دور لرعاية المسنين في مصر نوفر لكم افضل رعاية للمسنين داخل وخارج الدار


  29. من اهم اسباب النجاح عدة عوامل مهمة ورئيسية شركة تنظيف بالبخار بجدة تكون دائمة فى المقدمة وهى الايدى العاملة حيث تتميز شركتنا بان لها ايدى عاملة تمتاز باتقان العمل
    والدقة والمهارة وسرعة فى انجاز العمل لان من اهم اساسيات العمل هى الكوادر البشرية وتمتاز بوجود مشرفين ذو خبرة عالية فى مجال التنظيف شركة مكافحة حشرات بالطائف من خلال ممارسة العمل لسنوات طويلة شركة تنظيف بالبخار بالطائف ولان تنظيف الشقق والفلل يحتاج الىشركة نقل عفش بالطائف ايدى عاملة ماهرة وكثيرة لانجاز العمل فى اسرع وقت شركة تنظيف خزانات بالطائف وسرعة فى انجاز العمل

  30. تمتعوا الآن بأفضل اسعار خدمات من خلال اهم شركة مكافحة الحشرات المتخصصة و هي الشركة الفرنسية التي تعتبر اكبر شركة ابادة حشرات يبمكنكم الآن التواصل معها مباشرة عن طريق زيارة موقعنا هذا :-


  31. يتواجد لدي موقع مكتبتك العديد من الانواع المختلفة للخدمات التقنية العالية في الجودة منها خدمة توفير دراسات سابقة مترجمة من قبل مترجمين معتمدين

  32. يسعي موقع مكتبتك لتحقيق الأفضلية في الاعتماد عليه فيوفر كافة المراجع الضرورية والتي يتم الاعتماد عليها بشكل كلي في دراسة الماجستير والدكتوراه بجانب كتابة الابحاث العلمية لكي تجذب انتباه الباحث

  33. يوفر موقع مكتبتك كل ما هو جديد في مجال البحث العلمي والتي تتمثل في توفير المراجع والدراسات التي تعزز البحث العلمي ومعارف الباحث العلمي خلال الدراسة والبحث

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