There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My box

I didn't wake up this morning expecting the flood of emotions that would hit me. These days, I can usually function better than I had ever expected that I would...mostly it is more about learning how to cope with the loss of Mark, instead of the pain actually lessening. I don't feel that the pain, anger or absurdity surrounding Mark's death has gone away...I only know that I am learning, very slowly, how to manage it. The only trouble with grief is that you never quite know when it is going to spill out of the nice box that has been made to contain it-the place deep inside that forms as a response to deep pain. The place reserved for all of the ugliness and rawness of grief.

My "box" started out plain and always open...tears started my morning, accompanied me all day and were especially intense at night . As the weeks and months pass, I have started to decorate my that it is more presentable in public - a box that everyone is more comfortable with being around. Also, a box that I can take with me when I go out and see precious little boys running around or riding in the shopping carts at the store. The box even comes in handy at home now when I come across one of Mark's toys or lost socks. I have put a lock on my box for just such occasions. Oh, everything in the box is pounding and pushing and trying to get out, but the lock holds it in...most of the time.

Having my cup of coffee and my youngest daughter still in bed, I sat down at the computer to catch up on all of the blogs that I follow. Even with the first blog that I read, I learn that today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Mark doesn't quite fit into this category, however, the pain of losing a child is the same pain. Always different circumstances, different families with different lives, but all with the same, very real pain.

It is true that most of the blogs that I follow have the same element of loss or trial and so, of course, today, most of the posts are tributes to the sweet children who aren't here with us anymore. From miscarriages and stillbirths to medical complications and many parents have suffered the loss of a child. And, as I look at the pictures of their precious children, I see Mark in my mind...laughing, crying, running and hugging. I feel his arms around me and hear his sweet voice saying "Mama". I look over at our family picture that now does not include him sitting in my lap...and I begin to cry. And cry. The lock has failed on my "box" and the lid has been thrown wide open.

I decided to write this post...wanting to do something with all of the sadness, but knowing that there isn't any way that my words can really make anyone understand what it feels like, unless you have been there. As I struggle to make sense of it all, my dear Macy wakes up, climbs in my lap and wraps her loving arms around me...still half asleep and oblivious to the turmoil in her mother's heart. My tears slowly dry and I gather all of the grief that has spilled out and place it neatly in the box once again...until next time.

I love you Mark...I miss you.


  1. Oh, Angie. I agree with so much of this post. I have one of those boxes too, and like you, I really never know when it's going to come open and overflow with emotion. But, at least it can open sometimes, right?

  2. Thank you for sharing your story... for opening your box with each of your posts. Praying for you because I know what it's like to carry around the box, too. Different stories, but same grief; you are so right. May you feel God's presence and comfort everytime the lid opens...

  3. Ours is a heavy box to carry and while decorated on the outside for survival, it's not pretty on the inside. I thank God and ask Him to continue carrying our boxes for us on the days when they are just too heavy and I rest in the peace of knowing they're safe with Him, even without the decorations.

  4. I lost my four month old son Jackson almost two weeks ago. Jackson up until the day he died was a healthy, happy, perfect baby boy... I went to a counselor today to try to sort trough some of the nightmare that has become my life...I honestly think I might go crazy with hurt. Crazy doesn't honestly sound bad compared with reality right now. She suggested that I try to write Jackson a letter...but right now that seems to hard. She said journaling my thoughts might help, which led me to an online journal, which eventually led me to your blog. I tried to read about your sons accident but couldn' heart raced so fast I couldn't get through it. But I have started at the beginning of your posts. I don't know what I hope to find. I guess I just don't know what to do. My counselor said life as I know it is over. That sounds like the most obvious statement I have ever had anyone tell me...I guess I just want to see what life looks like down the road. I am not sure if that makes sense. I hope you have found some peace. I don't think I ever will. I feel haunted and heartbroken...

  5. Your analogy of the 'box' is so amazing and so true to so many. I did the same thing at a point in my life as I dealt with grief. Every time I come to your blog my heart strings are pulled on so hard that I am brought to tears and more than anything I want to run and hold my little ones and capture every moment I can with them.