On this day I stood beside a wonderful woman. I stood on shaking legs.
On this day I spoke words that had come from the heart of a grieving mother. I spoke words laced with pain, anger and grief. Pure, utter grief. I listened to words dripping with love and pain and I heard sobs reverberate around the tiny church.
On this day I watched a father carry a tiny little coffin in his arms. The weight of the universe in his hands. In his heart.
On this day I watched a mother move behind the coffin of her baby girl. I watched her being carried through pain and grief.
Those are images I will never, ever forget. And for a long time I wish I had not looked. I wish I had kept my head down and saved myself from the images that often return to me when I’m not expecting it.
But I did not.
I did not look away. I did not turn away. I did not leave. I did not run- how I wanted to!- and I did not hide from the horror of SIDS. I could not.
One week ago I stood once more with that wonderful woman and I spoke our own words. Again, laced with pain and with fear. These are the words. We tried to explain what it was like when a friend’s baby dies.
One week ago I watched a father read words in his daughter’s memory. The weight of the universe in his hands.
One week ago I watched a mother read also- strengthened by the love of her precious Matilda Mae. I watched the grief and the anger pour from her body and disappear into the love that reverberated around the tiny church.
And I listened to words that made so much sense to me. Words about grief and the way it cycles and the way that we embrace it into our lives.
Grief is a lot of things. It is selfish. It is angry. It is relentless. It is never-ending. It is furious. It is ungrateful. It is determined to take you and to break you.
But it is not shameful.
We all grieve for different things and in different ways and that is ok.
It is ok.
We grieve because we have loved. We remember because we have loved. We live, because we love.