Sunday, October 2, 2011

What do you stuff?

People ask us the bereaved how we are doing...we say fine.  Seldom do we truly say what we are feeling--those feelings are too precious to give away to someone that doesn't really care anyway.  Most of us just stuff our thoughts, our grief, our words.

What I am wondering today though is how you are stuffing yours?

Is it with food?  We often stuff our mouths with foods of comfort.  It is easier to put things in our mouth than release the words not too many people want to hear.  Don't get me wrong, we all have the friends and family that will listen with ears and hearts of compassion.  We do have those people in our lives that we can talk to but in the middle of a day when we are alone in our own worlds, in our own grief it is easy to stuff our mouths. 

Is it with drugs or drink?  I have interviewed parents that have gone that route and it is a tough and painful journey back to civilty.  As one father told me "the drugs were a hell of their own." 

Is it with purchases?  Are you stuffing your shopping cart with purchases you don't really need?  Just something, anything to avoid the emptiness of our lives without our children?  It is easier to be at a store, among things that are meaningless than at home surrounded by our children's belongings that mean so much to us. 

Is it with work?  Are you stuffing your emotions away under the cover of work?  If we just keep working we won't have to think about our loss.  If we stay on task, whatever that may be then we won't have to worry about our brain going into the emotional painful world we can get to so quickly. 

Whatever your stuffing may be remember those televison shows with all the hoarders on them.  All those people have stuffed their homes with so many things that their families cannot even enter anymore.  Are you stuffing so much that your family is suffering around you?  Are you causing the loved ones around you to stay away, are you locking them out of your world?  Is your heart so full of STUFF that people are unable to love you, help you, be near you?

The people in those shows are often told to let go of the useless junk, the trash, the 16 volumes of 1960's maps and encyclopedias.  Is your pain useless junk?  Absolutely not. Is some of the pain we're holding onto holding us back from living a life with the living?  Absolutely. 

My challenge to you today is to decide what you are stuffing and if it is causing the people around you pain.  We all have so much pain after we lose a child, none of us truly want to give more, to cause more to those around us.  Be careful not to stuff so much, so far down that you no longer know how to share love with those around you. 

I will be having a book signing on Sat Oct 8 from 1to3pm at The Bookworm Bookstore in Omaha.  You can read about my book Flowers on a Child's Grave, Now What? at

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