This was the day that I was supposed to cry because our spunky Emilyn would go to Kindergarten- tears every mother of a Kindergartener shed. The tears of realization that another baby is getting bigger and starting a new phase of their life. Tears that she is becoming independent and doesn’t need me as much as she once did. The same tears that I cried with my other two children. However, I would get through it knowing I was going to have time with my last child Ellery. INSTEAD ELLERY IS STARTING HER SECOND YEAR IN HEAVEN AND I AM HOME ALONE.

Today should have been the day Ellery and I would be playing at the park, reading, napping dancing singing and cuddling just as we used to. This was supposed to be OUR time to be together as the other children started school. I can envision her squealing with excitement as the bus would approach. Excited to see the bus yet more excited to see her siblings. THIS IS NOT MY REALITY ANYMORE. Instead, I sit here today overwhelmed with the raw sadness and the reality of my life –living life without Ellery. I sit here with just pictures and her memory and I cry tears of a broken mama- Not the same tears I cried as I sent Emilyn off to Kindergarten.  Heart-wrenching, knee dropping, breathtaking sobbing,  agonizing tears only a mama that has lost a child can know. 


Today I sit here ALONE, the world continues to spin and the clock continues to tick but my life is at a standstill. The first year you go through life looking back on what you did with your child the year before. You reminisce about the JOYOUS memories you had with your child. Then comes a year…….. your first set of memories after the year mark are NIGHTMARES. And that is where I am. Thirteen months later when society expects you to be “moving on”- I sit here with this stranger that I don’t recognize – ME!

I used to be a dreamer, a goal setter, a visionary an extrovert. Grief has changed me to an unrecognizable person in the mirror. Others see the same person on the outside and some hope for and expect the old me- but she does not exist. I am still figuring out WHO I AM and it is uncomfortable. I see life from a new set of eyes, a very valuable set of eyes.  THESE EYES ARE A GIFT WITHIN THE GRIEF.  I see life as full of beauty amongst so much sadness. I see the good in the world through all of the evil. I truly KNOW without a question of a doubt what is important and I know what is not. I now know the real meaning of FRIENDSHIP and that Family doesn’t have to be blood. I know that TIME DOES NOT heal all wounds but may lessen the pain.  I know that holding on to ANGER only hurts me and FORGIVENESS (wether it be my self or someone else) is the KEY.  I know that Faith in God and lots of HOPE is how I put one foot in front of the other. I also know that I am HUMAN living out this journey – I get angry, hurt, sad, want to give up and cry more tears that I ever thought possible. Even though my heart has been completely broken (to the point I can’t even believe it can still possibly beat), it has been broken open to allow SO MUCH MORE LOVE IN. I feel a depth of LOVE and COMPASSION that I never new could existed –AND THAT TOO IS A GIFT!


7 thoughts on “A GIFT WITHIN GRIEF

  1. Alyson, I’ve thought of and prayed for you so much this week. There are no words I can say but that I’m sorry that you have to keep walking through this. I love you and so proud of your ability to put words to what you are going through. You are so strong. You’ve found a strength within yourself that none of us would ever want to have tested. I know that you don’t always feel strong but you are! You have helped me feel strong at times because I will think to myself what you continue to battle through and because of that, I have no excuse but to keep moving forward. I love you Alyson. Thanks for you words.

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  2. Beautiful. I think of you often as I was gifted your Joyful Gift card at the Norwex Comvention. I have a 19 month old daughter and can not imagine your pain. I am so amazed that you are able to choose to see the gift in all of the grief. You are so strong and inspiring.

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  3. Hi Alyson, your beautiful words ring so true for those who have lost a child, and especially this time of year for those who have other children packing for school. Just as years down the road the sound of pomp and circumstance in June may stab our heart again with unrealized dreams; as bereaved parents we are continually challenged to find and feel joy, but it does exist, it is our birthright. You are so right Alison, grief amplifies everything in our life, our pain, our compassion, are hopelessness, and our lostness, but it can also amplify our joy for today …..as we know too well tomorrow is yet a rumor and today’s sunset can bring joy if we allow it.

    You and your writing is inspiring, but I don’t look at you as being strong, I look at you as a Mom. Its not strength, its the irrevocable and sustaining love of being a mom (Storge). There you shine.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. thank you for your words……we lost our daughter in a car accident July 18, 2015. you express beautifully what many of us feel….. and yes I agree the gift grief has allowed us to open…..a deeper compassion, a deeper caring, a deeper depth of so many things…. ❤ My heart breaks for you and for all grieving parents….sibling and so on

    Liked by 1 person

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