My fingers don't know how to even start typing that which I wish to share. . .
mostly because what I'd like to share is raw, deep, vulnerable.
And very very sacred.
I. . .
am in the midst of my refiners fire.
Sifting through the garbage of my life
purging it and retaining only the
It's been hot.
It's been painful.
But the journey has been
as I slowly see and feel myself transforming from the inside out.
My mom used to tell me I was like a caterpillar
transforming in my grief cocoon and one day I'd break free
and there would be a unique butterfly that would fly gloriously, without hesitation.
I loved that visual, and
I'm finally breaking free.
I have mentioned in the past that I work for the best doctors in the world,
and I'm not exaggerating,
not even a little.
To say it was by chance that I fell into this job
would be offensive to God,
because I know he gave them to me so that I could become me again.
They have transformed me.
I had a desire to be transformed, so that helped.
Last week I went in to be treated by Dr. Evan Brady.
He pretty much knows everything I struggle with.
It came up that I was struggling with hatred.
I didn't even know I was a hater.
I don't typically hate. . . consciously. . .
but subconsciously, now that is a different story.
Hatred of what?
Hatred of myself after James died.
Hatred of who I became
Hatred of how I dealt with it.
Hatred that I couldn't be
Hatred that I didn't have more faith.
Hatred that I had to go through this.
Hatred for the times I was a mop, my tears were the solution and my floor was the surface.
Hatred for the times my knees gave way and I'd fall in the middle of the store because
I didn't know
Hatred that this was my lot to bare.
Hatred that I 'let' him die.
What an ugly word.
DEFINITELY a word I'd like to purge from my vocabulary.
He had me close my eyes.
"Michelle, visualize the bereaved mother of James."
I shook my head no.
"Michelle, see the mother who lost her beautiful son and give her your love."
tears started to well in my eyes and anxiety swelled in my being.
"Michelle go to her and wrap your arms around her. Embrace her. Tell her you love her."
At this point I'm shaking my head violently no because I didn't want to love her.
I hated her. And I hated my grief that went along with her.
If I loved my grief, that means I'd love that James died.
But does it?
"Michelle, embrace the beautiful woman that loved her son so much and the agony she felt by losing him. Show her the kind of love and compassion you would show a sister, a friend, a stranger."
My tears started to flow out of the corners of my closed eyes.
My ears became the basin that caught those tears.
In my mind I walked to who I was 7 years ago when I lost him. And when I lost myself.
I walked to the mother that lay lifeless on the couch
with rays of sunshine streaming through the windows, but all that surrounded her was grey.
I walked to the woman who cried every day
all -day- long.
I walked to the woman who blamed herself for the death of the one she loved most.
I walked to the woman who was alive but was barely breathing.
I walked to the woman who hated herself. . .
in every sense of the word.
It was scary.
Because I didn't know how to love someone I hated.
And so I tried my hardest to give that woman my love.
I wasn't very successful, but it was an attempt.
That night I was melancholy.
And if you know me, you would know
melancholy is a word in a dictionary I don't often open.
I had a date and I had plans to go swing dancing, cause that's what I do on Thursdays.
I canceled them cause I knew I couldn't go dancing with all the hatred that was stirred up.
At 9:27 pm I crawled into my king sized bed, curled up in the fetal position, wrapped myself up in my arms and gave the woman I hated a great big hug.
I let the flood gates open. All the painful memories that I wish were imaginary-but aren't- rushed in.
that woman who grieved her son.
The memories of laying lifeless in bed staring at a wall
the times she'd fall asleep on the hard tile floor because she didn't have energy to walk to the carpet
the times she wanted to hit something,
the times she bought plates just to throw them against a cement wall,
the times she lashed out at the grocery store clerk for not knowing she should be nicer,
the times she couldn't stop crying,
the times she had mental break downs for her dog getting caught by the dog catcher.
The times she forgot to feed her living son because food was the last thing from her mind.
The times she'd fall into the arms of her friends and wish she could just have more faith.
The times she'd pull a shirt off the hanger and pretend his body was occupying it and then the woman who'd use that same shirt to wipe her wet face.
The times she had to tell the doctors office her son died and would not be going in for his
scheduled 'well child' checkup. No, her son was not well. Not well at all. Nor was she.
The times she'd walk by his room and her knees would buckle when she saw his empty crib.
The times she crawled inside that empty crib and curl up in a ball and pretended stinky bear was him and she was laying beside him.
The times she wished God would take her too.
The times. . . . a good solid five years worth of 'times' she hated who she was.
I have struggled finding a way to love her without loving my grief
rather finding a way to love her and embrace my grief as an experience I had.
I am not my grief, and my grief is not me. . .
I am a daughter of God
who has experiences, but experiences don't have me.
I love Michelle the bereaved mother of James,
because she is a daughter of God, And she deserves all of the unconditional love
happy Michelle has to give
After all, Michelle is only happy because once she was so sad.
I am not grief, and grief is not me.
I am not hate, and hate is not me.
I am love and love is me.
love is who I strive to be.
"Here then is a great truth. In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner’s fire, and the insignificant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and make our faith bright, intact, and strong. In this way the divine image can be mirrored from the soul. It is part of the purging toll exacted of some to become acquainted with God. In the agonies of life, we seem to listen better to the faint, godly whisperings of the Divine Shepherd."
-President James E. Faust