The Invisible Scars of Grief

“Every morning, I wake up and forget just for a second that it happened. But once my eyes open, it buries me like a landslide of sharp, sad rocks. Once my eyes open, I’m heavy, like there’s too much gravity on my heart.” (Sarah Ockler, Author)

On a specific date every year, one that is scarred onto my calendar with an invisible fire, yet a normal day to everyone else, I awaken with a lead weight on my chest. My usual morning routine carries on unchanged; the neighborhood sounds echo regularly; my car starts with its usual resilience. However, the particular day stands out with a marked fact that the world is not how it should be, because a particular loving presence is missing. My grief has abated from the numb, then fiery, then resigned pain of the first several years, but grief leaves everlasting scars on our lives.

In the aftermath of the Boston bombings when suffering and grief is thrown like water in our faces, it’s easy to talk about pain and walking together and keeping up strength.

It’s when the media attention stops and the nation forgets and the neighbors ask about the dog rather than a loved one that the true feelings set in and the battle begins.

C.S. Lewis writes in the book “A Grief Observed,” :

“I once read the sentence ‘I lay awake all night with a toothache, thinking about the toothache and about lying awake.’ That’s true to life. Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery’s shadow or reflection: the fact that you don’t merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.”

Working in elder home-care, the subject of grief is embedded into ACCFAmily‘s conversations and ethos. We understand the sentiments and feelings of loss and realize that providing a listening ear is our first priority. Grief is a process. Grief-care needs appropriate resources. Grief is not sobbing for a week and then living normally. Grief care is a necessary component of our services, as support is an integral part of continuing life.

Our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to the families and friends of the victims in Boston as they begin their own personal journeys of working through grief. We realize the weight. We’ve walked with the heaviness. And we walk forward knowing grief and love are conjoined.