Inspired By.

I feel compelled to say something.

I hope that my posts this week didn't mislead you.

Let me explain.

I lost my mom less than three weeks ago, and yes, I feel totally different than I anticipated.


I hope that my motivation and my words and my thoughts didn't lead you to believe anything other than that this grief is real. I'll be honest with you, I'm getting the "you're doing so great!" line a lot. Maybe that's my fault. I've been giving the blanket, generic, "I'm doing fine" line, too. And I appreciate the support and encouragement. Really, I do.

Yes, I have newfound motivation for my morning routine when I expected to be unable to get out of bed. Yes, I am writing now more than ever when I expected my words to run dry. Yes, I am focused at work when I expected to be incapable of functioning. Yes, I am making plans and goals for the new year when I expected to be stagnant indefinitely.

But this difference that I feel in my everyday, in my faith, in my self, is downright befuddling. Confusing. Strange. Surreal. It is not a "great" or a "fine" or a word that denotes anything close to easy.

I've encountered something, and it has stolen my breath away. I sense the vastness of life, and it feels so much larger and deeper than before. And it is a terrifying magnificence that evokes wonder and awe and worship and shock and fear. Maybe something like the astronauts felt the first time they looked back to earth from the moon. Or how a mother feels at the peel of an infant cry in childbirth. Or how a diver feels when he happens upon the Lions Mane Jellyfish. It is all surreptitiously heartbreaking and beautiful. I feel grief, and also peace.

And I don't get it.

But I do get it.

But I don't.

And so really, all I want to tell you, is that should you survive loss, like most of us have to do at some point or other, don't expect anything. Prepare yourself for the reality of life and death, but try to let nature run it's course, not just in the person you are losing, but in you. Let life overwhelm you and change you. I hope that you get that part of it, at least.

Meantime, here is some good reading for the weekend.

What makes me feel beautiful : wine and words.

"The real question at the heart of Harry Potter is, Can love win? And it’s answered in Snape, the second cruelest person in the world, next to Voldemort, who is somehow transformed by love." - Snape is my type of hero.

"Give away everything you know, and more will come back to you." Sound advice, no? House of Reps, are you reading this?

Oh, and this photo.


Khatia Caroline said...

Sorry for your loss.

Katy Stokes said...

I read somewhere that jellyfish are not able to "self-locomote". That is, they can't purposely get themselves from point A to point B. Instead they have to rely on the current of the water and trust that it will take them where they need to go.

I don't think we can "self-locomote" when it comes to grief either. And I'm so sorry for your loss which I don't think gets "better" as much as it might get different. I hope you'll continue to reflect through your writing, as I know it helps me when I'm working through the messiness of life.

Peace be with you.

TGL said...

Also? Grief is different in the presence of different people. While around others we tend to have reason to keep ourselves together. It's an odd response, really. I used to give the "I am fine" response too and wondered why I did, when I realised that my truth was that in those moments I was fine. But then there were those other countless moments that I wasn't, but somehow they were always in private. What most people don't see are the moments of terrible brokenness that are life when they aren't around.
All I can say is to experience fully what you feel in the moment. At this very moment. And the next one. And the one after.  Every single emotion feels more vivid, more visceral. And remember that this bit is for you. Not for them.

Stephanie S. Smith said...

Bethany, I'm sad to hear about your mom, and I love your picture with her.

Your words are beautiful :)

Andrea Beltran said...

Poignant, Bethany. My heart goes out to you and I will keep you and your family in my prayers during this difficult time. (Hug)

Christopher Johnson said...

I seem to be able to handle large things with a lot of grace. It sounds like you are the same way. Don't think that you have to behave a particular way or a common way when it comes to grief.

Bethany Suckrow said...

I definitely think you are right about that, friend. I've been thinking about your comment a lot over the last week as I continue to get questions from people about how I'm doing. Almost always, I say fine because I feel fine at the moment. I say fine because I'd rather be fine when I'm talking to these people I don't know very well, and then cry about it later when I have a moment alone. It's so spontaneous, and so personal. I hadn't expected it to feel quite like this.

Bethany Suckrow said...

You wrote this comment over a week ago, and I forgot to respond back and tell you: your words are brilliant. I love this connection you have made; it articulated something I couldn't quite put my finger on. Thank you, Katy.

Christianne said...

Wow, Bethany. Having just "met" you through Twitter recently, I hadn't realized the loss of your mother was so recent. I am so sorry for your loss. 

And I am pretty dumbstruck by your words, the depth and beauty of them. Thank you for turning your pain into beautiful. xo

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts: