Knowing Pain

Sep 13, 2011

This was originally posted on my family blog two years ago. The sentiments in this post have been on my mind lately and I was led to a beautiful website and post that expresses my thoughts more beautifully. Look for the link at the end of this post.


Why do I feel such an intense desire for others to understand and "get" my pain? It's this unrelenting urge for people to know the hell I've been through. The hell I am going through. Why? Why do they have to know? They can't take it away from me, they can't change the past...but I need them to know. I want them to FEEL it. Am I trying to make things fair? If I have to feel it then so do they? Can there only be a just and fair God if we all feel the same intense pain that I'm feeling? The horrific separation, the tragedy, the loss, the trauma of such an event? And who am I to judge whether or not they have experienced loss and pain in their own lives? This is something that has been very difficult for me to get a grasp on. The bottom line is that life isn't fair. I judge others who appear to have an "easy" life and think that because of that, it is their duty to serve and lighten the load of others. Otherwise, their bubblicious life is for naught.

My cycle of thinking goes like this: 1) Why me and not them? Why do "they" have a life free of something this huge? How did they get so lucky to have expectations of life that actually have been met with relatively few bumps along the way? 2) I guess people care about my loss. But at the end of the day they have to worry about their own lives. 3) People want to turn away and not go too deeply into my life and my pain because it scares them. 4)Everyone lives in their own bubble. No one really cares. No one really understands. 4) I am all alone in this.

And thus we go round and round.

I was talking with a friend about this yesterday, like I always do when I want to try and make sense out of this life. He said something so simple and profound, something I have probably learned and thought of more than once-- but forgotten. Always forgetting, that's my problem. Forgetting the miracles, the tender mercies, the moments of clarity and peace. Is it just me? He said that we will likely never fully understand one another...BUT, (I like big butts) we can love each other.

So I am learning, I'm trying, to be okay with that. My pain may not be understood, but I am loved nonetheless. And that goes for all of us. I certainly cannot fully understand and FEEL the pain of another in the same way that they do. So I am just as guilty.

But I do love them.

And love is more powerful than understanding. Don't you think?

"In the turmoil and strife of our society today, many are frustrated, overwhelmed by anxieties and fears. As an individual strives to regain stability and self-confidence, it is vital that friends put their arms around him and assure him that he is not alone, that he can succeed in the struggle to return. Too often we weaken such an individual through thoughtless remarks and failure to understand rather than building with love and sincere concern."

Royden G. Derrick-- When Men's Hearts Fail


And now, for an incredible post over at Brave Girls. Have you heard of this website? Wow.


Terri Lynne Keene on 09/16/2011
Molly. I love you and I love your heartfelt honesty. You are a miracle in so many lives...thanks so much for sharing.

Becky on 09/23/2011
I love your post. I am helping my friend who is dealing with the loss of her child and just started her blog. Do you think you could stop by?? She is at Thanks so much!

amy r on 09/29/2011
thank you for this. i hate that it never goes away and pops up when you least expect it. i feel this post to a T. (btw, i am a friend of shara's).

andrea on 10/11/2011
i was recently referred to this site by a friend after finding our 4 month old limp in the bed while checking on him during his afternoon nap this july, after what seemed like an eternity of cpr, shock, calling 911, police interrogating me as if i were a criminal and a horrible mother, watching the ambulances leave with my baby inside, finally getting to the hospital, and then a short stay in the picu, we knew he was no longer our little baby to have and to hold in this life. i don't know that i can have the courage to voice my feelings yet or tell the full story for the world to hear, but i at least had to say how helpful this was to read, to know that i am not alone and as crazy as i feel...there are large amounts of grief and despair, a longing to never put him down for that nap and to turn back time, and so many more emotions that i have never experienced before that seem to constantly engulf my entire being...i may not be able to come back and read any of these posts again for awhile, but it is healing to know that these emotions i never thought i would ever have sweilling and exploding from within me are somewhat normal for a grieving mother. thank you.

Katherine Williams on 01/02/2012
I have written almost the same exact post. I am thankful for this new clarity, but would never have chosen this price.

Omena on 01/03/2012
Someday, but not right now, your grief will subside, as will your tears and fears of all of what you could have, should have, and did not do to prevent the unthinkable. Your child died. Who in their right mind could ever imagine losing their beloved child? Not me, yet, it happened to me, and I had no control over any of it when it did happen. One day she was running around like any four-year-old lively and mischief. The next week we were burying. She contacted influenza meningitis, and no one could explain how or where she contacted it. My heart was not broken; it was shattered into a billion pieces ready to fall apart plunging me into the depths of dark muddy waters. I became numb. My mind canceled all rational thoughts of reality. All I could feel was the moment I fell in love with her. Losing my child through death was the most profound feelings of pain I ever experience. My sorrow was equal to the love I felt for her when she was born. Thinking of her after all these years (1970) remind me of the pure love I felt for her when she was alive, and there lied the healing of my broken heart. Experiencing that pure love reminds me of the part I had in the miracle of creating life. I felt the memories of love through my tears, and I could heal and move on. Remember the love, and keep remembering it through your tears, fears, anger, and guilt. In time, your grief will turn into sorrow. Your sorrow turns into sadness, and your sadness turns into memories without the intense pain. Your love or memories will never fade. Perhaps one night your child will visit in your dream and lay a rose in your hand, as mind did with me.

Parthena on 01/28/2012
Super eixcted to see more of this kind of stuff online.

Kris John on 04/08/2012
I do not have a recent child's loss, but my story begins 3 decades ago, A year prior to that cold. November 2, 1975, My second child in as many ways was very reluctantly born, over due one month, nothing happening...I seemed to have been pregnant forever. I was 18, my husband was 19.. This beautiful second child was so unlike his brother. He was a red-headed, blue eyed, hot headed little person, with a most translucent skin. It would be many years before I would fully understand his skin color. It was September 7, 1973 when he came to our world . This child was strong, and proved it every day, while wrestling around with his older brother, Giggling, and teasing any way he could, just to get his brothers goat. He never learned to walk in that first year, he would only stand...not trusting his ittle feet and legs to carry him across the room. His brother was one up on him, as he walked at 8 months. Korey Lynn did not have much to say in his first year, I just chalked it up to "every baby has their own learning curve.." My mother, unannounced to me, had purchased small life insurance policies on my two boys. Each policy was for $2,000.00. On October 30, 1973, I was trying to take the boys pictures while setting on the couch, but Korey wouldn't have it. He was being mean and ornery, and taking toys away, just plain being naughty. But I looked into his big beautiful blue eyes, I could see they there was none one ther looking out at me. As that day progress into evening, Korey remained irritable and whiny. He was becomming unconsolable. We decided to bundle him up, and take him the the emergency room in Provo, As I layed him on the seat, he looked at me one more times, and he was only there for a few moments. The doctor at the emergeny room sent us home with some benedryl, and stated that he had lots of teeth comming in. By the next morning, Korey could not even sit upright, he just stared right through us, and continued to fall over. We bundled him up again, to the emergecny we went,,,I remember vividly, it was Haloween night. The doctor checked him again, and noticed that he had declined in less that 24 hours. Korey was admitted on November 1, and we were told he possible had menengitis. After several attempts for a spinal was clear. The only other thing that it could have been, is encephalitis. He has been intubated with a ventelator because he had stopped breathing on his own. He was also connected to as heart monitior. We came cack yo yhr hospital at 11:45 am on November 2, 1975...and I heard the nurses at the nurses station state that they couldn't believe he had made it through the night at 12:00, alarms started goin off, and all I could do is watch them calla code, that didnt help. I watched the heart monitor drop 50, 45, 40, 30, 20 0 then a flat line. They could not bring our little fire ball back to life. As it was, we had a relative that worked at the funeral home who came to help us. I just held him in my arms until a small amount of air escaped his mouth. I am hysterecal at this time, you people said you could make him better! Then they asked about donateing his organs, what is the use, I have lost my child, dont ask me to cut him up right now! NO! NO! NO! The gentlmen that worked for the funeral home brought us a blanket to carry hime down the elevator, to tell him goodbye, before we had to hand him to the funeral home. My mother, when she found out abouthis passing, she told me othe insurance. It was not enough to cover everything. So wehad made arrangments to have his headstone built and placed. as we were very poor at the time. While trying to deal with the grief, my mother had gone up to the graveside, and they taken it back for non paymwnt, I was devastated. For $200.00 who would do such a thing. Again, my mom took care of...but things were never the same after that. I have since lost a sister who was an identical twin, and two years ago, I lost my son-in-law. My daughter had taken their motorcycle to be a surprise for him after work, but she lost control and crashed into a tree. She had extensive damage and had to be flown to Provo. She had 4 trauma doctors trying to keep her alive. She was placed into ICU where they could watch her. On the fourth day of her stay, her husband of 14 years died in his sleep from and enlarged heart. So we continue to heal, day by day, maybe two steps forward, and three steps back. We are not suppossed to be given more than we can handle...I am afriad for the future, what catastrophe will try and tear our family from the already frazled edges?

Holly Moore on 04/22/2013
I've never blogged before, but here son committed suicide on 7/20/12. He was 25 years old and a gifted, talented, award-winning artist. There was no note. He was living about an hour away from us, so we would talk on the phone, but I did not know the pain and despair he was in. I should have known better. He was my world, my son, my friend, my everything. We used to watch independent films together, dance and listen to crazy music, travel, and just act silly. His father died when he was 5 and his little brother was 18 mos. Talk about more than you can handle?? I know this feeling well. For the first 11 days, I just sat and stared. I could function. I had to withdraw from school and life. It was too much to bear. Then, one day I began writing poetry. I've always been a creative person. But, I've never written poetry. I couldn't stop. I wrote until late in the evening and would awake very early and begin writing again. I believe God gave me this gift as an therapeutic outlet. I write in many forms of poetry, I've won contests and even joined a poetry group online. I've met so many wonderful people..we read each other's works and comment. I've had people telll me thank you for writing my "grief" poems. I've met people who support me and met lot's of friends. They even encouraged me to write a book. Which I did! I felt like I needed to do something for Joshua..that he didn't die in vain. The book is called "You Will Breathe Again, Grieving Suicide Through Poetry" on It's based on the 5 phases of grief. I finally feel like I did something I was supposed to do! I just wanted to give back, to provide hope, support, compassion, and inspiration. I still cry about him, and I haven't completely "let go." I just want to touch his face - to tell him goodnight. I miss him terribly, and I feel if I had been there that day - he would still be here. I missed the mark.

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