Grown up grief - Baby Steps in High Heels

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Grown up grief

Grief. Loss. Sadness. Regret.

These emotions have been a fairly consistent part of my life for over a decade. Maybe longer.

One of my step-brothers died in a car accident when I was 16. Following that, I experienced the loss of a friend or loved one every couple of months for about a year.

It was by far the most difficult time in my life, and I learned a lot about grown up emotions before I had really grown up myself.

Flash forward almost 15 years, and those emotions are right back at my doorstep with the recent loss of a very dear friend.

Grief, loss, sadness, regret. They all come tumbling down when you lose somebody that you have loved.

The thing is … the experience is so incredibly different now. I feel the impact.

But I also see and even accept life as it continues to go on around me.

I have a child now. She is too young to expose her to my sorrow or to these grown up situations. She doesn’t need to see mama cry. There is no way a one-year-old could begin to comprehend death, but she would certainly be affected by seeing me upset.

So, not only does life go on, but so do I.

That wasn’t the case all those years ago. I was able to give so much of my time to my grief.

Am I jaded because these are no longer brand new feelings? Possibly.

I think, though, that it’s more likely that I’m simply experiencing grown up grief.

It’s not that the loss is not felt just as deeply. Or that the life was not just as significant.

It’s simply that my life now, including all of my experiences – good and bad, is no longer just about me.

Even when I’m sad … breakfast must still be made. The Tickle Monster is still required to make an appearance. Barney-Elmo-Baby-Woof Woof requests still fly on a regular basis.

Even when I’m sad … it’s still my job to comfort and nurture and love Baby. To make sure that nothing in her world changes or is impacted by my own experiences. To make sure that her biggest concern of the day is that she had to eat yogurt when she really wanted ice cream.

And that’s okay. That, I think, is both how and why life goes on.

Pouring my Heart Out with Shell this week, maybe more than ever before.


  1. I think it sucks when we lose people we love! And yes, it is harder to grieve when we have a little one running around...they don't understand the tears if you ever shed them in front of them.

    I am sorry for your loss!

    Thinking of you these days!

  2. Everything changes with kids... including how we handle grief. xo

    I'm sorry for your loss.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Our babies are our light through those dark times and remind us why we need to keep going.

    Beautifully written post.

  4. I think we grieve even more once we are Mothers ... we feel a different loss. We lost two friends within six weeks of eachother, each leaving families with small children - it hit me more than I realised.
    It also makes you stop, take stock, love more, appreciate more ...
    thinking of you xxx