Monday, July 19, 2010

The Myth of Getting Over It

When our first child is born, a loud voice says, "Runners, take your marks!"

We hear the starting gun and the race begins. It's a race we must win at all cost. We have to win. The competition is called "I'll race you to the grave."

I really want to win.

Not everyone wins...

I'm soon going on stage to speak before a crowd of parents and loved ones impacted by the death of a child. My address is titled, "The Myth of Getting Over It." It's my attempt to answer the driving questions of grieving parents: When will I get over this? How do I get over this?

You don't get over it. Getting over it is an inappropriate goal, an unreasonable hope. The loss of a child changes you. It changes your marriage. It changes the way birds sing. It changes the way the sun rises and sets. You are forever different.

You don't want to get over it. Don't act surprised. As awful a burden as grief is, you know intuitively that it matters, that it is profoundly important to be grieving. Your grief plays a crucial part in staying connected to your child's life. To give up your grief would mean losing your child yet again. If I had the power to take your grief away, you'd fight me to keep it. Your grief is awful, but it is also holy, and somewhere inside you, you know that. The goal is not to get over it. The goal is to get on with it.

Profound grief is like being in a stage play wherein suddenly the stagehands push a huge grand piano into the middle of the set. The piano paralyzes the play. It dominates the stage. No matter where you move it impedes your sight lines, your ability to interact with the other players. You keep banging into it, surprised each time that it's still there. It takes all your concentration to work around it, this at a time when you have little ability or desire to concentrate on anything.

The piano changes everything. The play must be rewritten around it. But over time the piano is pushed to stage left. Then to upper stage left. You are the playwright, and slowly, surely, you begin to find the impetus and wherewithal to stop reacting to the intrusive piano. Instead, you engage it. Instead of writing every scene around the piano, you begin to write the piano into each scene, into the story. You learn to play that piano. You're surprised to find that you want to play it, that it's meaningful, even peaceful to play it.

Steven Kalas
ForMomsOnly's Journal January 31, 2010

I`m still trying to figure out what to do with that piano...


Cathy said...

Nichole - That was a beautiful to work the piano into your life.
I just finished a book (on dvd). I played it while I sewed. It was called Good Grief. By the end of the story, I see, that the main character did indeed, work the piano into the scenes of her life. I continue to pray for you and your family and think of you often. You are all very special to me!

nicole said...

I'm praying for you Nichole.

Anonymous said...

embrace the piano, remember all the beautiful music that was played on it.

Kim said...

Hugs and prayers...missing my little bean too.

Ramona said...

Nichole... That is beautiful...Mind if I borrow it for a dear friend of mine?
I pray that God will reveal the way the piano will work into your life. And that you will find peace in who you are now and where you are being led.
May God give you the strength to face the moments ahead.

Maroo said...

I was coming on here just to tell you that I am thinking about you this week. Still praying for you every single day. Noah's sweet picture of us on the playground is still the wallpaper on my computer - and every day I see it - and every day I pray for you and your family.

I hope you play - I want so bad for you to one day be able to sit down at that piano and play beautiful music. We hear the music - and I can't imagine how hard it is to sit with the piano day in and day out.

We love you all.

Maroo said...

Been thinking about u today! Praying so hard for u!!