Broken. Repurposed. Grieving.

griefhaiku - broken pot


Mom died on June 24, 2020…

I’m FINE. Really. (Or that’s what I tell people…) 

I say that because it’s easier. Easier than letting loose with a string of memories, feelings, and frustrations that overwhelm the listener almost immediately. The barrage is… too much. The person’s eyes glaze over. (I’m sure they are sorry they asked…) And then they respond with a string of unhelpful comments and platitudes.

(Not judging. I do it, too. And I most often realize it in hindsight.)

But I’m not strong enough to withstand one more well-meaning comment, one more platitude. My temper is on a hair trigger. My sleep is disrupted (still). And I want to talk without being “helped.”

In response, I hide the deeply broken places, the spots where stuff leaks out, no matter how hard I try to keep things chill. I hold myself together, like a broken clay pot, trying to keep the fractured edges together. Under control. Inwardly a riot of feelings and hurt and memories and regrets. Outwardly a benign smile, an emotional blank wall.

It’s just easier.

And it’s also harder.

It’s harder because I can’t keep it together. Just like moving a broken pot, the soil begins to leak out. The rocks that I put in the bottom of the pot for drainage spill out loudly, startling me. I forgot they were there…

I can’t glue things back together.

There is no going back and honestly, I don’t wish Mom back. It was time. She was peaceful. It was a blessed relief. Things can’t return to where they were. I am no longer a daughter in the present tense.

Part of my healing is re-purposing this old pot into all the new growing experiences moving forward. but I cry… I liked the old pot. The old ways. I knew it was coming, but I wasn’t ready.

I take the pot and smash it… the broken bits will become drainage for another plant.

But for right now… I mourn what was, what isn’t. What I didn’t do or didn’t offer to do. What was said, or unsaid.

This is the work of grieving… This is where God meets me and I know, without a doubt, that I am loved. In the tears, the pondering, the listening, I am not alone. 

I am grateful for friends who let me “be” and listen. I am thankful for God’s continued good gifts… 

P.S. A song for the journey… may it encourage you, too. 


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