What It’s Been Like to Feel the Loss of my Daughter (Sorry, this is not as uplifting)

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It’s been almost a year now since my Christina left this world. To say “it hurts to have her die” loses something in the translation. Yes, It hurts. I’m choosing to write this today because I am more broken. My real feelings will come out and that is my intention. I know all of the things that my faith has told me. Heck, others have told me too. These are things like, “she’s in a better place”, “she’s happier now”, and “she no longer feels any pain”. These are only some of the things I have heard and been “encouraged with” by those who just don’t understand. I know where my Christina is. Sometimes I feel her and sometimes I wish I could hug her when I do.

The hard reality is not the things that “she” is right now, it is where I am right now. You see, I am the one still here stuck in a human body. So therefore I am NOT in a better place. I am NOT happier now, and I feel the crushing feeling of my heart being torn up into 50,000 pieces and no one understands this. No one gets that it takes time to get used to a new normal. Therefore I am the one feeling the pain now. No one understands we never get over loving someone and that is a reality. Sometimes I want silence and sometimes I want someone to just sit and listen to me even if I repeat myself a thousand times. Sometimes I want to be heard even if I felt different or better the day before but today is harder. Sometimes I just need someone to take the time to show me I have a reason to be here even though my firstborn son and daughter are not.

This is no picnic and it sure is no game. I don’t need to be shown how little my business has produced. I am well aware of that. I don’t need to be told how unbalanced or out of sorts I am. God knows I can’t be anything else but myself. I sure don’t need anyone to turn their back on my tears because I have shed a million and I might shed a million more. When I do shed them, most of the time I want comfort, not confrontation. I’m sure everyone has an idea of how I should get my life back together. I’ve heard them all. Tell me, “Have you lost a child”? Because if you have not then don’t speak into my life about how it should be now. Let me spell it out, “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND” because you don’t know.

Every single day is a challenge. I make plans to get out and get some things “done” and yet I am stuck. Sometimes I go and sometimes I don’t feel like even making that leap. And you know what? It’s ok. I don’t have to do anything “expected” of me. I don’t need that pressure. So please, don’t expect anything from me. Let me launch out as I am ready. There are times I want to dance, sing, and let my heart soar. Sometimes I meditate and listen to the silence inside me or the beat of my own heart. Then there are times it feels like a volcano lives inside of me and stuff comes rushing out in heart heaving tears and I wonder where they all come from. Even more, I wonder if they will ever stop.

If my grieving is inconvenient for you I won’t apologize. I have not wished this upon myself, nor do I ever wish it on you. It’s not my fault my daughter’s heart gave out. I carried that heart with me for many many years and I will carry her soul with me forever. Love does not just go away because someone died. Love stays and builds up so tight inside that it has to come bursting out some way. So it comes out with crushing tears, heartbreak, and extreme sadness. Sometimes I laugh. I just find something funny and laugh until I can’t breathe. It’s all the same release.

Whether you get it or not makes no difference. The main idea is don’t put more on me than I already have. There is only so much one person can take and I am at my limit. You see, I already lost, so losing those who want to just turn their backs on me won’t phase me one way or another. Just don’t heap more junk on me. I don’t need it nor want it.

The things I do need are compassion. Compassion does not have to understand, it just “stands with me”. I need love. Love covers all things and will blanket the days and nights that seem so hard to bear sometimes. I need faith. Even if I can’t muster up any faith for myself, have some for me. I need prayers. I believe prayers will be heard and acted upon by the great “I AM” and I will be in those hands. I need listening ears. Even if I repeat myself, even if I don’t make sense, even if I am angry, even if I hurt like I will burst, or if I want to just talk about memories that make me feel close to my son and daughter.

I have always been a determined person. I will get through this with or without anything. Whatever you do, don’t worry about me. I am stubborn and determined to stick out this life until I am 109 years old if that is God’s will for me. I’ll do it with tears, laughter, pain, upset, thriving or not. Some day I will soar again and it can’t come too soon for me. In the meantime, I am letting the process be just that: a process. If no one chooses to be good to me, I will be good to myself. If no one wants to hear my tears, I will cry with God. Everyone has a choice in life. Mine is to be as I am with no expectations whether anyone else joins me in this life or not.

Just Jenine Marie

Feelings Can’t Be Neglected

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I’m not sure why emotional expression got such a bad reputation. Maybe it’s because they make so many people uncomfortable when they are expressed. This is not a great condition to be in. Being able to express feelings and emotions openly is the only way to heal a heart that has been broken, to let someone know how we feel about them, and to express love genuinely.

Those who can not express their feelings openly are easy to spot. They are either filled with nervous anxiety because someone is causing them to withhold them or being pressed down by someone who does not personally want to deal with them. It does not mean they are not there. When someone cannot express their own emotions, they seem to become a very angry and negative person. When someone’s feelings are suppressed by another, they tend to become depressed and despondent.

We all need expression. We all have differing opinions. Being able to express our views openly is not only healthy but our right. Freedom of expression is what our country has been built upon. When this is not allowed, then our country becomes sick. Freedom of expression is what our lives are built upon, and when this is not allowed, we personally become sick.

I can’t even state this truth enough. It’s why we need friends, family, counselors, and ministers. It’s because we need to express who we are safely and healthily. Without this luxury, we all become sick.

Loving you from here,

Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry, Ph.D.