Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

A Safe Place


It’s May 30th…..and I seem to have forgotten I have a blog…

Well not really.

I struggled with the whole Mother’s Day post….. what to say about a holiday I truly despise but represents and honors many of the people I love.

I thought I could be snarky ‘I hate Mother’s Day’ Girl and dismiss all sadness with a cheeky ‘This Hallmark Day Aint Getting’ Me’ attitude….I’m stronger than ANY Tom Shane commercial!  But in the end, Mother’s Day kicked my ass….the weather was bad, I made a wretched, incredibly awful egg strada that everyone pretended to like.

“MMMMM….no Heather, the flavors are fantastic. What is that sun-dried tomatoes? Love it!”

I looked over at Hubs who was shaking his head no and grasping his throat.

Stupid Egg Strada.

And Mother’s Day ended with me in the tub, with a glass of wine, feelin’ it….feeling the pressure of the day, the loss of the day and the fact that I don’t know how to make that day okay for me.

It was an ugly cry.

Note to self… ugly cry will be done in baggy, cozy pajamas. Not naked in the tub….even if it is by candle light….that last Pilates class did nothing for me.

God Bless the ugly cry. I mean it. Nothing purges me more. Nothing sets the record straight better than a good shoulder shaking ugly cry.

A couple weeks before, I volunteered at the Children’s Hospital Memorial Service for the children who were patients at Children’s and had passed away in the last year.

I know, I know, I know, what you are thinking…..but I wanted to be there. And it’s hard to explain why…..

It was a safe place. For me, for other parents dealing with their grief, it was a place where I could express who I was, and how I came to be openly, with no pity and with no fear.

It was a relief to put a hand on a mothers’ shoulder and tell her she will be okay….she might make a bad egg strada and wonder why she chose to cry naked in the tub….but she will find beauty again….and it will be more amazing because she will know how fragile it is.

Just finished ‘A Fault in Our Stars’ by John Green, if you haven’t heard of it, it’s a book about two teenagers who have terminal cancer and fall in love.

I know, I know, I know, what you are thinking. But it is a lovely, lovely book….a bit of a safe place for me again…there is a terrific quote…. “Grief does not change us, it reveals us.”


To have a revelation: the act or process of disclosing something previously secret or obscure.

There were several revelations that Mother’s Day…..a safe place…to feel…to truly feel, allows us to come back and be whole again. 

And never, ever, bring an untested egg strada to a pot-luck brunch. 

I read a poem during the Memorial Service that I loved. It is Memorial Day so I thought I would share:

I’m so Glad You Came by Jane Peterson

I’m so glad you came
For I will always know your light
In my hand;
And the power of your leaving was exquisite
A kind of profound silence
I will always recall it
In a moment;
But I am so glad you came.
So incredibly honored
To have known you at all.
I will always know your light
In my hand,
And in a blink, I will see it,

Happy Memorial Day.

To your safe place

13 thoughts on “A Safe Place”

  1. It reminds me of the reading at Samantha's service, where the mother goes from house to house, looking for someone who hasn't experienced loss to bring her child back, but finds that they each have lost someone they loved. I'm thankful to be going through life with you.


  2. Heather,I am so happy you went with Laura to the service. It sounds like the right place to be. You will always be surrounded by love and support, since that is how you live your life yourself.Miss you, Maria.


  3. I was very moved by this post. I appreciate your description of “the ugly cry”. As you say, it is term that is familiar to all of us and yet I have not heard it described like this before. Thank you. I am thankful too.


  4. Ah yes … the ugly cry … is so much more healing when another human touch accompanies it. Each time I grieve, I am astounded by the generosity and sheer good will others impart … when I let them. So glad you are open to that!Hugs,Mj


  5. I am glad Miss Sammer got her shoes, it has been a bit brisk. I love your friend Laura and love, love the ugly cry too. I reflect on our conversations of snot and such for a good laugh when I find myself in this situation a bit longer than necessary…thanks for being you, sugar! Happy travels.XO's


  6. So glad the Unitarian service was a good one for you, for Sam's shoes, and that you got a hug with your ugly cry. I envy that ability to cry, though I feel so sad for the death of your darling girl.She still give you great strength, I can tell by your blog posts. Hope to see you sometime . . . Joannah


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s