Why Others Fear You As a Bereaved Mother

06/27/2017 12:04 am ET Updated Jun 27, 2017

Absolutely nothing in this world could have prepared me for that moment of walking away from the purpose I thought my life had. My daughter. Her fight. Her life. The way she’d blow all the doctors and medicine away. And all their stupid science and confused faces. I thought I had it all figured out. I remember walking down a long hallway as the sun set through giant glass windows, on our last day with a purpose there. We didn’t belong anymore. I was a walking corpse, emptied, split wide open. I still cannot believe we got anywhere in that last car ride home.

Since that day there has been this mantra playing over and over deep within.

I did not believe I would make it. Others swore that I would be okay, and that offended me the most, because at the time I didn’t even want to entertain the idea of ever being okay. The aftermath of grief felt like a comfortable place to crawl up and die.

But once again, humanity proved me wrong. Humanity is unreliable at best.

My own humanity that convinced myself that I could never be happy again was wrong. Dead wrong. Life isn’t a dream, but it isn’t half bad. It’s actually this impossible kind of crazy good.

The danger of surviving something so catastrophic is that you ride on this cloud of invincibility. You throw caution to the wind, because - quite literally - you often have very little or nothing to lose.

You go for things you would have never tried before.

You say things even you find surprising.

You give up on things you realize you can’t fix.

You harness your energy more efficiently. The whole life is too short thing. Suddenly abundantly clear. And suddenly fewer arguments.

You feel more intensely. All the feels. The good. The indescribably perfect. The serene. The ugly. The wretched. The brutal. The hilarious.

You lose your filter and become brutally honest, and ironically equally skilled at suppressing the most pressing thoughts and emotions.

You dare and do and dance. Wildly. Irreversibly. Unmistakably. Beautifully. Unapologetically.

You have died and been raised from the dead so to speak. Life is too precious to be boxed in. Your child died, and you swore with their last breath you’d live life full enough for the both of you.

You think about things like jumping out of planes and getting a tattoo. And other things you would have NEVER done or contemplated in another lifetime.

This isn’t a dress rehearsal, this is life. And from now until you take your last breath, you will watch others taking life for granted and while you contemplate shaking them out of shallow living, you realize that could have been you had it not been for the high price you’ve been asked to pay, so you sprinkle a dose of grace. And that surge of anger melts away a little more each time. So you press on, moving toward peace and purpose.

Maybe you’re not the shadow you have grown so accustomed to being.

Consider that people are just as afraid of those living on the edge of life as they are of those walking in deep pain.

You will always be a scary specimen. A marvel. A wonder. A testament.

You make people feel in an emotionally withdrawn society.

You were once the reminder that their own babies could die. You are now a dare to live life a little more deeply.

Franchesca’s creative workbook for grieving mothers, Facets of Grief is now available on Amazon. She also runs her workshop on a donation-based system at www.facetsofgrief.com.

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Follow Franchesca on Twitter: twitter.com/franchesca_cox

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