On Vulnerability

You would think that as someone who types away at her laptop, films skating videos on Instagram talking about loss, hosts workshops or online grief groups, you would think I would be pretty good at talking about grief.

To my credit, I think I’m pretty good. In my journals I write lengthy descriptions of my pain, of the secondary losses I experience, how deeply I’m missing Mum. I can help others understand their loss with metaphors and similes.

I am so good when I am humbly sat by myself, with a pen gripped in my hands.

Recently, I have been feeling a deep set loneliness encasing my heart, keeping her far from everyone else. Mother’s Day slowly appears in the future, and I begin to get afraid. Afraid for being alone, for having no one to bring flowers to or sit quietly next to. Sometimes I just want to be selfish in my loss. To just be angry, to be scared, to not have to even say anything to anyone.

When Mother’s Day comes up, the loss of a mother becomes isolating. You don’t want to trigger your sisters, and you want your friends to celebrate their mothers deeply. You wouldn’t want them to worry about you on that day. It is easier to talk about your pain to strangers, people with beautiful distance, rather than the people you love dearly.

Sometimes I wonder if I think there is strength in it; to hold myself away from everyone. I don’t think I really do believe it’s strong, I think it is just easier for me to avoid the feeling of being exposed, or to shy away from the torchlight of someone else’s gaze.

I was on the phone yesterday, and I was crying. I gripped my phone to my ear, twisting on my chair the way I twisted my hair between my fingers. I felt hot, my tears dried cold on my face. My nose stuffy and blocked. I remember thinking “How did I get here?”

I wanted to say sorry and retract my statements. I wanted to pop my ribs back in place, zip up my skin and pretend it never happened. Was I afraid of opening up, or was I more afraid of acknowledging how worried I was for Mother’s Day?

Grief tells us that our person has passed away, and we will never be loved the same way again. We won’t be; but there are so many people who are willing to just try. Yet sometimes, I am not just afraid of opening up because I don’t know what people say. I am afraid because somehow, so far on, opening up makes mum’s death real again.

I will leave you with a small bit of hope that I was told yesterday.

“I won’t always get it right, I might not know what to say all the time. But I’m willing to go there, and I’m willing to hear anything you have to say.”

Sometimes I need to extend that logic to myself. I’m willing to go there with someone else. I don’t always have to be alone.

What else would you want to hear, when you open up about your loss? What would you want to say to yourself about vulnerability?

Evee x

11 thoughts on “On Vulnerability

  1. I people are lonely because we stand or sit or breathe or whatever one by one. We have to reach out with our bones, arteries, veins, muscles, and skin and with our senses to have contact with someone who is not-us. But this kind of un-aloneness is what we have. It will always have its limitations, but sometimes it can be really, really good. I hadn’t remembered that Mother’s Day is happening soon in Britain. (Ours is in May.) I hope it’s a day that can go easily for you. The Buddhist salutation is Go slowly.

  2. Grief and loss naturally make us feel vulnerable in a society where they are so often not understood.. We then can turn this against ourselves in shame.. I try to think how you would treat a small child feeling vulnerable, you would hold it close and love it and speak tenderly to it. Its hard to know who we can trust with our vulnerable feelings.. I can only say its your journey and its only natural the approach of mother’s day is bringing these feelings up for you. I hid my grief over my Dad for many years.. It really only in the last 10 or so I have started to deeply process it. It is such an complex and individual journey.. Sending you a warm loving hug.

  3. In many ways, at least for me, I find it important to share feelings of joy and grief. Many may want to share joy, but it’s only those who genuinely care about me as a human being who will willingly share my grief. For me, both joy and grief are an embedded part of the human experience, to be accepted as processes that enable growth and insight. Thanks for this post!

  4. Evee, think of the love a father for his only son, and magnify that a couple thousand times. Then that father sends his beloved son to try to tell some ignoramuses how to eat healthier, get better water, stay cleaner, and even how to live forever. But the ignoramuses beat up the son and refuse to listen to him because it will upset their status quo. He persists, so they actually kill him.
    THIS is the love that God, our Father, has for us. It is the love that drove Jesus to accept the cross.
    Okay, okay, He also knew He was going to rise from the dead, but that did not make the rejection, the beatings and the crucifixion any easier.
    I share this to suggest that you may find a common Heart in a Father who gave up His Son for us, and praying with Him may find you wrapped in a love like nothing you ever experienced. He knows your pain, He knows your loss and He loves you.
    ❤️&🙏, c.a.

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