Brenda Nicholson

Grieving Doesn’t Have an End Date

After all this time, I thought I had it beat.

But today, grief caught me by surprise and left me in pieces. My 29-year-old daughter died unexpectedly in November 2017.

A few weeks ago, I consoled a friend who had lost her daughter too soon.

Too soon. That’s a bullshit term. It’s always too soon.

I thought I had moved on, able to help someone else through this horrific thing — dealing with funeral directors and death certificates. Taking your child, the one you brought into this world, to their final resting place.

Today grief decided to break me a little bit more.

A friend of mine found a letter my daughter had written her about five years ago. She threw it away, then wondered if I might want it.

Caitlin had gotten married 14 months before she died. Everything was with her in California. I had next to nothing of hers left.

I remembered the incident which prompted the letter. Caitlin had gotten drunk at my friend’s party and said unkind things. She wanted to apologize.

It ripped my heart open again.

I used to think that grief softens and gets easier over time, but it doesn’t.

Grief is like a predator in the dark, waiting to strike when you least expect it. It wants your pain and despair.

I won’t fold up and die. I won’t give in.

I’m here for other mothers.

Grief can knock me down, but I’ll always get back up.

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