Browsed by
Tag: grief

The Importance of Mourning

The Importance of Mourning

Something I’ve noticed in activist circles is an emphasis on pushing on past feelings to organize and do shit. Which I agree with to some extent – we can’t get stuck in sadness and let it stop us from doing things – however, it’s important to mourn and grieve and let ourselves feel and process the losses. If we don’t, we stuff it away and internalize it, and it becomes fuel for burnout later. If we don’t let ourselves have a moment to be sad and acknowledge the pain and the loss, it will build until we can no longer press on.

I didn’t mourn the deaths of my stillborn siblings until over 10 years had passed. It was harder to bear and process later than it would have been if I’d been allowed to mourn when I needed to, allowed to process when I needed to, instead of ignoring it and moving on because there was no time.

We shouldn’t lose ourselves in sadness, but we should give ourselves time to grieve.

On September

On September

Sometimes I have these weird time-based memories, and it makes some months (like this month) weirdly difficult, and I don’t really have a good reason for it, except it probably has something to do with being like “okay, don’t think about X too much during Y” and then…yay depression because of COURSE I’m thinking about X during Y and generally feeling shitty and sad and overwhelmed.

September 21, 2001 – the day the first stillborn was…stillborn. I’ve written about it before, I don’t know why this one hurts more than the other one. Maybe because the second one is in February and February has more generally happy memories and I’m usually distracted by my birthday anyway, and maybe it’s because I selfishly didn’t want to share a birth-month, but mostly, it’s probably just because, I was able to grieve for her.

Mikiah Faith would have been 10 on Valentines Day this year. But I let myself cry at her funeral, and I held her, and I didn’t pray for her to come back.

I think the biggest difference is, I never really got to grieve Elijah’s…not existing. On one hand, it still feels silly to me to – because it’s not like I ever knew either of them…

But at the same time, both of their pregnancies meant 9 months of misery, and then sudden mourning, and then sudden spiritualization and evangelism. So even though I never knew them, I still experienced……..the whole thing.

I don’t even know if it makes sense.

I raised my siblings during those pregnancies, as I had all the others…

My life ended as our family prepared for another one to enter, and then it didn’t.

I never grieved Elijah because he was never really dead to me…

When I was still a christian I believed I’d see both my siblings again when I died…after I prayed really hard and there were no screams from the casket.

I feel like maybe I’m just having delayed grief phases.

Elijah’s death was the catalyst for so many personal changes, not the least of which was my deconversion.

It’s been over a decade, but I’m still confused by it, it still affects me, it still…weirdly, hurts.

And maybe it’s just taken so long because I spent so long not feeling. Not crying. Not grieving. Not coping….

So now as I evolve and change, and his stillbirth was the string that unraveled everything else, I’m hit with new grief and I have to start processing it…over and over, because I never had the chance to before.


And somehow this makes me miss my siblings who do exist (and currently live at home – the one who is an adult I’ve been talking with and it’s been so so good <3) so much more. And I just want to hug them and hold them and find out who they are and what they like and know them as people, and I’m experiencing a similar loss – though (hopefully) temporary, because I can’t…talk to them. Because parents. Because my sanity is important and my family is unhealthy.

September is hard, and all the feels feed into eachother and I don’t really know what to do.

It’s weird not knowing so many of my siblings, when I used to be their caretaker.