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It’s Still Happening.


My heart catches everyday on a snag I didn’t see coming.  It’s still happening to me.

We go out for pizza, and the hostess says, “Just the three of you?”  Yes.  The three of us.  Just.

The security system malfunctions at our house.  I call ADT to determine the problem.  The very kind man on the other end of the line sends me on a scavenger hunt in the basement, looking for outlets that any responsible home owner should be able to find.  My husband would know where they are.

My dad arrives at our house one evening, and the boys, in their delight, call upstairs to me: “Mommy!  Come see Daddy!!”

And for a split second, a fraction of that split second, my heart forgets what is true, remembering instead the days when this happened every night at dinnertime.

And in that moment, my children correct themselves.  “I mean, not Daddy… Come see your daddy!”

The grieving woman inside me says, “Write about it.”

The creative writer inside me says, “You already told a story very similar to this one.”

…I will carry it with me, all of my days.
Even if I don’t write about it.

I don’t write them all.  But they’re still happening everyday.

A dear friend wrote to me recently.  I’ve only met her once, but that’s the beauty of cyberspace: once is enough, since we’re in the same space everyday.

She and her husband have a bittersweet story of infertility and adoption, of waiting and waiting and finally bringing their son home from the other side of the world.  Now that he is here, now that he is theirs, many people often mistake the condition of her heart.

They say things like,
“I’m so thankful you don’t have to be sad anymore.”
“I’m so glad that season is over for you.”
“I’m so thankful you don’t have to feel that loss.”

She wrote to me to say, yes, she loves her little man with her whole heart.  But his life and hers carried a brokenness of its own before he came to his mom and dad.  There is hurt that she will always carry, even though there are reasons to smile today.  Their happiness is built on loss.

“Tricia, no matter how many happy status updates or blog entries you have in a row, I will never assume your sadness is gone.  I will remember that, in your heart, there will always be sadness.”

I will carry it with me, all of my days.

Even if I don’t write about it.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. “I will carry it with me, all of my days.

    Even if I don’t write about it.”


  2. I’ve read your posts like so many others have by finding you through a friend… I’ve never commented but decided this time… I will… There is a film I saw some time ago that is not my life but parts have a similar feel… watching it was cathartic… there is a scene between a mother and daughter when they finally connect for a moment and ‘bond’ over a similar loss experience… the mother’s words somehow hit it for me… They are not comforting but they… they are a perfect description for me… They sound ‘cold’ but they are not when you really hear them……..

  3. ebb and flow – calm, and a sudden splash of fresh grief… We discussed this in pastoral care class tonight, you were in my thoughts as I took notes on ‘companioning’ when someone is grieving. I borrowed from the lessons you have taught me (many of us). You taught at college, for a few moments, three states away. Blessings to you, as you bless so many others.

    ‘companioning’, by Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D.

    • Oh, how I love this! “You taught at college, for a few moments, three states away.” 🙂

      Thank you. 🙂

      • there’s a followup… within 48 hours, two classmates had opportunity to share the lesson with others, who were walking beside their grieving friends.

  4. I anxiously open my email daily to read your heartfelt thoughts for the day…I cry, I laugh, I ponder, I rejoice, I remember, I pray…. My heart holds empathy and love for you and the boys. But this, dear Tricia, this blog hit home. Not the same loss, but losses just the same. Everyday, I hear things like, “I went shopping with my mom” or “I had my parents over for dinner”. Mom passed in ’08 and Dad in ’06…and still those “snags” unexpectedly tug at my heart – I just never had a name for them. Thank you for identifing them for me. Love and peace

  5. Like standing in the edge of the ocean, the gentle waves tickling your ankles. You go in, a bit deeper, and still they are gentle. Then, one comes in. Stronger than the others and unexpected, it knocks you down. Oh yeah. You back up a little, knowing you’ll go in again when you’re drier. It’s a dance, my friend, and you dance it with such grace. I read your posts all the time. I hurt for you. I laugh with you. I love on you and pray for you from a distance.

    • Mary-Margaret… it has been too long since I’ve seen your name. Hello, dear friend. Hugs to you. Your words bless me, as you always have.

  6. The unwanted companion, sadness. Sadness was in that fruit, whatever kind of produce it was, that Adam and Eve tasted. It is our permanent companion…until. UNTIL God rolls back time and creation and we attend the great celebration. No more tears, no more loss, no more sadness. That is coming – as surely as that sad day in the Garden of Eden has come and gone. The Fall behind us…sin and death and sadness beside us, joy and reunion and all things under His feet before us. I will be in that great crowd, cheering, when He wipes these tears from your eyes. In the meantime, I groan and wait, with you.

    • wow! – beautiful – true – amen!

    • “I groan and wait with you.” Lovely words, Kathy. Thank you.

  7. It is a really good reminder to all of us who don’t get to “see” you every day that even though your blogs have taken a fun, lighter tone recently, there is still a lot of grieving and heart ache and the loss is still real.

    Thanks for being sad and sharing it with us. And angry. And happy. And everything else in between. All of it is important to you. And to those of us reading.

    • Thank you, Sarah. How gracious you are. Thank you, sweet girl.


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