Art by Michelle Schill

Losing someone you love is an extremely excruciating pain. Losing your child is an indescribable pain. I sit here and wonder how long I am permitted to grieve. Is there a time limit for grief? What is the appropriate way for a mother to grieve? I have often wished there was a Mother’s Handbook For Grieving Etiquette.

I spend much of my time hiding my grief from others, particularly my youngest son. It upsets him when my grief is evident and I do my best to not let him see my pain. And he…well, he has spent the last couple of years hiding his grief from the world and he does a very good job at it, too. Much better than his mother. Maybe there should also be a Teenage Brother’s Handbook For Grieving Etiquette also.

For the most part, I do very well for a woman in my shoes. I have a good life and most of the time I am in a good mood; however, I have my moments. I often feel guilty when I have these moments because I feel I should always be just fine. I forget that everyone is entitle to their moments, even grieving mothers but the problem is that there are those (especially other grieving mothers)  who feel I do not have a right to my grief because of my connection to the Spirit Realm. Because I am a medium, I have no right to grieve. I, too, long to hold my son. Just as every other mother.

This past week has been particularly difficult for me. There are a couple of reasons for this and I offer no apologies to family and friends, including those who are in Spirit. I have just had a three week remission from ME/CFS. It was the best and longest remission I have had in a very long while. The past year has been particularly difficult with my health and I was so happy to have a life again. Friday afternoon I became ill. Although I am feeling better today, I am still not 100%. This, coupled with the fact that I do not have a car and live in a rural area, creates much of my time spent lying in bed or on the couch and thinking. Thinking about the pain from the past is never a good thing and certainly has not been for me over the past few days. The grief, isolation and loneliness gets a bit much to bear at times.

Although there are those who are jealous and do not feel I have the right to my maternal grief, there are drawbacks to being a medium. This may be difficult to believe, however, it is just as possible to have arguments and be angry with your family members who are in Spirit as it is to be with the ones who are still incarnated. This being said, I have done very little channeling lately and really do not know if and when I will return to it.

Other grieving mothers have their children on a pedestal. It is as if they have forgotten the imperfections of their child, the arguments, the need for discipline. I do not have this luxury as a grieving mother. Nor do I have it as a daughter, granddaughter, niece, etc.

So, is there truly an etiquette for grieving? I think not. There are no neat little stages or steps that you go through. It is one huge tangled ball of yarn which you are constantly trying to make your way through in desperation. There is no time limit as if an alarm clock goes off after a year and suddenly you have forgotten your grief and go tip toeing through the tulips for the rest of your life. You do not always worry about the comfort of others and keep your grief in check…especially on the days that it crosses your mind that their discomfort lasts only as long as the conversation and yours is for the rest of your life wherever you go and whatever you are doing.

When society begins to open their minds and their hearts towards “death” and grieving, it will be then that we will more easily be able to heal and live with our grief. When we understand what death truly is then the subject will not be taboo and we can heal in a much healthier manner. When we realize that grief is unique to each person and relationship, we will give the griever the space and the time they require without judgment. – Michelle