Through the Eyes of Grief

Through the Eyes of Grief 


I never realized how my husband’s sudden death affected my family. I was so lost in my own despair. How could this happen to me? People die when they’re old, not when they’re 36 years old. Not when they’re healthy, not when they told you this morning that they loved you and asked you to be sure to make the chili for supper tonight extra spicy!

I looked at my children struggle with death but I didn’t quite see them. My eyes were strained, tired, and red. Closed as much as they could be because I couldn’t bear to see what was no longer there. My friend, my confidante, my security, my other part of me was gone.


Rachel’s eyes: I am a daddy’s girl. My dad was the coolest man I know. We always talked about everything. I used to think that he wanted me to be a boy so I always tried to do boy stuff in hopes that he would want to hang out with me more. Until one day I overheard him bragging to one of his co-workers about me being his princess and how proud he was to have a daughter like me. I miss him. But I haven’t had a lot of time to cry. I have to be strong. You see, I’m the oldest and mom really needs me to help her with Courtney, Brian and Meagan. She is so sad all the time. I worry about her. She sleeps so much now. When I look at her I don’t see my mom anymore. It scares me. Her eyes are always filled with tears. I’ll cry later.


Courtney’s eyes: If I close my eyes long enough I think I can see my dad’s face the way it looked when he left home that morning. The accident was so bad that the casket had to stay shut. I can never be the man my dad was. My mom wants me to help her go through his things and pick something that I want to keep. It is too hard. When I look at anything that belonged to him my heads spins and I feel sick to my stomach. I feel sorry for Rachel. She’s different. I heard her talking on the phone the other day to some people about fixing the roof.


Brian’s eyes: There is this really mean kid at school that keeps teasing me about not having a dad. I told him the first time he asked me why my dad didn’t come to my soccer game that he was working out of town. The next time he asked, I told him he had a meeting and the last time he asked, I got really upset. He pushed me down and told me that I was a loser and that I probably didn’t even have a dad. I can’t tell my mom; she is too tired to come to my games anyway. Rachel comes, but she doesn’t say much. If I don’t tell people that my dad is dead it makes it better. Somehow if I don’t say it out loud, it makes it better.



Meagan’s eyes: Meagan lies in her crib and coos. Eyes bright with the prospect of a new day and new discoveries. Oblivious through her young eyes of what is going on around her. She can’t see the hurt, disappointment, loneliness, guilt, and pain.  This death will mean something totally different for her because she will see it through the eyes of her grieving family.


Until I sought help I had no idea of how we all were faced with the same tragedy but saw it so differently.  My children had their own fears, anxiety and grief. I couldn’t help them deal with it because I couldn’t see it.

It is similar to standing in a gallery, looking at a huge abstract and four different people seeing four totally different images, shapes, and colors. Looking and seeing, similar yet different.

If you or your family are experiencing grief and loss due to the death of a loved one, seek help. Do not grieve alone. Seek help from friends and family, support groups, your faith community, as well as therapist and other professionals.


Comments (1)

jason kennyJanuary 16th, 2009 at 10:55 am

Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.

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