I recently discovered Bella Grace Magazine, and I definitely recommend it for loss moms. It’s beautiful, positive, and community-driven. Content in the magazine is submitted by readers, so it’s a really eclectic mix of stuff. There are also prompts in it, which have been fun!
Anyway, I read the term “strong in the softest of ways” in the magazine a couple weeks ago. It’s a phrase that stuck with me, and continues to pop up in my mind throughout my grief journey.
I’ve been called “strong” many times in the past two months since losing my Jonah. I have mixed feelings about it. It’s a compliment about how I appear to be handling my grief, but it often doesn’t feel very deserved. Those giving the compliments aren’t able to see what goes on in my head, or when they’re not around. No, I’m not lying in bed and crying all day, but I have my moments. Also, my brain is constantly full of thoughts like:
“What on Earth am I doing?”
“Who the heck am I?”
“What matters in life?”
“How am I going to survive another pregnancy? Especially if the baby gets heart block??”
“I am so heartbroken, how will life ever be normal again?”
To me, what’s going on in my heart and my head doesn’t make me feel strong at all. I have no choice but to appear strong, however I feel inside. I feel like a weakling, crushed beneath the weight of this tragedy.
At the same time, though, there’s this tiny flame burning in my chest. It gets close to getting snuffed out, but somehow continues to burn. It’s this flame that gets me out of bed in the morning. It gets me to work part-time. It drives me to write, to learn, to read, to live. There’s strength there, buried beneath the layers of brokenness.
My love for Jonah and my grief over losing him are inseparable. They live in my heart together, and one can never be felt without the other. The love strengthens me, while the grief makes me feel weak.
Can a person be broken and strong at the same time? If so, then I guess that describes me. I’m strong, but weak. Strong…but in the softest of ways.