I see you, mama. 

I see the littles around your feet. The meals your prepping. The activities you say yes to. 

I see the dark circles, the gray hairs, the wrinkles starting to show. 

I see the disheveled clothes, the energized toddlers. 

I see the gentle answers, the Band-aid hugs, the listening ear. 

I see the talkative daughter, the weary smile, the tears pooling in your eyes. 

I see the way you squirm when someone asks how many children you have. You pause. Not knowing exactly how to answer. The truth is? One more than you see here. The truth is? You hate this question. The truth is? You don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. You don’t want pity. But you don’t want to leave him out, either. That sweet bundle you once carried. That small child who left the gaping hole. 

I see you, 1 in 4. I see you grief mama. I see your loss. I see you. I am you. 

I, too, am sometimes just trying to survive. And if I’m going to be completely honest, I’ve hidden my tears, too. I’ve sat in the car while my kids played at the park. Just to cry alone. 

I’ve stood in the cracker aisle at the grocery store debating on what kind to get. For long minutes, reading all the labels, wondering what my child would have chosen. I’ve made really small decisions into really hard ones. 

I’ve crumpled on the ground, paralyzed at his grave. I’ve cried until I have nothing left. I’ve been too weak to stand. Too tired to sleep. Too angry for words. Too weary for friends. Too worn out for even one more thing. 

I’ve avoided. I’ve declined. I’ve ignored. 

I’ve made excuses. I’ve backed out canceled plans or even stayed too busy to go there. To think about, to process, to let myself go to the deep grief. 

I’ve been blinded by grief. I’ve been drowning in depression. I’ve tried to fix myself. I’ve tried controlling what’s around me. I’ve said I’m OK when I’m not. 

I’ve cried in public. And in private. 

I’ve been lonely in a crowded room. I’ve been filled with gratitude and overwhelmed with support. I’ve been OK. And then I’m not. 

Grief mama, it’s OK. You aren’t alone. You aren’t crazy. You aren’t your normal anymore. 

You aren’t OK.

And that’s OK. 

Tiffany Nardoni

As a little girl Tiffany wanted only to be a wife and a mother. Life was planned and goals were set. Things were working out, until they weren’t. Dreams were shattered when Tiffany and her husband, Jeff, lost their sweet Thao, their firstborn son. Picking up the pieces isn’t easy, but God is using this unplanned life for something good. Tiffany currently resides in the midwest with her husband and their four children. Her favorite things include homeschooling, adventuring, coffee and writing. Her first book, Still (when all else fades away), was released last year in memory of her son, Thao. You can find out more on her blog, http://www.tiffanynardoni.com/