good grief


December 1, 2017

christmas is approaching and it’s december. the last month of 2017. woah that came fast! with the holidays coming we have christmas movies on repeat non stop. don’t hate but the christmas movie i cannot stand is charlie brown christmas. i don’t know why maybe it’s because i think the kids are snotty? but i just don’t like it. however as it was on in the background (i couldn’t find the remote) and i couldn’t help but hear the phrase “good grief” as i believe charlie brown is famous for.

it struck me. what the heck is good grief? is there such a thing?

grief is $hitty. i can’t really think of a time that i’ve been grieving that has been good. still, it stuck with me this week. good grief. the more i thought about it.. the more the phrase actually made sense to me about it. there can be GOOD in grief. what the heck? right? there are two situations this week that really made me reflect back and see good grief.

this week has been a mental struggle for me. it’s hard to consistently hear that your child, your perfect happy child is “behind”. we saw no less than five specialist this week for otto and got to hear over and over how he’s just a little behind developmentally. how if he doesn’t eat this and this will happen, we need to get him to sit up but sit up the right way and on and on it went.

it all kind of imploded on me wednesday night at my moms. i went to pick up some groceries that my mom had grabbed for me and i was in such a hurry that i went to pee and left the door open. yes i’m 31 years old and there i was peeing with the door open talking to my mom when the break down started. it was a pathetic site really. me, crying, on the toilet and my poor mom looking at me from the kitchen trying to help. i had a total sally field circa steel magnolias meltdown (after i washed my hands) . i was angry, enraged actually. i dropped a few f bombs in front of my mom and she must have been a little scared of me because she didn’t yell at me for them. i just friggin got it all out. she talked me off a ledge and i went home still a little on edge (didn’t mean to rhyme). at home i made a tiramisu. 1. because it’s joe’s favorite dessert and i’ve been a bit of a nightmare this week. 2. because it requires the savage beating of eggs and i had no use for the mixer that night. i was just refusing to see the light, grace or beauty in any of this.

everything that i had trained myself for in my morning devotions, the quiet thanksgiving, the breaking things down everything just was out the window and it was just me. being angry.

this morning it was dark and the sliver of the sun was just peaking out over the field. i rolled over and hooked up my pump (always) and did my devotions. (multitasking with God). i spent some time in prayer asking for a calmer smoother day. the devotion was about the small moments we miss when we are in a rush. as i was just being quiet this thought came over me. “haven’t i given you what you asked for?” i thought back to those days in the PICU. when otto was not doing well. i prayed GOD JUST GET US OUT OF HERE. just get us home. just get us time before the second surgery. I kept saying the rest we can work on please just fix this life altering things. we can work on the rest.

“haven’t i given you just what you asked for?”

a hot wave of shame and disappointment in myself came over me. when is God’s grace good enough? I have been given exactly what i asked for with Otto. We are home, he is gaining weight and like i said we are working on the non life threatening things and with each appointment we are granted more time before his next surgery.

this is good grief. when you are reminded of the results that you begged in prayer for during that time of grief. when you are reminded of how God worked during that time of grief. good grief.

this week is also the four month anniversary of my friends son’s passing. i’ve written about her before but otto and her sweet boy were due around the same time both with heart conditions. her son was on this earth just a few short days. the grief i felt with her even just through the internet was deep, dark and painful and that was just me.

i want to say that “things happen for a reason” and “something good has to come out of this” nope. it doesn’t. maybe someday. but i hate it when people say that. because when you are in these situations…no good. but what i want to say is what she has taught me these past few months.

when she posts about her sweet son she finds so many moments. little moments that she treasures, is thankful for and carries with her. the touch of his skin, the butterflies she sees while out on walks, his little locket of hair she has. she finds these moments in the grief and grieving that are good and she clings to them. she teaches me how to treasure these small good moments in the midst of these struggles. the ability to do that. at all. is good grief.

we might not see it now. especially in the thick of mourning and grieving. no matter the issue big or small. there is good grief. today amidst all the crap, therapy appointments and colds i am going to remind myself that i have been given just what i asked for.

happy friday.

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  1. Happy Friday! Praying for Otto and you. I feel sometimes inspite of my best efforts to the contrary I have become good at grief. Not something I ever wanted to be good at. I want to be good at encouraging folks, or baking, or stacking firewood . . . Good grief is real. It’s necessary. Avoiding grief is bad. It’s unreal. Delayed grief is just that, delayed, you still go through it- later. But it’s been dragged out and that’s bad. It’s good to be real, present, grateful for what you do have and can do. I agree. It is good to grieve. Thank you for your post. So happy to have discovered you. Thank you Country Living magazine cover!

  2. Diane wallenius says:

    Abby I want to share something with you I’ve been a nurse 32 yrs and I know it isn’t easy. However motherhood is about raising the child you have, not the child you thought you would have. It’s about understanding that he is exactly the person he is supposed to be and that, if you’re lucky, he just might be the teacher who turns you into the person you are supposed to be.

  3. Margaret says:

    Hi Abby – I started reading your blog and following you on Instagram about 2 months ago and I’m so glad I did. My dear friend passed away this week due to complications from childbirth, after being in the hospital for over 2 weeks. It’s been an awful week but this post helped me this morning. Her son is healthy and home with her husband. That’s good, even among all the other painful things. I’ll keep trying to look for the good. Thank you for these words.

  4. Julie Lay says:

    You and your sweet family are in my prayers. I know it must be difficult to see the good times while there is uncertainty looming. I look up to you so much for being so raw and truthful. Little Otto is such a blessing and you two have touched my life in such a positive way. You are an amazing person (cook, decorator, mother, etc) and I am so happy that I found you in Country Living. Praying for you from Alabama. Isaiah 41:10.

Abigail Albers       Author

Abby is a wife and mother, antique shopper, entrepreneur, gardener, sheep lady, sequin enthusiast and your Midwest Martha Stewart Wannabe.. Follow her on instagram @adventuresinabbyland.

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