Wednesday, October 20, 2010


As Halloween approaches and you start thinking about costumes, are there (figurative) "masks" you sometimes put on?

When I compare last year to this year there is quite a difference in my masks. Last year I was slowly coming out of one of the toughest waves of my grief, which was around 6 months. I was beginning to realize some of the things that I did to try and protect myself and hide my grief. I was wanting to try and work through those things to get in a better place with my grief. I think at that time I was wearing a mask in front of people because I didn't want people to know that maybe I wasn't ok. I got the "how are you doing?" a lot but I really don't believe many of those were genuine. I don't think many people really wanted to know how I was doing but just wanted to hear that I was doing ok. So that's what I told them. And I'm not saying that all day every day was a gloom fest because it wasn't. There were good days.

This year I feel I am wearing a much better mask. Life is better even though our daughter isn't here with us. Of course, we'll always wish she was. I think having our rainbow baby has a lot to do with the happier mask I have. Regardless though, I think I'd be wearing a happier mask even if we didn't have our rainbow baby because things are much better than they were just one year ago.

I wish that there were no need for these masks that so many of us wear. I think that maybe we will carry them with us forever. Over time the need to use them may become less and less but I really can't see a time when you would put them away to never use again. There are just so many triggers out there in the world and so many ignorant people.

I think that even if I would have never experienced the death of my daughter I'd still have masks. Everyone has them. The difference for me is now I consciously choose to put them on.


tomandcheryl said...

Oh Holly, that mask at this time last year must have been hard to put on every day. I can't even imagine. I am glad you are happier although I know being happy right now is hard in a different sort of way. I don't really know what I am trying to say except you have such a wonderful family and I am glad you treasure every moment of every day.

Jennifer said...

Thia post really hits home! I do feel like I am wearing a mask a good portion of the time lately. I guess because people do expect us to "be fine" when maybe somedays we are not fine. Thank you for posting this today! I needed it! xoxo

Leslie said...

I definitely feel the mask I wear now is easier to wear than earlier in my grief. But it's still hiding a lot.

Anonymous said...

Some days it's easier to wear those masks then others (hugs)

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about how I might respond to this question when I saw it was this month's writing challenge, and I will probably answer mine very similarly. It's amazing what a difference a year can make.

Jennifer Ross said...

I like how you said that when people ask how your doing, they usually ask, because they want to hear that you are. I did the same thing you did. There were to many emotions in the very beginning to be able to sort them all out, let alone explain to someone else how I was feeling.

I loooooooooooooooooove the pictures in your last post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They were beautiful Holly!!!! It looks like you had a blast at your wedding. What wonderful memories to have forever!

Kate said...

Great post, Holly!!

Amanda said...

it's so strange isn't it... thinking back and being able to say 'well this time last year I was .... in my grief.' sometimes i wish time would stop - it just goes so fast - without any prejudice or bias. i hate knowing they have been gone longer than they were here....that part hurts so badly. and i hate that i pretend everything is okay, and that i do wear those masks... anyhow, thanks for posting and writing in general. it's good to be in community with BLMs who understand and share in the journey.

Molly's Grandma said...

Holly, I so identify with your words. I often wished that as a grieving mom I could wear one of those black arm bands to let people know I was still in pain. I guess, if I'm honest, I was good at wearing my "happy" mask or my "I'm fine, please don't feel sorry for me" mask. Thanks for bringing up a subject that reminds all of us to look at our friends and family beyond the surface and try to have a heart connection. God is allowing you to use your experience in many good ways... Love, Beth

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