For When You’re Tired of Grief

Nothing triggers my grief quite so much as when my friends have more babies. To be clear: I don’t resent them. I wouldn’t even say I’m jealous, really. It’s just a reminder that I had hoped to raise a whole gaggle of children with my husband and that the option of having more kids was taken away. 

I don’t talk about this aspect of my grief often publicly; my therapist has graciously sat with me through the tears and frustration of accepting this reality and my friends (even the pregnant ones) have been so tender with me. Honestly? It’s making me really sad just thinking about it right now.

BUT…I’ll also be the first person to go hold a newborn. I’m on call for friends whose babies are grumpy or gassy or protesting sleep. I will pace the house with a crying infant for hours — sometimes through my own tears — but always with absolute joy to make this new little person feel loved and safe and cared for (while also giving my friends a break — it’s so much easier to care for someone else’s cranky baby!). 

It’s in those moments that I am so tired of grief. I’m so annoyed that the loss of my husband will give a certain hue to everything that happens, good or bad. I want to just celebrate with my friends. I want to let go of the bitter and keep the sweet and not be talking myself through the inevitable triggers as babies are born, as my kids grow older, and as I move through new seasons of life having to let go of the vision I had for my life when I thought my person would be here with me until at least our kids had kids.

Here’s what’s helped: remembering that my grief will never leave me, but since life grows around it, it’s small enough to carry in my pocket. It’s always there, but it doesn’t weigh me down. I can carry my grief in one hand or just leave it in my pocket, patting it every once in a while just to make sure it’s there. And I can carry all the other things, too. I get tired of having grief with me, but I’m grateful that now it’s just a marble I can pull out and look at now and then, and even on the days it won’t let me put it back, I can carry a lot in addition to one marble. 

Here are three books that help me keep moving forward when I’m tired of my grief: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen, and Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister.

There are so many more books I’d like to recommend, so I’ve listed and linked them all at

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  1. Kathee on April 6, 2023 at 5:34 pm

    Thanks so much for this – I’m putting a marble in my pocket daily!

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