The Grief Monster

There is a grief monster in our house, hiding in the closet, under the bed, in the basement, where ever there is quiet and dark and a place from which it can surprise us. I am not a super hero, or a slayer of monsters, I am just mom and just wife, but its my job to tame the grief monster.

Words. There are lots of words to choose from, but putting them together in just the right way takes practice. Sometimes when someone you love is sad, all you want to do is find those words, and put them in a line and say them and make your person less sad.. Its hard to do. When , just mom and just wife, is making lunch for school, or folding laundry she is also looking for words. Sometimes we ask other friends for help with words. I know lots of smart women, doctors, and teachers, mothers and artists, they all have beautiful words to share. I listen hard. Sometimes the words I hear make me less sad as well, and for that I am grateful.

Life. When we are confronted with death, we forget about life and think only of death. But we should do the opposite! If we spend all our time worrying about an ending, all of the good stuff, and I mean the really really good stuff in the middle, it doesn’t matter, and who wants that? But how do I help you remember that, when you are sad? I wish I had a photograph, of happy things, of memories to remind you.

Little ones.  I want to tell you a story. I want to tell you how even when the sky is black and rain pours down and you cannot see your way through the dark, if you reach out your hand, I will find it, and hold it.  I am just mom, and just wife but I know my way through the dark and through the storm and I promise you, you will be safe. Some day, when you aren’t little any more, my hand may not be there, but you won’t be afraid, because you will be reaching out to find another hand, a smaller hand, and you will know the way out of the storm.

Mom. Just mom. I know now about all the words you had to find while you were busy folding laundry and making lunches. I found the map you had to draw to find your way out of the storm, so that you could make sure nobody got lost. I see the snapshots you took to remember the good stuff, the really really good stuff in the middle, because thats the stuff that matters.  I won’t forget, to make my map, to write the words, to remember the middle, even though I am just wife, just mom.


photo: Brian Kelley

Lux Vander Ark is a 35 year old mother of 3, wife to a rockstar who still makes her palms a little sweaty. She has a thing she calls Sparkle Brain, the unrelenting waves of creativity that washes over her quite frequently. After years of being a singer/songwriter, she decided that her sparkle brain would prefer to help other’s tap into their sparkle brains — and so she’s sharing a little bit of magic in her new event planning/creative consulting business called A Car Named Clem.