What is the Cost of Pushing Through?

It’s my little girl’s 7th birthday.

She is amazing. She is light and laughter, love and joy. She is silly and kind, self-expressed and brilliant. She is a gift.

7 years ago, when she came into this world, I was crying. In those moments of birthing her, I felt perhaps most acutely the loss of my own mother. My mother was the one person I needed most in that moment. I wanted her to be by my side, to be one of the first people to welcome my girl into the world, like she had been one of the first people to welcome me into the world so many years before.

I wanted her to be the one to be by my side like she had been in so many of the hardest moments of my life, until one day, she wasn’t there at all.

My mother was omnipresent, then she was gone.

7 years ago, my mother was omnipresent, and she was gone.

Last night, I went to sleep crying.

On Mother’s Day.

Because sometimes when you make room for all the feelings, they show up, in expected and unexpected ways.

This morning I woke up crying.

On my little girl’s birthday.

Because sometimes when you make room for all the feelings, they show up, at expected and unexpected times.

I am a master at leaning into the feelings then pulling back when I must, pushing through when I must.

It’s her day, I thought yesterday, of my mother.

It’s her day, I thought this morning, of my daughter.

They are omnipresent, and sometimes I feel gone.

In waves of grief that consume me even though on the outside, I continue to show up.

For others.

Because I don’t know what it means or how to find a way to show up for myself, in these moments.

I am finding my way back to shore. I am swimming even though the rip tides always threaten to pull me under.

I am so tired of the struggle.

I am so tired of being so alone in this ocean.

People who see me today likely will not know.

I am likely only to share this with far away friends who follow through the lengths of the internet, instead of those who might touch me and watch the carefully crafted sand sculpture that I put up crumble, crumple, into a pile and disappear.

Omnipresent and gone.


So another reminder to us all that we never know what those next to us are carrying, and that some of us are carrying so much, so much invisible weight that we have been carrying for so long, that we do not want to share, for fear it would crush the delicate bonds we have formed.

May we find a way to ourselves and to a community who can hold us when we cannot push through any longer.

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