Grieving Language Without Words

Around two weeks before John passed away we went together as a family to look at a new child care, closer to home to enrol my daughter Layla in. At the time she was attending a home childcare that had become like a family to her but they were over half an hour drive away from where we lived and where I work. We had decided to enrol her to begin the new childcare centre (not a home child care) in the new year, which turned out to be just four weeks after he passed away. The new year began and I decided not to change the childcare, as she was going through enough already. So for the past year she has still been at the home child care until this week.   

The first day leaving her there was one of the hardest things I’ve done since he passed. And I wished so much he could have been here. My tears began before I said goodbye, I felt as though I was over reacting and that most mothers probably didn’t cry as much as I was crying. The new childcare are unaware of our circumstances as it isn’t something I am comfortable to explain. So to the educators, I must have looked a mess. Layla latched onto me and cried “I want to stay with you mummy” her words broke my heart. And seeing the pain in her face as I left was heart wrenching. I never want her to feel the pain of a goodbye and this week it was as though she did. I couldn’t stay and hold her, I couldn’t be the one to protect her, I couldn’t comfort her and it stung like grief. I thought how it wouldn’t have been this hard if John were here. I was angry that I have to do this alone. And then the thoughts of what if something happens to her, I couldn’t live without her.


In my mind I can see John smiling at me with the look on his face to say she will be okay, I can hear his deep calming voice, I can feel his safe comforting embrace, but it is not the same and I long for his presence and a different reality. Saying I wish he were here and I miss him is never enough, because grief is more than just missing your person. Its missing pieces of everyday life without them, its grieving their loss in every moment, its knowing things would be so different if only they were here. Every aspect of our lives have changed without them. Its missing the fact that if he were here I wouldn’t miss out on sharing the smile with him that says, I know it’s silly to worry so much about leaving her. I miss my own smiles and language without words as much as I miss his. I miss having someone who knows exactly what I’m thinking, how I’m feeling and knowing just what to say to make it better. I miss the life we had and the future we’ll never share.

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