To all the moms hurting right now: Please give yourself permission to grieve

Dear grieving mama,

I know you are not okay. There is pain, grief, sadness, and anger over the unfairness in our country at this time. You are struggling to get through your day. You are trying to send that email or make a cup of tea as tears roll down your eyes. You are grateful that your kids are okay and then experience guilt that another fellow mom lost hers because our country has failed to create laws and policies that keep our children safe. 

You are being told to take care of yourself but you don’t know how to take care of yourself when it feels so overwhelming. And you still need to run a household and want to keep the joy alive during the last week of school. Your daughter just asked you why there was a police car at her school this morning and your son wanted to know if somebody could start shooting in his classroom one day and you don’t have answers. And you are struggling with how to make one more sales call or send a report to your boss because your heart is hurting so much. 

Related: Here are all the GoFundMe fundraisers for Uvalde victims and their families

I want you to know your pain is normal. It is a sign that you care—not just about your own children but about all the children in our country. You are heartbroken because the people who are responsible for taking care of them have failed to take responsibility and accountability for what our children rightly deserve.

I know you want to be a part of the solution but the problem feels too big. You are seeing links to donate and call senators but you are so lost and depleted that you don’t have the energy to research today. You are asking yourself, should you move your family to a different country—but what about all the other children? The problems in our world are so big and lofty, and how do you keep giving to every nonprofit solving so many important challenges?

There is collective power in our grieving hearts right now; let’s normalize not feeling normal.

I hope you give yourself permission to grieve, to be with all this pain, to heal, and to connect. I hope you don’t succumb to our culture’s pressure to fall numb and get back into a productivity trap. There is collective power in our grieving hearts right now; let’s normalize not feeling normal. How can we and how should we assume everything is okay when it clearly is not? 

Related: 10 ways you can channel your grief and rage into action—right now

Here is what I don’t want us to feel, though: hopelessness and despair. And I know it is hard. We haven’t seen much change after Sandy Hook almost a decade ago, and I understand why you think this will be the same. We live in a country where women’s control over their bodies is being taken away to support life but we can’t add more policies to save the children who are in our schools. 

But we have to fight, educate ourselves, use our voice, our votes, our dollars, and our hearts to create the change we owe our children. 

Please give yourself the space to cry and then remember that you have the power and ability to play a part in the solution, even if it is small and you don’t have all the answers today. 

Maybe you are feeling called to spend extra time with your kids tonight or send a thoughtful note to their teachers. Maybe you are feeling called to donate to or volunteer with Moms Demand Action. Maybe you want to grieve with your neighbor who has recently lost a family member or maybe you need to go for a walk to make sense of our world. I hope you know you are enough and are doing what you need to take care of yourself and do your part as best as you can. 

Your grief doesn’t have a timeline or a roadmap for what your unique contribution will look like, but I hope you know you can be a part of the solution—of the many solutions to the many problems in our world, to the one you are most uniquely called to serve. 


Another grieving mama in solidarity

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