grief, Infant loss, Uncategorized

Don’t Let My Smile Fool You


2017 Treibel Family Photos 08


Don’t let my smile fool you;

You might think that I’m just fine.

But sorrow, love, and longing

Walk a narrow, blurry line.


The thing you might not notice

Behind eyes you think are bright

Is they’re gazing at his absence,

At dark where once was light.


You may feel good in thinking

I’m healing, healed, or whole.

But you don’t feel my arms ache

With no baby there to hold.


I’m glad you are encouraged

When I laugh or talk with ease.

But behind my closed door later,

This grief brings me to my knees.


I don’t want to be a downer,

To make life all about me.

I just want you to realize

There’s more than what you see.


So perhaps before assuming

I’m better, fine, or well,

Ask me with compassion if

there’s anything I’d like to tell.


Maybe just your knowing look

To acknowledge what is true:

If it was your baby gone,

You’d still be hurting, too.


Don’t let my smile fool you,

Though my smile can be real.

It’s a bag of mixed emotions

I constantly carry and feel.


Let my smile remind you

That I’m really not okay.

But the light and love he gave me

Make me fight for joy each day.




5 thoughts on “Don’t Let My Smile Fool You”

  1. Iknow I have said things like, at least you are smiling sometimes, to my sister who lost her son etc. It is meant as a compliment as in, I’m glad you are not so lost anymore. I still know she is deeply grieving and is only making an effort to carry on living, brcause she has other children. I tell her that too because, I think she feels like if she smiles too much then she is not grieving enough and feels guilty for being happy even for a brief moment. She is afraid people will forget her son and all that she lost. Let me assure you, I will never forget her son. My sister needs a compliment once in a while, it doesn’t mean that she is not grieving. I don’t think anyonec an ever get over a death like that. They just exist cor many years.


    1. Absolutely, I think your sister needs to hear that. I need to hear that sort of thing from people I’m close to as well. I think when it’s someone who also knows the depths of my hurt, it can be encouraging, because it reminds me I am surviving this and will survive it. Those people know how hard it is for me, so their encouragement does not ever exclude my pain.

      The thing I’ve noticed is challenging for me and other bereaved moms is when people who don’t really know us ONLY comment on how we’re doing “better,” and like phrases, just because they see us in very limited spaces. Then it feels lonely and weird, when they say those positive things but never ask about or acknowledge the rest of it.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, and for loving your nephew in heaven so well! Your sister is extremely fortunate to have you in her life!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been reading your stories and I would like to thank you. I too am grieving the loss of my beautiful baby boy Mason whom I delivered on March 19, 2018. He was born at 23 wks and 4 days and my life has forever changed. So many things you have spoken about are exactly how I feel. I’m trying to rebuild my relationship with God but it’s difficult when you have so many questions? ? Your words have been very comforting and it’s nice to know that everything I am feeling is normal. I am sorry for your loss and I can only hope that we both can find a little peace. Thank you again


    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, Michelle. I, too, have taken great comfort in reading books or blogs by other people who’ve walked this lonely, painful path. Sometimes it’s the only way I am reassured I’m not crazy! I am so so sad and sorry to hear of your loss of precious Mason. Thank you for sharing him with me! His life and memory matter SO very much. Much love to you. Feel free to email me if you need someone to talk to.


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