The Voice of the Lost

June 10, 2020

After someone dies, suddenly people know their wishes and desires for you. Suddenly people become the voices of our lost loved ones.

You cry in grief.

“Your mother wouldn’t want you to be upset.”

You cry in pain.

“Your mother wouldn’t want you to cry.”

You make complicated decisions.

“Your mother wouldn’t do it that way.”

You have moments of stress and anxiety.

“Your mother wouldn’t want you to be stressed.”

You have moments of fear.

“Your mother wouldn’t want you to be fearful.”

“Your mother wouldn’t…”

“Your mother would never want…”

“Your mother would have wanted…”

Stop.

You don’t get to do that.

You don’t get to be her voice. You don’t get to be the voice of the lost.

She is gone. 

You don’t get to use her voice, or claim you know her heart’s desires. 

Her absence doesn’t give others permission to use her voice. 

Not to ease emotion.

Not to eliminate discomfort. 

Not to soothe, or guide, or persuade.

You don’t get to be the voice of the lost. 

You don’t get to borrow the voice of those gone. 

It remains theirs, always. 

And you should know, when you try to steal it, borrow it, or use it, it stings. Though your intentions and heart might be pure and loving, it feels wrong and harsh. It hurts.

Let it be as it was. Let their influence, voice, and intentions remain independently theirs. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.    

xox, Chels

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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