Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.
― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
The Velveteen Rabbit is my very favorite children's book. The story is about a stuffed toy rabbit that is given to a child on Christmas day. It seems fitting to share this quote today, just a few days before Christmas.
While the Velveteen Rabbit is not so much a story about grief, this quote is from a time when the rabbit is grieving the years he spent with the boy he loved so much. He is also expressing his fear that he will never be the 'Real' rabbit that he'd always wanted to be.
As a survivor of suicide loss, I find the quote particularly lovely. I am grieving the time when I was able to be with the people I've lost. I am certain I will never be the same. But I do believe that the people around me who count are those who recognize that grief doesn't make me less than the person I was before.
I believe that grief does not make survivors of suicide loss 'shabby.' If it does, it is only to those who don't understand.
I wish for peace and understanding for all of my fellow survivors of suicide loss today, and every day.
I am thinking of us all as we move toward a new year.