I first met today’s guest, Destia, when I was a guest speaker for Lisa Boehm’s Hope and Healing Together Community last year. I learned that Destia’s son had died of Moyamoya disease, and that, in her grief, Destia was trying to educate the medical community about Moyamoya in order to help save lives. Destia decided to come on the podcast to continue this process of educating people about this rare genetic disorder as well as get to talk about her amazing son.

After recording, I often hear back from guests and continue emailing them. In fact, some of my closest friendships today started as those email exchanges. I was a little surprised to hear from Destia, however, as she told me that she was concerned that she didn’t show enough emotion during the interview. She wrote, “I am really broken over my son’s death two+ years ago, but I might have only shown my gratefulness that we had him as long as we did. In other words, I did not show my deep grief.”

I quickly reassured her that I thought it was lovely and that Aaron would be so proud of her, but her words did make me a little sad. They didn’t make me sad because I thought the interview was anything but great. It made me sad because all of us as bereaved parents feel so much pressure to show just the right amount of sadness to the world. Over the last 4 years, I know I have occasionally had comments from listeners that they stopped listening for a while because I was not sad enough. I have had other times when I have felt like I have been too emotional during a specific episode.

I am actually quite thankful that Destia wrote that to me because it reminds me that all of us show our emotions differently on any given day. I am in a group text of bereaved moms and one of them asked today if there were certain days where we just felt like we were on the verge of tears all day. Many of us quickly responded yes to that question. There are other days, however, when we do feel a bit more ‘together’. On those days, we may seem more thankful than sad. Today, I am reminded that both are perfectly fine and completely normal.