At 22 years old, I found myself entering into a club I never wanted to join. I was now motherless on this earth. It was the toughest day of my life & an extremely tough cross I was now going to bear.
I frequently get asked how to be there for somebody who is going through this tragedy. And every time, I want to burst into tears. Not because I don’t want to talk about it. Not because it’s too raw or tough. But because for one, my heart just broke into a million pieces for them. And secondly, I am so thankful that they have somebody in their life that cares enough to ask that question. You, my friend, have already done more than you will ever know.
You are seeking to learn how to move through this new, completely terrifying rhythm of life that they are now going to have to navigate. And I thank God they are not going to have to walk that road alone.
Grief is such an interesting thing. I have yet to meet 2 people who have grieved in the same way. It’s personal. It’s ugly. It’s raw. And it simply sucks. The best advice I can give somebody on grieving is this–make sure you actually take the time to allow yourself to do so. For me, it took a year. An entire year before I even let myself go there or acknowledge that she was now gone. And I was on this scary world, expected to navigate it without a mom to guide me. I would have to go through every new job, marriage, having kids, trying to raise these kids, every tear, every precious moment….all without getting to share in the joy with my very favorite person on this earth.
I found my healing through a really random, terrible fiction book about a daughter who found her mom murdered. I literally bawled my way through the entire book, walking through every step of the grieving process with this fictional character I had come to adore. Because she got it. She understood what I was going through. And it brought me peace. I had to learn to allow myself the space to grieve. And it would not end there.
I will be going through my 9th mother’s day since my mom went to Heaven. Another interesting thing about grief that you don’t expect is that some holidays, I’m totally fine. Others, I’m the biggest mess & I’m right back where I was the day I received the call that she had passed. And there’s no way to predict when the emotions are going to flood and when the waters will be calm. It truly is a life long process of learning how to navigate this. You learn how to swim through the waves a little stronger, but there are days when you are just too tired to keep paddling.
That’s where the most important roles in this process comes in.
The ones who have swam beside me, the ones who have held me when I was too tired to swim anymore, and those who have pushed me when I needed to get through the big wave head on. They have made this whole process much more bearable.
So I encourage you to stop & think about those who this day may be tough for them. And simply ask them what you can do to help them get through this wave a little smoother. Maybe it’s sending their mother’s favorite flowers. Maybe it’s a great workout together. Maybe it’s simply sitting, crying & breathing in this new rhythm in life together. Simply knowing they are not going to have to walk this road alone. And they may not know what that may need to look like. So simply pray for them, pray with them & make sure they know that they do not have to carry this cross alone.
And know that I am praying for each one of you. Those in this club with me, those who love us well, and those who this day is extra tough for various reasons. My heart is in a million pieces for you & with you. And it is full of love for each & every one of you who are learning to navigate this new road that you never asked to walk. You are strong. You can do this. And you are most definitely never alone.