One of my sorority sisters and sister in the faith, a fellow blogger and blog reader just shared her personal tragedy. Her mother has gone home to be with Jesus. Two words stuck out on her Facebook post: MOTHERLESS and ALONE. Those words are instantaneously felt right along with another word of mine–ORPHAN.
There are no words of consolation that can be texted, emailed, or uttered. It is a very lonely place she is in this morning. No amount of final moments in prayer, in ministration with our departing loved one can atone for the emptiness that is felt. My friend is now part of a reluctant group of individuals who will now look below and feel she has lost her footing and look above and feel she has lost her covering.
Soror, if you are reading this I would dare say the following:
1) Own the emotions you feel. Ride the waves without restraint. If there are tears allow them to flow. If there aren’t tears, don’t force them. There will be a lifetime of tears to shed. Don’t stand on the time tables of others on how to react to pain and loss. You do you.
2) Allow your husband to be your stalwart support. He has experienced a loss too. The wife he knows has changed and he will have to navigate your marriage with new tools in his relationship-building tool belt. He will watch you from afar and try and gauge where you stand. Give him assurances and share your thoughts. Those vows come into serious play during a time like this.
3) Friends and loved ones will want to dive in and help. You have been such a blessing to them, allow them to return this in kind. Their gifts/talents will make room for alleviating much of the planning. Give them your vision for the home going service and they will put feet to it. Lean on those friends who know you inside out.
4) Pray, read your Bible, have personal devotions surrounding the issues of grief and loss. Joining a grief/loss group should not be below you. However way healing begins is however way you should take it.
5) Don’t rush back into the swing of things. Yes, you are a natural born leader with things to do and people to see. Only fools rush back in without time for self care. Seek out those who have experienced this specific loss. There is none like the loss of a mother to bring you low. They will speak to your wounds and hold your hands in true empathy.
6) Take a weekend away with your girlfriends, another one with your husband, plan a trip to see someone you have not spent time with, take in a concert/comedy act. Anything that will gradually bring you back into the fold on your terms.
Notice the mile markers as they come. Day 1 becomes day 30 becomes her birthday becomes a holiday season. You will go back and know that God has certainly brought you a mighty long way.