I want to be able to say something profound; something that has some deep meaning that will point me toward the light in the midst of this suffocating darkness.
This hurts. It really, really hurts. It doesn’t stop hurting. And it doesn’t seem like it is ever going to stop hurting.
I was in a support group meeting a few days ago – a support group unrelated to grief – and three of the seven people in the group (myself and 2 other women) had lost a child. The other two women who had lost a child cried today. The mom who lost her son to cancer three months ago, cried a lot. The other mom gave birth to a stillborn baby girl 50 years ago a few days before Christmas. She cried, but not as much. She said this last Christmas was the hardest she’s ever had – 50 years later.
I had my “going out of the house” face on, so I didn’t cry, but I certainly felt like it. I held it together, all the while hoping and praying no one would ask me any questions, or I would start to cry as well. (I prefer crying alone, at home with my hubby, or with a safe and trusted friend.)
A few rather insensitive bits of advice were offered to these moms, and I just wanted to jump up and say, “STOP IT! Nothing helps. You can’t relieve this pain with anything, as in NOTHING, you say. So just stop it!” But, I didn’t. I’ve heard from a person or two that they do indeed like to be talked to about their pain, but I think that is rare. Most people want to be listened to sympathetically, or if possible, empathetically. But we don’t want to be offered advice.
This hurts like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve lost all my grandparents – one I was particularly close to, a few aunts, uncles, cousins, church acquaintances, friends, and the children of friends. In my life, and with regard to loss, nothing compares to having lost one of my children. Nothing. It cuts deeper than I knew I could be cut. It leaves me despairing of life; wondering why I am still here; what purpose there could possibly be to going on; etc., etc., etc.
Of course I know I’m supposed to be here, or I wouldn’t be. Of course I can find purpose for my everyday life – my wonderful husband, who has held me together when I couldn’t hold myself together; my four other precious children whom I love with all my heart; my four adorable and cherished grandchildren I have been blessed with – I want them to have this Grandma for a long time; and my loving Lord, the reason all of us exist.
As I was reminded of recently by another grieving mom, this time in our existence is the only time we can offer our belief in our Lord without having seen Him. When we get to heaven, we will no longer have to believe by faith. We will see Him. But here and now, I can offer Him my faith in Him, though I don’t see Him with my physical eyes.
I believe, and I trust, and I keep on trying to live, and trying to live for Him.
But this hurts.
I need time.
I need space.
I need patience, love, and prayers.
Because this never stops hurting.
“If the Lord had not been my help, My soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence. If I should say, ‘My foot has slipped.’, Your lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up. When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.” Psalm 94:17-19