Recently I have had several friends suffer loss in their families. Because I have grieved as a mother, I understand a little of their feelings. I say, "a little," because I would never claim to say, "I know how you feel." Every loss suffered by every mother is different.
But still, I get it - a little.
One thing I understand - that I was surprised to learn about my own loss - is how many "should's" there are.
After the dust settles, after the bleeding stops or the meals stop or the memories become more distant, you often "feel" like you should be feeling/doing/thinking something different. Maybe something more, maybe something less, just something different.
It is a huge burden to carry, these "should's", especially with the ones you're already carrying.
So this, dear mom who is grieving, is your permission slip. Before you read it, take a long, deep breath.
Really. Do it.
This is your permission slip to still be dealing with it. Even after it's been however long. Even after you've had another child, or married again, or been to counseling, or put "enough" time (whatever that is) between you and the loss. You can still be grieving.
This is your permission slip to be tired. So tired. Tired for "no" reason, after long night's sleep. Grief is exhausting.
This is your permission slip to struggle in your marriage. Grief is messy. It brings out the worst (though also at times the best) in relationships.
This is your permission slip to feel worried about lots of things. I've often talked about how anxiety and depression are so closely linked.
This is your permission slip to doubt - doubt yourself, your spouse, your abilities, your purpose. Grief can shake you at the core.
This is your permission slip to spend money healing. To see a counselor, to go on dates with your husband, to order take-out, to hire a house cleaner. I'm not advocating ridiculous, unwise spending, but what I am saying is: healing and self-care are a valid use of our money, and it should be okay to make them a priority when needed.
This is your permission slip to suffer in whatever way your body is suffering. There is no rush. God works in the clouds and the darkness of our hearts, and He is not impatient with you. Draw near to Him. Rest in Him. Ask Him what He would have you do in this time. Trust him with the hearts of your children and your husband. Hold his hand in the darkness - He is there; He has promised He would be.
Dear mom who is grieving, my prayer for you is this today:
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Blessings to you today,