Night time is the worst part of grief.
Its the time when my body has run out of things to do but my mind hasn’t quite got the message yet. Its the time when thoughts bombard my heart. Its the time when my memories hurt the most.
I can’t sleep some nights because my tears have soaked through both sides of my pillow. I can’t sleep some nights because I want to talk to my mom so bad.
Mom was my rock in hard times; she unconditionally loved me through my tantrums, trials, and terrible attitudes. Its hard going places and seeing mothers with their children, knowing that that will never be me again. I think of things they can do with their moms that I cannot. No more crafts, late night talks, or walks around our block. No more fashion advise, decorating, or baking times. No more creative and elaborate birthday parties.
People tell me that I cannot take her place in the family, so don’t even try. But I can’t help! I know I’ll never be able to take her place, but I want my family’s grieving process to be smooth and comfortable.
But I feel lost in the shuffle. I’m comforting everyone else yet I’m left to fill her place…but no one to comfort me. I’m walking alone in the shadows of my family’s grief.
I feel isolated. Because of Mom’s cancer, my brother and I were forced to grow up quicker than our peers. We had to deal with sickness, hospitals, nurses, doctors, chemo, and emotional roller coasters for 5 years. This caused a huge gap in maturity between us and our friends.
It makes everything else seem so shallow. I feel like I’m lying and that makes me feel guilty. Lying because I’m not happy. In fact, each day after a long and sleepless night, I can hardly get out of bed because my heartache is like a weight around my neck. I try not to act sad around my friends and family because I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable or sad. I can put on a good face and pretend that everything is fine but sometimes, I wish someone would see through that facade and just wrap me in a giant bear hug and not let me go. It makes me feel guilty too, because I am having a good time with my friends while my dad is home by himself. I feel the need to stay with him and help him not just go through the motions of living everyday. I want to help him move forward by engaging him in conversations about work, weekly plans, and life stuff.
I’m struggling because I’m back to trying to fill Mom’s shoes. Mom always did those things for dad. She was his confidante and best friend. I’m just his daughter. I’ll never be able to counsel him with the godly wisdom she had. I’ll never be able to share his pain and give him sound feedback or criticism like she did. I don’t know how to best help him, but I wish I did.
See, this is why nights are the worst. My thoughts are all intertwined and running about rampantly in my brain while my heart aches in my chest for the mother who will never be able to come home again.
This is a long, hard, and terrible journey.
My fervent hope and prayer is that God has a plan for the pain I’m experiencing and that one day, I will be able to use the memories and lessons I learn from this trial for the good of furthering His kingdom. That prayer is all that is getting me through each and every day. I don’t know others can go through traumatic experiences like this without the Lord by their sides. If He wasn’t with me on a daily basis, I would curl up into a little ball and die. He has become my rock and fortress, my peace in a raging storm, and the Shepherd who walks beside me through this valley of death.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.”
– Isaiah 43:2