Mothering Through Loss and Heartache
Featured Writer: Sandy Bruce
Welcome to our second mom story in our series beYOUtiful Mom!
I lay in bed with tears flowing down my cheeks as my 2 year old sobbed and asked again where daddy was and when he was coming home. It had only been a week since an accident took his life suddenly and we were thrust from “normal” into heartache and loss. How could I explain to my sweet girl, that this time daddy wasn’t coming home anymore?
Neil was a missionary helicopter pilot – he flew his last flight on Sept. 20, 2004, but it wasn’t until the following day that they located the crash site and I found out he hadn’t survived. Following a long night of crying out to God and praying for his safety, I read these words in the Bible. Psalm 143:8 – “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.” At the time I hoped desperately that God’s unfailing love meant that Neil would be found and everything would be alright.
Instead, later that day I suddenly found myself a widow – a single mom with a precious 8 month old son and 2 year old little girl and a life that had been turned upside down.
The process of dealing with Neil’s death and the new position I found myself in was complex and overwhelming. Over the next year I read so many kind letters from people whose lives had been touched through Neil’s life and our loss. I read many books about grief and the stages of grief. I heard from many well meaning people on how you should and shouldn’t grieve. I experienced loss of friends who just didn’t know what to say to me anymore and I was hugely blessed with some amazing new wonderful friendships and people who were willing to walk this new journey with me.
Having two little ones helped me get up each morning and put one foot in front of the other.
My sobbing sessions had to end because I had two precious little worried faces constantly asking me if I was okay and needing my attention. Plus the sweet sound of their laughter was contagious and I knew at the end of each day that we had survived another day and we would make it through and be okay. I learned to swallow my pride and accept help graciously. I was blessed with so many people in my life that gave generously of their time and energy and mostly their sweet friendship. My mornings alone with the Lord and a cup of tea were also key to my survival and heart. I thirstily drank in every word of encouragement and hope that He offered and over the months and years ahead I gained a new understanding of His unfailing love.
It didn’t mean that I would always be happy or that my prayers would be answered how I wanted, but it did mean that he loved me and would always be with me. That He would be there to comfort me and show me his love in the midst of the pain in my life. That he could redeem the pain and show me a new depth to his character that I had never had the joy of experiencing before. I fell in love with God in a way I didn’t know possible and felt his presence in my life in a new wonderful way.
Over time the sobbing sessions became less and the smiles became more real. We watched the video of daddy once a week instead of 3 times a day. I no longer felt guilty when I actually had a good day. I stopped worrying about pleasing everyone and realized that I had to grieve in my own way and not succumb to the way someone thought was the “right” way to do it. Mostly I reveled in the new and wonderful way God was working in my life and revealing himself to me. And in his beautiful way and timing, a little over two years later, God blessed me with a wonderful and amazing new husband and daddy for my kids.
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Sandy is a stay at home mom and currently lives with her husband Robert in Dallas Texas. They have 4 children and one more on the way. In her spare time she loves to bake and entertain.
all images via-flickr White Ribbon