5 New Things I Do As A Bereaved Mother
The day my toddler daughter, Hannah Grace, passed away I went from being titled “the mom of the five daughters” to “the mom with 4 daughters and a dead baby”; the bereaved mother in town. I was encompassed with grief and strange emotions and add to that, I had to figure out a new way of life. This led me to write this post about the new things I do as a bereaved mother and why I do these new things. Grief has been a journey that brought me to a fork in the road…either be better or be bitter.
With the Lord’s help, I beat bitterness and became better. My hope through this blog is to help you through your journey.
Bereaved Mom Moments
- Look up her diagnosis regularly online to see if there has been any new research or medical breakthrough in the illness that took her life. This typically starts with me pulling out her death certificate and reading over her autopsy reports, from there I go online and began to research any new information on the virus and any related causes that could have come out of new research.
- Look at pennies and dimes as if she were the one that placed them there, interestingly enough, those two coins show up out of nowhere when I’m having an extra rough day. The evening that Hannah was dying, the two of us spent 12 hours in the local emergency room alone in a backroom just being together. This would end up being the most important 12 hours of my life, those hours would shape everything in my world in a new way. About a month after Hannah passed away I found myself back in the same emergency room with my oldest daughter who had a flurry of seizures (she is an epileptic) the emergency room secretary brought me a penny placed inside an angel jewelry box. She proceeded to tell me that she was working the night that Hannah was pronounced dead, she said that she immediately broke down and as she returned to her computer, there, sitting on the edge of the printer was a penny. She said she was the only worker in that computer station and there was no penny before Hannah passed away. That’s when I was introduced to “pennies from heaven.” Regardless of whether you believe in this or not, the fact is that it’s kind of strange that pennies and dimes (I’ll tell you about those later) just appear out of nowhere and in places that they were not just minutes before.
- Hord her pictures, as in, not wanting my other four daughters to touch them. This sounds terrible but I just can’t replace the few photographs of Hannah that I have.
- Scrubbing and decorating her tombstone when I get the chance to visit the cemetery she is buried in. I never gave any thought about tombstones and keeping them clean and how the act of doing this would cause me to be engulfed with mixed emotions such as sadness, questions, comfort, and celebration. Weird, right? Especially celebration because on the surface we are taught that there should be no celebration of any sort when it comes to death. Well, as a born-again Christian I have to look past the physical and see the spiritual and that causes me to celebrate the fact that Hannah is no longer ill or in pain, and that she is in Heaven with my Lord and Savior celebrating what real life is all about, and for that truth, I can celebrate through my temporary, earthly pain.
- Breaking down in tears over nothing at random times on any given day. Honestly, I’ve analyzed these bouts and can’t pin down any reason why I have them since most of the time they happen at random without any thought as to what I’m doing, who I’m with or how I feel. It’s an odd happening that I have come to respect and view as perhaps, my hearts longing to hold her again. Regardless, I take those moments and hide away from the world and have a heart to heart conversation with the Lord on how thankful I am for His gift of salvation and for giving me the gift of Hannah.
It’s been 17 years since Hannah passed away and I often catch myself thinking that these habits should have disappeared by now, then I’m reminded that in my heart, Hannah hasn’t been gone all that long and I should give myself permission to feel what I need to feel and continue the journey of healing.
Did you know that healing isn’t forgetting, in fact, healing allows you to embrace everything new in life while having a healthy view on the time you had with your loved one. I think this is a personal point of view and my hope for you is that you can find your new “new” each day you journey through life, taking time to remember the good times and allowing those moments to take over any grief you might be feeling. Do I believe that time heals? My answer to this question is simply this, “time gives us the opportunity to embrace what’s happened and learn how to move forward in our life while taking the good memories with us on this journey.”
One of my favorite verses has been Psalm 30:1-3
30 I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
3 O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.[a]
Stephanie Grams, Christian Blogger Mom on topics of lifestyle, bereavement, child loss and healing, and how to give gifts of encouragement during life’s storms. Stephanie is available for podcast and video interviews, public speaking, and guest blogging. Grief has been a journey that brought me to a fork in the road…either be better or be bitter. With the Lord’s help, I beat bitterness and became better. My hope through this blog is to help you through your journey. Did you get your free pdf journal? It’s free when you join my newsletter! #mysewingneedle