I went back to work a week after my son died. I know that sounds crazy but staying busy was all I knew how to do.
About a month after I’d been back — long after the initial sorrowful days of hugs and tears — the owner’s mom Ruth stopped by.
I hadn’t seen her in a long time … probably a year.
So I was surprised when, the minute I came around the wood-paneled corner, she dropped her purse and grabbed me into a fierce hug.
She didn’t say anything. She just hugged me a long time. And then when the hug ended, she looked at me with tears in her eyes.
I didn’t know that she too had lost a child … her daughter Cathy died in 1954 … 49 years before.
At the time, I didn’t understand her strong expression of sympathy and emotion. I didn’t think we were THAT close.
And in truth, we weren’t.
BUT, my loss triggered memories of her loss. And also, she knew something I wouldn’t figure out for a while … a mom never stops loving or missing her child, not even after 49 years.
Fast forward 18 years, as I look back on that moment, it all makes complete sense. She was crying as she remembered, yet again, her own pain but also in sympathy for me knowing the long road I was going to travel.
I read an article yesterday that reminded me of this special moment between me and Ruth. And it was so good I wanted to share it with you.
I’ve written before and tried to explain how grief doesn’t really have a set number of stages or a timeline and you don’t ever get to “the end.”
But this article explains it WAY better than I ever have.
I hope you’ll read it.
The article is a compilation of mother’s voices answering the question, “What’s one thing you want people to know about grief on Mother’s Day?”
The answers give amazing insight into what grief is like every day (and ongoing through the years).
The chorus of voices in this piece are full of wisdom, heartbreaking while also heart-warming, inspiring, and encouraging … they create a harmonious and beautiful song of unending love.
Please, read it now.
If you’re a grieving mom (or grieving a different loved one), you’ll feel so validated, understood, and comforted.
If you’re not a griever, you need to read this for the sake of your family and friends. Because at some point, some of them are invariably going to need you to understand these things so you can support them down the road.
You’re probably thinking, “But I don’t want to read about sad stuff and grief Jennifer.”
I know, but do it anyway. The world needs more people who understand grief and grievers. And also, you’ll learn that love far outweighs the pain of loss. Love triumphs over all.