The Third Month Is The Hardest…

They say the third month is the hardest. It’s after life goes back to normal for everyone but you. You understand and even expect it – but, even so, it’s very hard. 

When someone close to you dies, the world goes from vivid color to black & white. Everything is the same – and, yet, everything has completely changed.

In the third month, you become very aware that your loved one is gone and life will never be the same again.

As I have written before, God in His great love gives us the time to allow it all to sink in.  We need that protection in the early days after a death. There is so much to do and so much to get through. I believe He gives us cover as we do the things that must be done.

But now, as the third month begins to unfold, most of those tasks are behind me and life goes on. The grief is harder now and comes in waves when I least expect it. While I’m not depressed and I am going on with my daily life, my world isn’t back to vivid color yet.

I came across this a few weeks ago:

“The death of a mother is the first sorrow wept without her.” – Author Unknown

How true. I am heartbroken and suffering the most significant loss of my life and she is not here to help me. I miss my mom.

The grief waves are disorienting and unpredictable. They did not come on Mother’s Day or her birthday last week as I expected. They do not come when I visit the cemetery or when comforting my dad.

Instead, they are unpredictable and disorienting because they come for no apparent reason. They just show up out of nowhere and roll right over me, knocking me down.

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At the loss of his wife, C.S. Lewis wrote:

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness…”

This is exactly what the waves feel like to me. They bring a ‘doom and gloom’ feeling that washes over me – just like fear. 

When this dread shows up, it is hard to feel anything else. It’s hard to feel God is with me. I have no doubt He is, but the waves of grief make me seem invisible – unseen.

Thankfully, I am able to identify this as a lie even in the middle of it.

The truth is, I am not invisible to God or to others.

This week, a surprise package came in the mail at just the right time.

A woman who I have only known a short time sent me a lovely note along with a small book on grief. In the note, she shared her own experience of losing both her mother and her beloved son. She told me that this book would be one of four books she will be sending to me over the coming year.

She committed to remembering me for the entire first year!  

Even though life must go on, and the immediate emergency has passed, God continues to send those who serve out of their own pain and brokenness.

They are called ‘wounded healers’.

This sweet gesture, from a sister sharing her own grief with me, reminded me of what I already knew but could not feel.

He is El Roi, the God who sees us. He knows everything about us. He numbers the hairs on our head and knows our circumstances – past, present and future.

He sees me. And through her kindness, I saw Him.

“You are the God who sees me, for she said, I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13

You might be surprised to know that I am actually grateful for the waves of grief.

I don’t like them one bit, but I am thankful to know what they feel like. This knowledge has actually enlarged my heart and given me deeper empathy for any who are grieving.

There are some things we can only learn in the dark times – when the world has turned to black & white. 

He redeems it all, though.

He transforms us into wounded healers who remind those who are hurting and feeling invisible that their Lord, El Roi, still sees them.

 laura

If you are new to my blog and are interested in reading more about grief, you may want to go to my previous post: You Will Never Truly Understand {until it happens to you}

17 Comments

  1. Angela on June 16, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Thanks for sharing this very personal story with us. I haven’t yet experienced this kind of grief but I know that I will. I can learn a great deal about the process through reading your post. Lifting you up in prayer.

    • LauraAdmin on June 16, 2015 at 8:20 pm

      Angela, I learned a great deal from witnessing other women go through this over the years. Invaluable. I am happy you are learning and watching. Thank you for your prayers. xo

  2. Cyndi on June 16, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Laura, this is such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your heart in such a real and honest way. You are deeply loved, sister. Thank you for always pointing us back to the Lord, for reminding those around you that He is the faithful Father we can always lean on. I am blessed and encouraged by your walk with God. XOXOXO

    • LauraAdmin on June 16, 2015 at 8:20 pm

      Cyndi- your words blessed me this morning, Thank you. xo

  3. Marylou on June 16, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    The grief series books are excellent. Good shepherd sent them to my dad so we got to read them too. They always seemed to arrive just when you needed them most. I often re-read them when the waves you describe knock me down unexpectedly.

    • LauraAdmin on June 16, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      Mary Lou–Who would have ever thought our moms– who were dear friends– would go to heaven within one year of each other? I am so glad the four of us were able to do lunch two summers ago. I’m looking forward to having lunch with you tomorrow. We have a lot to talk about.xoxo

  4. Coleen on June 16, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Laura,
    Thank you for your gift with words and being obedient to God’s call in your life. His wisdom shines through you. I love how you are transparent and real! Thank you Sister! My prayers are with you.

    • LauraAdmin on June 16, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      Coleen — thank you for your encouragement AND for the prayers. xoxo

  5. Lori Schumaker on June 18, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Laura,

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us. God does see you …in every moment and ache. I am thankful that you were able to see Him and feel Him through another. I will be praying for the days ahead and for the journey to vivid color to return soon.

    I’m thankful I found you this week on #ThankfulThursdays!

    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

    • LauraAdmin on June 19, 2015 at 1:34 am

      Thank you Lori- I appreciate your encouragement and kind words. It has been quite an experience and I have never trusted Him more. Many Blessings.

  6. Barbara J. Lange on June 19, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Laura, thank you for being so real with us. It has inspired me to spend more time with my Mom while I have her. We have had some sweet times together recently. We are blessed to have you share your gift with us…thank you for taking the time!

  7. Kim Adams Morgan on June 19, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Laura, Your words and heart are so eloquently speaking of what it is like to walk through the heartbreak of losing someone. Though each person has different experiences, we all go through the similar stages. I lost my Mom in 09 within weeks of a major surgery and immune attack of my own. Trying to handle both was beyond difficult, but God’s presence was right there. Like you, I am grateful for every second and wouldn’t trade it. I am stronger; my faith is stronger. Stopping in from the Grace & Truth link up.

    • LauraAdmin on June 23, 2015 at 2:51 am

      Kim- We do all go through similar stages. It must be God’s plan for us as we grieve. I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been to cope with your mom’s passing and your own critical health issues. I hope you are ok now. Thank you for sharing with me. God is so faithful!

  8. Lori on June 19, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    I have not experienced this kind of grief, but my husband has with both of his parents. Not knowing how to help him, all I could do was pray. A year after my MIL passed away, my husband told me that the prayers meant more to him than me trying help him since it was God who helped him through his time of grief. Thank you for sharing and linkingup with Frog’s Lilypad’s Thankful Thursdays.

    • LauraAdmin on June 23, 2015 at 2:47 am

      Lori- The prayer has meant so much to me. I can so relate to your husbands experience. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  9. Sarah Washburn on June 21, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about your lose and your grief. It is so wonderful to know that He is always with us, no matter what is going on in our life and that He heals the broken hearted (Psalm 147:3). The storm is not easy, but it is a time of testing our faith and drawling us closer to His side. Recently I was telling my sister, you can not fully sympathize with someone, unless you have walked through it your self. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Blessings, ~Sarah (visiting from Radical Femininity)

    • LauraAdmin on June 23, 2015 at 2:45 am

      Sarah- Thank you so much for commenting. I appreciate your kind words and encouragement. Psalm 147:3 has been on my mind a lot lately. 🙂

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