I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mommy-ing Without Her

I feel inclined to say that I can’t, nor would I ever try to, speak for every motherless mother out there.  However, I am a firm believer in sharing our stories for the betterment of others.  I’ve said it before…I write for you, the one who is grieving.  I hope that pieces of my story will let you know you are not alone in your grief.

“Whoever survives a test, whatever it may be, must tell the story.  That is his duty”  -Elie Wiesel

There are too many things to mention  that cross my mind throughout the day regarding missing my Momma.  What can I say?  She was the best Momma ever.  I’ve talked about that before.  Here.  And Here

As we enter the beautiful, much adored , colorful season of Fall- I have to tell you, it is a struggle.  It always brings out more memories, happy pictures in my head of her….yet more questions, more struggles, more tears, and yes, more grief.  (Grief of a loved one is cyclical, it’s not a process that ends…it is a process to be lived through.) 

Fall is tough for me, personally, because we celebrate FOUR birthdays in two short weeks…..my sweet, favorite sister, her sweet oldest child, our wonderful Babylove, and then mine.  And of course, the fall season leads right into the holidays that deepen grief for most people I know.   Then….my sweet Biffuh has a birthday, which is the same day my Momma took her last breath.  This makes the friendship we have so precious to me, I am more thankful for that girl than she knows.  To say September through December are bittersweet months would be an absolute understatement.

At least daily, I wish she were here.  I wish she were here to sweep in, take this sweet grandson of hers out for a day to spoil him rotten.  I wish she’d sweep in and babysit so my husband and I could take some time alone.  I wish she’d call and tell me what a great Mother I am.  I wish she’d answer so many of the questions that enter my brain about her life, her childhood, my childhood, her dreams, etc.  I wish….I wish…I wish.  Of course, wishing all that isn’t abnormal.  When she was here, she did all that.  And I know there are other Mommas out there who have that, or who also wish the same things. 

When you’re used to that kind of praise (which I was, because when she wasn’t telling me how proud she was of me, she was telling me how proud she was of  my sister) you’re not quite sure what to do with the silence.  Not that we all need flattering words,  or need someone constantly building our ego, not like that.  But every person needs affirmation, especially from those they love the most.  Affirmation  molds us.  So many days I wonder…”Am I doing a good job?  Am I being a good wife?  Am I showing our sweet son how special he is?  Am I doing a good job mothering him?  Am I doing a good job homeschooling him?”….and the list goes on and on. 

In the book “Motherless Daughters” by Hope Edelman, (please read, it is such a great book) one of the doctors speaks about  the motherless mothers he worked with-

“…motherless mothers report higher levels of stress, sadness, and depression than other mothers do.  They also think of themselves as less competent in the mothering role than other women, are more preoccupied with their roles as mothers, are more focused on how well they’re doing, and, not surprisingly, frequently report they ‘feel different’ from other mothers.” (page 282)

Another expert follows up by saying that the mothers interviewed “were kind of hard on themselves [as mothers], but they seemed to be doing the good job they were afraid they weren’t doing.” (page 282)

**”…they seemed to be doing the good job they were afraid they weren’t doing….”**

I needed to be reminded of that today.

The months ahead will hopefully be filled with so many happy things.  New memories.  Birthdays.  Thanksgiving.  Christmas.  And there is so much to celebrate!  There will also be moments of grief, as you who long for your loved ones know. 

I’ll also say that seeing our sweet Babylove turn eight, and knowing I’m another year older in just a couple of weeks is really getting to me this year.  For many reasons.

I write all that, share all these parts of myself with you to let you know you’re not alone.  If you are like me, busy Mommy-ing without your Momma, no matter your age…..you are loved. 

Hang in there, keep going, keep grieving, keep hoping, keep laughing, keep crying, keep living.

“More than anything I have learned that we are all frail people, vulnerable and wounded; it is just that some of us are more clever at concealing it than others! And of course the great joke is that it is O.K. to be frail and wounded because that is the way the almighty transcendent God made people.”  -Sheila Cassidy-

“…so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.”  I Thessalonians 4:13b

“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  Matthew 5:4

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