The Weight of Loss

The Weight
Almost 6 months after Mom passed away, a dear friends mother also lost her battle with Cancer.  At the time I still considered my own grief “fresh”, yet I was reminded of the sheer rawness of those first several days as I attended her Mother’s visitation.  My friend’s mother fought until the bitter end with grace and dignity just as mine did. The stress in caring for someone with an extended illness is a roller coaster and in the end makes you feel powerless. I felt like our love for Mom was so strong, we could somehow “love” her back to wellness.  The ups and downs…..”oh she took 3 bites of breakfast? She must be feeling better, things are looking up”, then finding out she ate nothing more the rest of the day…. I can’t describe the feeling of powerlessness trying to find hope in the smallest of things, only to be disappointed in the end. I think the most bitter pill to swallow was realizing our love was not enough to save her from the suffering. All we could do was put our best effort into finding the right doctors and treatments, pray, and make sure she was comfortable along the way.  The emotional weight of seeing someone you love so much suffer so endlessly is much like wearing a heavy winters coat in the middle of a lake.  It’s so heavy, you feel as if you are drowning in despair for any glimmer of hope, while discovering that no matter how much love you have to offer, you are still sinking. Slowly. Into a bottomless ocean of fear and uncertainty.


 I ultimately became resigned to the fact that the only true thing left to hope for was God’s promise of eternal life. For my Mother I began to hope for a peace that surpasses all understanding, hope for a life that could exist outside of this disease, a life that only God’s Grace could provide.  With that in mind, the strangest feeling took place upon her passing. The loss that shattered my heart into a million pieces, simultaneously made me feel like I was ready for a “no more pain” pep rally and elated with joy as my Mother entered into God’s kingdom. Someone told me that strange feeling is the true presence of God revealing himself, the sheer joy felt for someone during a time of great personal suffering.


Our “loss” will always be. There is no “getting over it” or “time heals” kind of cliches. The fact remains that our loss is ours forever. We simply adjust to the absence. That adjustment process is not for the faint of heart. There will be days when you miss them so much your body physically aches and your insides feel exhausted. There will be days when you feel strong and remember them with a warm heart. Then there are days when something will trigger you out of the blue causing you to feel the void a little bit more than yesterday. Learning how to carry your loss takes determination and grit. Understanding how the loss impacts you and what you want your life to be amidst the after loss can be humbling. But if you are determined to make a beautiful life for yourself you can learn to carry your loss with a grace that wonderfully honors the loved one lost……

One thought on “The Weight of Loss

  1. Caroline, if by chance your Mom can read this or gets email in heaven or if God Himself showed it to her, I just KNOW that she loves what you wrote! What a beautiful writer you are!!! It made me feel along with you although I can feel exactly what you feel, it made me understand a bit more.

    Keep writing. I’m going to share this with some of my friends.

    <3 Lore' Chalfant

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