Lessons I’ve Learned About the Loss of A Loved One

September 5, 2017

There’s a passage in the Bible that talks about seasons. You’ve probably heard or read these verses from Ecclesiastes 3.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

To me this is the essence of what is often referred to as the Circle of Life. There’s a time for everything and everyone.

Mama Chick’s time on earth ended one year ago today.

I miss her in ways it would have previously been impossible for me to understand. I miss her advice. I miss her caring concern. I miss our long talks on the telephone and our discussions about books and current events and politics and recipes and family and even the weather. I miss her hugs when I would come home for a visit. I miss seeing her walk into the kitchen in the morning and watching tv with her at night during those visits.

Mama Chick understood me and appreciated me in ways that no one else ever has or will. I guess that’s part of the unique mother-daughter bond and I very selfishly miss that, too. Probably most of all.

She was on this earth for 82 -1/2 years before she went home to be with the Lord. Mama Chick loved Jesus with all her heart. It truly is a great comfort to me knowing that she’s in Heaven with the Lord.

The loss of Mama Chick has impacted my life in so many ways and taught me lessons – some expected and some surprising.

  1. Faith is comforting. Mom’s passing has deepened my faith in God. She would be happy about that.
  2. Time with family is precious. I’ve always believed family time is important, but now I make time to travel home even more often to see them.
  3. Grief isn’t a journey. There is a beginning, but no end. It changes, gets worse, gets better, and just is.
  4. Making an effort, large or small, matters. I’m the type of person who always means to send a card for whatever occasion, but often forgets. When Mama Chick died, I received cards and other expressions of support from many people. These meant more to me than I can possibly express. I’m making more of an effort to follow up on my good intentions now.
  5. Tell them you love them. Our’s was never a family that verbally expressed our love until Nephew Chick was born and Mama Chick started telling him she loved him. Then she started saying it to me when we’d end a phone call. Though uncomfortable at first, I started saying it back. Eventually, it was natural. The last thing I said to Mama Chick on the day before she died was “I love you.” I’ll forever be grateful for that.
  6. Grief is deeply personal and life does, indeed, go on. It’s sometimes difficult to accept this. When grief is most acute, you want the world to stop. You expect others to feel the same sense of loss. But life goes on around you and everyone continues with their daily routines. No one can understand exactly what you’re feeling and they have their own lives to live. They may be sympathetic, but your grief is your own.
  7. You forget the bad stuff. Mama Chick and I had a very good and close relationship, but there were times I was annoyed with her over the years. I know there were many times she was irritated with me. None of that matters anymore and the good memories outweigh any bad ones you may have.

Mama Chick tried to prepare me for the day when she would no longer be here. We were talking on the phone one day and she mentioned something about the not being around forever.

Me: “I don’t know how some people seem to handle loss so well. I’ll be a basket case.”

Mama Chick: “You’re just more emotional. You feel things more deeply. You’ll just need to keep busy and keep your mind occupied.”

She was right. I’ve had a few days where I’ve wallowed around in my grief and it was not pleasant. For me, staying busy, praying, and spending time with my family have all played critical roles in helping me get through the worst of my grief and learn to live without Mama Chick.

She’s in Heaven now, but her legacy of love lives on.

Well done, Mom! Love you!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill Riddle September 5, 2017 at 9:00 pm

Number 3 is spot on. Thank you Leslie


Unhip Chick September 5, 2017 at 10:18 pm

I thought of you, Jill, as I was writing this.


Pat H. September 6, 2017 at 1:07 am

I am so sorry. This brought tears to my eyes knowing, most likely, my own daughter will suffer this same loss when it is my time to go.


Unhip Chick September 11, 2017 at 11:54 pm

Hopefully, that will be many years from now, Pat, and she will have enjoyed a lifetime of love with you.
Unhip Chick recently posted..Lessons I’ve Learned About the Loss of A Loved One


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