Loss of a mother and words of comfort

loss of a mother and words of comfort

Hi there. I can’t wait to talk about this subject of grief. It is a topic I know all too well these days. In the last few months, I’ve found that losing someone we love can feel like a profound and uneven rip in the tapestry of our very existence. We can find ourselves meandering through a thick, sad haze where the ease of everyday tasks is suddenly lost to us because the pain is so intense. This sorrow, this emotional suffering, is more than just a temporary emotion; it’s a relentless agony that seems to make its home in our very souls. Have you felt that sort of grief before? If so, you know this sort of grief lives in the deep, gaping void the person gone left in our lives. It also resides in the formidable silence of a day that was once filled with fellowship, sneaked telephone calls, and shared giggles. For me, the person I lost was my mom. There is nothing like that loss, in my opinion. Can you relate to it? See, I think the loss of a mother and words of comfort don’t seem to go together. But they do and can. I’m living proof of that fact. I am comforted but still hurting nonetheless.

Even though I can be comforted to a degree, this sort of loss is relentless. I am haunted by memories that cascade over me with poignant intensity, carrying me back to what “was” and mourning for what will never be again.

These words may sound incredibly dramatic, but they are just the tip of the iceberg of what I am going through now. Your sister is hurt.

Note: I am not a mental health expert, nor do I know everything.
In this post, I would like to share my thoughts based on my experience.
Take what is useful and disregard what is not.

I’ve experienced the loss of a mother, and words of comfort helped…a little.

A few months ago, I said goodbye to the person who knew me the best.

The person whose love was unrelenting and as close to the love of God as I had ever experienced.

I was my mother’s last child and the girl she longed to have.

She waited for me (a girl) after giving birth to a slew of bad-butt boys.

Somehow, that fostered an incredibly close relationship between the two of us. It was such a wonderful feeling to be loved so intently and completely. I hope you have that.

Being still incredibly broken-hearted from losing her, I will now shift this conversation from direct references about me and begin speaking about what I’ve learned about loss in a more general manner.

I also hope it gives you ideas on how to support someone grieving. There is a right way to do this and a very wrong way. It really depends on the person and what their sensibilities are. Either way, I hope my experience can teach you (and me too, for that matter) how to be a better support system.

First, we need to understand what grief like this does to a person.

This sort of vehement, unpenetrable loss transforms us, leaving undeniable marks that might fade over time but will never completely disappear.

It invites us onto a path of mourning that tests the depths of our strength and alters our grasp of both life and affection.

I am writing about losing my mom here, but this sort of loss applies to so many other losses.

Close losses can crush hopes – even when we are strong Christians.

Dealing with loss of a mother and words of comfort

How the “grieving without hope” scripture can do harm

As you know, the scripture “grieving without hope” acknowledges the raw pain of loss while highlighting the profound sense of hopelessness that can accompany it. You know the scripture:

“we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.”

1 Thessalonians 4:13

This scripture speaks to the depths of sorrow that I’ve spoken about earlier. But there is one difference.

For Christians, we still hurt after losing a mother. As I’ve said the loss of a mother and words of comfort after are good, but one will be in pain for some time.

Oh yes, even in the darkest of times, there’s always a glimmer of hope for us Christians, a faint flicker that reminds us that this too shall pass.

After the loss of a mother and words of comfort can work; they can help.

On the other hand, non-Christians may feel the kind of despair that feels like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, no comfort to be found. In these moments, grief becomes a heavy burden, weighing down the person with despair. That is what grieving WITHOUT hope looks like. We don’t grieve like that. No ma’am. No sir.

It’s a reminder that while grief may be all-consuming, it’s not the end of the story for Christians. There’s a promise of healing, eventual peace, and love that transcends even death.

[Mentally insert the scratched record sound you hear in movies]

We know! We know! Now, shut up.

Sorry to be so direct, but if you’re a seasoned Christian or have been one for a moment, you know very well that Thessalonians scripture is often thrown at the grieving.

To be clear, God’s word is always right. It is always true, but I don’t think it is designed to negate the reality we feel when we lose someone close.

God gave us mental capacity. He understands when we grieve. So, don’t forget mental health is a factor when grieving.

You are hurt. Your mind is hurt. Don’t white-wash that hurt with scripture and assume you’re back to normal with a click of the heel.

The truth is your normal has changed. As my friend Marcella says, you have a “new” normal now.

People’s intentions are good after the loss of a mother, and words of comfort are what they hope to give you. They simply do not know how.

Since they don’t know what to say, they can warn you against grieving without hope.

loss of a mother and words of comfort

Let me talk more about the “without hope” situation.

God has given us promises, and you know them well. As Matthew Henry stated, we have “…a most sure hope, the hope of eternal life after this, which God who cannot lie hath promised us…” This means we have no need to grieve as though we will never see our loved ones again. That is what grieving without hope is, I think.

I don’t grieve that way.  

But my heart was crushed and pulverized because I was so close to my mother. I cannot just skip over this loss and pretend life is back to “normal.”

Neither can anyone who has lost someone they love so dearly. So, the fact that I don’t go out much and feel off-balance right now doesn’t mean I’m grieving without hope.

It means I am healing emotionally.

People should stop judging the grief of others. They have no right.

The grieving person can be the strongest of faith but be so broken they can hardly get out of bed.

That doesn’t mean they have no hope.

Think of it this way.

Imagine you have a broken bone. Say, a broken foot. I know what that is like. I had one and hated the pain and season of incapacity.

What if someone had touted a scripture at me like Jeremiah 30:17 to me? What if they said, “Teri, get over it, start walking on that broken foot because God said ‘I will restore you to health and heal your wounds’. Start walking, you are healed!”

I would have looked at that person as though they were drunk on cherry wine. It’s foolishness.

It is equally foolish to say something like “You need to move on” to someone whose heart is wounded by the grief and loss of a significant person, like a mother.

After experiencing the loss of a mother and words of comfort that really help, I can tell you pushing people with the pole of scripture is not always the solution. Prayer helps as does just being a source of non-judgemental support. Being a praying partner and friend does so much more than you could ever do in the natural. Read my thoughts on being a prayer partner here.

Tim said it well!

I have been seeing an AMAZING Christian counselor who helped me navigate the struggles of caretaking and the ultimate loss I experienced after Mom transitioned to heaven.

He (Tim) gave me an amazing way of thinking about what I was experiencing. He compared the loss I feel to what the medical field calls phantom limb syndrome.

Do you know what that is?

Missing limb syndrome, or phantom limb syndrome, is when someone feels like their missing arm or leg is still there – even though it is not.

They might feel different things like pain or tingling even though the limb is gone.

The brain still sends signals as if the limb wasn’t gone, which causes these confusing feelings.

It can be very tough for those who have it, causing everything from just a little discomfort to really horrible pain. Experts think that this syndrome happens because of both mind and body reasons, including how the brain tries to understand why it’s not getting any messages from the missing limb.

This is an excellent way of describing what I, and others, may feel.

I go to call my mom, but she isn’t there.

When something happens, I want to tell her about it, but she’s gone.

Just the other day, in the store, I saw something and thought, “Mom would love this; I’m getting it for her!” But there is no use in doing that anymore.

THE world is different without her.

MY world is different.

So, my grief is not one without hope. It is like one mourning the loss of a person who was very dear and very central to my life.

Stop telling people things like that. Scripture is designed to bring comfort and healing. Not to “beat” someone over the head with it.

Now, for what has helped…

Since I am still hurting – not as intensely as before – but still hurting, I am yet being encouraged by the kindness and patience of others.

Some of it is overt – like direct calls, hugs, texts, and cards.

Some of it is covert – like prayers, sharing cool TikTok videos, or just having lunch with me.

Supporting a Christian woman after the loss of a mother and words of comfort is such a blessing to both you and the person you’re supporting.

By offering help, whether through prayers, words of comfort, or practical assistance, one demonstrates empathy and embodies the teachings of Jesus Christ to love one another and bear each other’s burdens.

Being there for someone who is grieving can make them feel less alone and less miserable. It’s comforting for them to know others are with them.

Right now, I’m dealing with feeling desolate myself. I don’t really want to do much or go out. I know I’ll get past this in time. For now, I’m just letting myself feel my emotions. Let your friend feel her emotions too.

Back to what has blessed me in this season.

I cannot begin to chronicle all the kindnesses I’ve encountered in this season. People have been beyond amazing. I’ve never felt so loved and valued in my entire life.

Here is a list of what actions have blessed me and ideas you can consider as you support a friend after losing her mother.

Financial Gifts

It may sound strange and even old-fashioned. But, financial blessings were such a day-lifter and a blessing. See, I’ve leveraged so much of my retirement to my mom’s care. It’s ok. That’s what daughters do. But, the gifts of money contributed to everything from her funeral to just me buying something silly like a funny pair of socks to make me smile. Money gifts can be a blessing, encourage self-care, and even a whimsical Amazon purchase to make the grieving person smile. Who would have thought it?

Cards

I’ve discovered in this last year and a half that cards can be direct expressions from the heart of God. So many times, the cards that came through the mail or were delivered by my husband were just what I needed to get through the harrowing moment of grief or struggle. I literally have a stack of them and kept them because they encouraged me so much. I’ll never throw them away.

A Text Message

I love text messages. So many of the ones I received were so uplifting. From those who just “checked on me” to those who shared scriptures or fun gifs, they blessed me and fed my spirit.

One person whom I adore so much sent me a song almost daily. It helped when I couldn’t manage to think through my next move or even eat a meal. This person did it consistently, and I often looked forward to those messages that would help me worship that day.

Another person sent me pics of her cute little dog. Still, someone else I love sent me pics of her new baby, which would brighten anyone’s day! He’s so cute!

You, too, can use text messages to encourage someone after loss of a mother and words of comfort can be found on their phone when they need them.

House Visits

The visits of friends were incredibly helpful, too. I didn’t allow everyone around except those pretty close to me. In fact, two days after Mom left, my best friend came without calling because she saw through my “I’m okay” texts and sentiments. At the moment she rang that doorbell, I was on the floor bawling. She came at the precise time I needed her.

Dealing with the loss of a mother and words of comfort you could provide someone

When someone is sad because they’ve lost someone, it’s essential to find the right words that help and not hurt. You should let them know you see their sadness and that feeling this way is okay. Simple words like “I’m here for you,” “I’m sorry for your loss,” or “This must be very hard for you” show you care.

Sharing good memories about the person who passed away can also be comforting LATER.

Perhaps some people may find comfort in hearing stories about their loved ones immediately, but I wasn’t. It made me cry worse. You have to know your friend and know what she needs.

The best thing you can do is to really listen and be there for them in any way they need you.

Here are some of the sentiments that meant the most to me and continue to bless me:

  1. “I’m here for you, whatever you need.”
  2. “I’m so sorry for your loss.”
  3. “Your mom was an incredible person.”
  4. “It’s okay to feel however you’re feeling right now.”
  5. “I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but I’m here to listen.”
  6. “You’re not alone; I’m here to support you.”
  7. “Take all the time you need to grieve.”
  8. “I’m here to help with anything you need, whether it’s a shoulder to cry on or a distraction.”
  9. “Sending you lots of love and strength during this difficult time.”
  10. “You’re in my thoughts and prayers.”

Remember, this is me talking from my experience. Everyone is different.

On the other hand, here are the worst things people said.

Again, this is my opinion. Wait! Let me be clear. The words themselves aren’t bad; for me, it was the timing.

See, immediately after the loss of a mother, some of these words weren’t what I needed. I just needed the words from the list above.

These things, again, are not necessarily harmful, but they just have to be given at the right time.

  1. I know just how you feel.”
    Even if you lost your mom, you don’t know how someone else feels. Don’t say that.
  2. “Your mom is in a better place.”
    This assumes that the person doesn’t know that. Of course, they know. Saying this is like putting a bandage on a part of the body other than the injured part. It helps nothing.
  3. “Your mom’s love will always be with you.”
    Again, the person grieving knows this. It just doesn’t help much early in the grieving process.
  4. “She’ll live on in the love and memories she left behind.”
    The grieving person knows this. Enough said.
  5. “It is time to move on.”
    While it is often time to move back into the world, it is up to the bereaved to determine when to move on. I don’t think you move on ever, anyway. I believe you move forward. I’ll post the video that taught me that below.
  6. “Your mom’s spirit will always be a guiding light in your life.”
    This is against my Christian belief. We do not rely on spirits to guide us.
  7. “You will get over this and move on.
    Really? Please go away with this one. You will never “get over” losing your mother. However, God will heal the heart and provide peace. It isn’t very respectful to say that to a person. Thankfully, no one said that to me.
  8. “You should be grateful for the time you had together.”
    I don’t really feel I have to explain my opinion on this. But if someone is unsure about what I think about this comment, I’ll explain with the next sentence. I think a person can be grateful and still very sad about their loss. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. Both feelings can exist.
  9. Don’t say you “lost” her. She’s in heaven.”
    In my mind, this is why some people don’t have friends. What a stupid thing to say to a hurting person. When someone is hurting, the last thing they need is a theology session. Love them, support them, and let them use the vernacular they want.

My conclusion on the loss of a mother and words of comfort that could help.

Listen, losing a mother is a profound and inherently personal experience that can leave an indelible mark on one’s heart. Let’s review what I’ve shared in hopes it could help you and me be better support to others.

AGAIN: remember, I shared from my lens. I do not speak for everyone. One may hurt me, and another might bless someone else.

Ok. back to the review.

In this article, we’ve explored the complexities of grief and the importance of offering genuine support and comfort to those who are mourning the loss of a mother (or anyone else) and words of comfort you can offer.

Can you relate to anything I’ve shared? Post in the comments.

Thank you for reading, and I love ya.

Note: here is the video I referenced. It taught me about moving “forward,” not moving “on.” I don’t think his person is Christian, but she had some good insights.

The loss of a mother and words of comfort you can offer.

2 thoughts on “Loss of a mother and words of comfort”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing that, Andrea. It helps so much. Learning about other’s journey prevents me from setting unrealistic expectations for my grief process. Thank you so much for reading, supporting and sharing. <3

    We are blessed indeed.

  2. This!!! All of it my dear Sister. You have been in my prayers constantly and will continue to be. I’m 3-1/2 years into my loss journey and about 4 months ago, I finally began to breathe again. The pain still rushes in unexpectedly with a knee buckling weight sometimes, but I have learned to endure. Those sneaky tears are running down my face even as I write this. Your mother was a beautiful gracious kind woman. Mine was too. How blessed we are to love and to have been loved by amazing Godly women! #grateful-thankful-blessed

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