I am just a simple person who has led a very complex life. I only wish to offer support to those who, like I once was, had NO guidance or direction in dealing with the situation or in healing afterwards.

All of us who have lost loved ones have endured so much more than is ever acknowledged by society. In a truly spiritual sense, we literally walk those loved ones to the very Gates of Heaven, turn away from them and begin the long, arduous journey back to life itself once again. Some of us give up along the way and God intervenes to strengthen us, in order that we may live long enough to inherit all the good things, which He has yet to bestow upon us.

Caregiving is NOT the end of living – It is a LESSON, and it is also a “cross”, in ways for us, because we are forever changed and are compelled to help our fellow man who gropes in darkness along the same path. The struggle to bring our loved ones to the very Gates itself is often horrific and requires greatly imparted endurance from God, Himself. But the walk back alone is very lonely and the winds blow very loudly.

It takes a very long time to heal from a loss that is so essential to our very being— Healing is not always perfect either. I have found, in my own life, that healing has taken more of a lessening of pain and ‘flashbacks’, but not a sense of completely ‘forgetting’ the experience. The pain is much less sharp and intense, but even after 5 years, it returns from time to time in ‘spurts; like around special events, holidays, birthdays, precious memories….

The loss is much more profound when it is the LAST parent to leave. Something about having NO parents on this earth leaves us feeling vulnerable, fragile and needy. I guess this would be true even if we were in our 80’s!!
My mother often spoke of her own parents when she was declining – I have also heard often that the last person asked for when someone dies is for their MOTHER. Mom was different – she asked for ME – however, nothing could have EVER brought as much assurance of being unconditionally loved by her than her asking for ME… Long story, but the result is that God restored all the waste places of my life and all that the locusts had eaten – I found out that my own mother had loved me my entire life, but was unable to express it…. As for feeling like an ORPHAN, I feel this is very normal and probably remains with you the remainder of your life. I have heard old people talk on their deathbeds, and they always talk a lot about their parents. I guess it’s partly due to the fact that they actually SEE them when they are crossing over to the other side… Nevertheless, orphaned or not, God says that HE, Himself becomes a ‘father to the fatherless’ and tells society to ‘look after the orphans’, which goes back to watching after one another, doesn’t it?

I do not think that you can truly love someone deeply without giving a part of your own heart to them in the process – While metaphoric in nature, it is also truly spiritual – We are all connected, one to the other, and it is impossible to live without one another. God made us to need each other, and to reach up to Him for wisdom and guidance. A closed heart to mankind means it is also quite ‘deaf’ to hear from God – Spiritual principles exist in everything in this material realm, but often we do not realize it at the time.

We cannot love God with our whole heart unless we love man as well. And if we love someone deeply enough to grieve when they are no longer beside us, we should realize that this is the time when God draws closest to us and will teach us things we would never, ever have learned in any other way… So, if you choose to love, and you have given them to God along the way, remember that the pain you feel will turn from sharp and stabbing into something bittersweet, with just a twinge from time to time. This lets you know that you are human and that you are also capable of great love; of loving BEYOND yourselves, of loving in the way that God also loves us…

Dorothy Womack