Posts Tagged ‘mothers and sons’

Our lives change and we can’t get what we had back. As we age, we have so many challenges to face.

We have to redefine ourselves, figure out who we are. It seems at times that life speeds up in all the wrong ways. We retire. We have to figure out who we are outside our career. We find a lump. We give up driving. We lose a foot to diabetes. Our son dies and we’re left here to live on, and we don’t know why. Our spouse gets Alzheimer’s.

Some shifts are permanent and long after the initial grief leaves, we struggle to figure out who we are now in light of all that’s happened.

 Who have we become? What does life hold for us? How do we reconcile our lives to what’s happened?

There are no easy answers. It’s easy to give into depression, but there’s another choice. Somehow we have to allow these changes, sorrows, and losses to become a part of us. Not all of us, but we have to fold these changes into who we are.


I know a mother who woke up the morning of 9/11 and turned on the television just in time to see the second airplane fly into the World Trade Center. She turned off the television. She knew her son was dead. She couldn’t explain how, but she knew. She spent the next week in quiet. She journaled, prayed, drew pictures, sang their songs and held him in her thoughts.

She refused to get sucked into the news, into the images of mayhem and carnage. Instead, she turned their story into a children’s book—it was a story they made up together when he was a child. She used her sorrow into something sweet and good for others. Yes, she faced many dark nights, times when she thought her soul would rip apart. It doesn’t make the pain go away, but it gave her something to do with what happened to her, to them.

I don’t know what you’re facing, but I hope you can something with your experience, something that will comfort you and help others.

Carol O’Dell

Author, Mothering Mother


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