Friday, February 26, 2016

A Daughter's Pain {as featured on A Widow's Might}

But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children, ~Psalm 103:17

{By far, the HARDEST part of losing my husband has been walking beside my children as they navigate their own grief.  This article is a personal excerpt out of a prayer journal I keep for my daughter.  My son has a similar entry in his.}

A nine year old girl should never have to sit across the breakfast table from her hero and hear he is dying.

She shouldn’t have to experience the shock of hearing months later that the doctors had it wrong and her Daddy’s rare form of leukemia wouldn’t take him, but would change the lives of her family members forever.  Only to hear at the age of eleven that he is battling another new cancer.

A fifth grade girl should not spend her Spring Break moving her parents into an apartment 425 miles away their from home, then returning home with her sixth grade brother to be cared for by extended family.

She shouldn’t have to endure the next two years separated from her parents more than she is with them due to out of state cancer treatments and lengthy hospital stays.

She never should have her eyes see the horrors of a strong man shrinking away in a cancer riddled body.

She shouldn’t have to hold this man’s hand as he lay in a coma experiencing a series of strokes and seizures.

She shouldn’t have to sweetly “shush” his agonizing moans.

No thirteen year old daughter should ever have to stand over the hospice bed of the greatest love of her young life while he takes his final breath.

She should not have to choose a dress to wear for her father’s funeral.

And no fourteen year old young lady should have to spread her Daddy’s ashes at their favorite annual vacation spot.
macie and tim2

Today, as deeply as my heart is shattered and breaking for my own loss as well as the tremendous loss my children are experiencing, I stand in awe of my daughter.

She is not like other fifteen year old girls.  She has witnessed too much heartache and unspeakable sorrow.  She has matured beyond childhood in many ways, and yet is still just a girl who deeply loves and desperately needs her Dad.

As she ventures forward in this life, learning, growing, navigating complex relationships; my prayer is…

*that her loss both strengthens and softens her. 
*that the horrors her eyes have witnessed somehow bring a deeper acceptance of and compassion for others.
*that the love affair between her Daddy and me built enough memories in her young mind for her to know what a strong marriage centered on the foundation of Christ is like.  Not that we were perfect, but that even through our imperfections, God made us perfect for each other.  I pray she finds the one who God is already molding to be hers and that she is sensitive to the work He is doing to prepare her for him. 
*that she continues to lean hard into God.  Praying earnestly and listening intently as He guides her through the final years of adolescence into adulthood.

Her healing process will continue until she draws her own final breath.  She has many firsts without her Dad yet to experience, many tears yet to cry, and many frustrations yet to overcome.

She lost too much far too soon.  She has walked a difficult path for years and is finally emerging into the light of living life fully again.  In many ways, she reminds me of a butterfly.  She has had to spend a great deal of time immersed in darkness, and it has made her who she is.  The layers of a happy, loving childhood; intense trauma and sorrow; fierce love and loyalty, they intricately interlace to form beautiful wings that will help her fly.

And fly, she will.  She loves deeper.  She dreams bolder.  She sees the value and goodness in a person quickly.  There is a strength that radiates from her soul that can only come from Christ.

I am honored to be her Momma and proud to watch God working in her life.

Father God, You promise to be a Father to orphans.  Your steadfast love and righteousness are gifts for generations of those who fear You.  I lift the children of each widow who reads this to Your throne right now.  Lord, guide them in your ways, comfort them as only You can, and transform their pain into something beautiful that brings glory to You.  Amen. 


  1. Lori-you bring me to tears and yet, I smile at the hope we all have in Jesus! Thank you so much for painting this wonderful picture.

  2. Lori, your words here are so perfect to give others perspective of what our daughters are going through. My daughters were in their early 20's when they went through this with their Dad, but it was the same, daughters will always be their Daddy's Little Girls. I have forwarded it on to their boyfriends who were not in their lives when it happened in an effort to help them understand what the girls have been through. Thank you so very much!