To the Husband Supporting a Wife Through the Loss of a Parent
There she is.
Broken down, at the lowest point she has ever been in her life. She struggles to breathe…she has ran out of tears. Her world has stopped spinning, and for the first time it is not something you can “fix”.
You struggle for words. Saying “I’m sorry” feels like a bunt when you were hoping for a grand slam.
There is no amount of cards, flowers, candy, jewelry, vacations, etc that will “fix” this.
You stand there, for at least once in your life, completely clueless. Confused. Heartbroken for her. Trying to stay strong, but also trying to stir up the strongest love you have ever mustered up in your life.
So there you are. Powerless. Frozen. Searching for an answer that doesn’t exist. Holding your girl…who just so happened to be the little girl of the person she just lost.
And this is where it begins.
The foundation of what happens from here on out is this: You cannot bring her “up” to you….you have to go “down” to where she is at…and come up together.
“Together” is how you began your marriage and “together” is how you are going to weather this storm. And, brother, it is going to be a storm. I won’t lie. It sucks.
She’ll be sobbing in your shoulder one minute, and pounding your chest and arms the next in anger…screaming “WHY?!”. This is one “beating” in your life that you’re going to have to stand there and take. And the “WHY” is a question you cannot answer…so don’t even attempt it.
Be her punching bag.
Be her shoulder to cry on.
Be the one that soaks up those tears.
Be the one that holds her tight…and tells her to just let it all out. Every bit of it. As long as it takes.
She doesn’t have to hold anything back with you…nor should she.
For better or worse…those words are for this moment.
She needs you…in a way that she has never needed you….and she doesn’t even know what she needs from you.
She wants the Mama or Daddy she just lost.
But she needs you.
So hold her.
Cry with her.
Your arms speak louder than your words…so use them to shelter her through this storm.
Go through the anger, sadness, prayers, hunger, etc together.
And without her knowing…lead her.
Ease the stresses of life off her so that she can grieve. You’re going to be doing more laundry, grocery runs, meals, making beds, cleaning toilets, dusting, vacuuming, etc than you’ve ever done in your life.
And that’s ok…take as much weight off her shoulders so that she can breathe.
She’s going to be smothered with quotes, verses, scripture, and words from friends and family who all mean well…but those words will make her want to scream at some point.
Speaking of scream…she might. Don’t take it personal…her emotions are in uncharted territory. There were no warning signs and there definitely isn’t a manual.
Pray with her when she wants…but pray for her constantly.
While everyone grieves in different ways, she needs your love. She needs your time. She needs your attention. She’ll also need her space.
Over time, you’ll rise out of this valley together. No matter what people try to tell you, time doesn’t “heal” wounds…it changes the heart.
For the first year, it will be the “big” things that hurt the most such as the first Christmas, birthday, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc without her parent.
It’ll also be the little things. The smell of Mama’s perfume. Daddy’s old work boots in the garage. Johnny Cash on the radio. Someone else’s sweet potato casserole…and bless their heart, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Mama’s.
Together, you’ll cry…together, you’ll laugh.
Slowly, your bride will find herself back on her feet…with you by her side…out of the valley…together.