By Debra Whittington
During a recent health scare my first thought was, “I am glad I don’t have to tell Mom. This would upset her”. Although concerned at what the doctor was saying about my condition, I knew how Mom would react if she were here. She would be at the hospital some way no matter how she was feeling. I went that morning for a doctor’s visit and now was told I had to go straight to the hospital.
Such is the love of a mother who puts her child first and is there to comfort them at any age. It’s been three months now since Mom went home to heaven and I am learning more and more about the grief process. Losing a parent and the ensuing, overwhelming grief that goes with it is definitely a process. There are good days and bad days with events, sounds, and even foods that serve as triggers to make you miss the person even more. However, there is one thing I learned about grief that all people should know: no two people go through it the same. When people say you should be over grief at this stage, they don’t know what they are talking about and I refuse to listen to them. Instead I choose to focus on what I learned through my grief sharing class that began only a few days after we lost Mom.
It was late at night in the hospital and I was watching the lightening of the approaching thunderstorm. Suddenly I was overcome with a wave of grief. I wanted my Mommy! Memories of all the times Mom was in the hospital flooded back and I thought of how much she suffered but didn’t complain. My situation didn’t even compare with what she went through especially during that last month.
I started to cry, hoping the nurse wouldn’t walk in to check on me and ask questions. Lightening filled the sky through my window as the storm increased in intensity. Suddenly I felt a calming presence as I realized I wasn’t alone. I was in the presence of the ONE who loves me more than anyone else, including Mom.
Prayer was the answer and I began pouring out my heart to God. Promises from the Bible came to mind and were like a soothing balm to my soul. Outside the storm raged on and rain pounded against the window. My tears were gone and although there was a storm outside, there was peace in my soul.
The next thing I knew I was waking up. Although it was still night, the storm was over and there was a bright light outside my window. I didn’t have my glasses so whether it was a star or a planet doesn’t matter. To me it was a light of hope and promise that God would see me through this health crisis.
(Note: After I got home, I read in Jeremiah 32:17 these words, “Ah Lord God! Behold, thou has made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.”)
I dozed off and on for the remainder of the night and each time I woke up, the light was still there as though it was watching over me. At dawn when they came to take me for another test the light was gone but in its place was a beautiful sunrise with every color imaginable.
They released me from the hospital later that day and I was overjoyed to be back home. Although I am still struggling with my health I know everything will be all right because God is in control. When discouragement or depression creeps in I remember the light I saw that night that reminds me we are never alone despite any circumstances we go through. I believe God used that light to supply a need of comfort that night as He spoke to my heart.
I will still go through periods of grief and health concerns, but I won’t go through them alone. As Philippians 4:13 promises, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”. Amen
Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at: