Therapists and counselors talk about us having an “inner child.” The inner child is the little kid inside of each of us that motivates us to and governs our responses to what is going on in our lives. When my grandmother received the diagnosis that she had macular degeneration, she felt lost, and even though she was 85 at the time, she felt like crying for her mother. The rest of our family gathered around her and supported her, but there was no comforting her.
Its been two months since my father passed away, and I feel like my inner child is a lost child, looking for his parents. My father is gone and I feel the loss accutely. I miss my dad’s presence in my life, buying him small things that made him happy, and seeing his face light up. I have my mom with us, but she too is lost without him. Not only can I not lean on her for support, I recognize her fragility, and can’t say anything around her that will upset her. I expressed my ongoing depression to her in her grief, and she asked why I was upset. I told her I lost my father. It was as if she didn’t realize that I was going through grief of my own. Not a day goes by without her breaking down crying, feeling God punished her by letting her live after my dad died. We do things to try to make her happy, but there is really no comforting her. All we can do is be there and show that we care.
Life is going on around me, and I continue on with my life, but deep down I feel lost. God gives me strength and comfort, but I’m hurting and have not way to express it. I reach out to others with comfort because that is what I do. Its heartfelt and genuine, but I am not a happy person. I know I will be happy again, but at the current time, my life is a painful struggle. I miss my dad, and miss the mother that was a comfort and encouragement.
What does a person of faith do with these feelings? I know that some people try to ignore their feelings, but that is not emotionally healthy. I have trusted God through the most difficult times of my life, and He has always been there for me, strengthening me and upholding me. He has brought kind, caring people around me to comfort and encourage me; some religious, others not, but they have been kind and have made a difference in my life. I let them know their words and gestures of comfort matter, but I am still left with this crushing weight on my heart.
I still feel like a lost child, but I lean on God, and know I’ll be happy again. He will see me through this difficult time, and won’t let go of me. I focus on doing the right thing, and reaching out to others. My own grief helps me feel the grief of others.
So I move ahead, feeling like a lost child, who is not out of the sight and reach of the One who loves me. King David, in Psalm 27:10 wrote, “When my father and my mother leave me, then the LORD will take me up.” I have never been forsaken by my parents, and I would never forsake my children, but life is such that there is a time they will not be with us. I also believe there is a time that we will be reunited. I look forward to that time. In the mean time, we suffer our separations, trust God, and abide.