Many years ago…12 to be exact…I was experiencing a struggle with my eldest daughter. She arrived into my life at the age of 11-1/2 from Romania. And with her came a lot of secrets and demons. She suffered from multiple personalities and deep wounds. There was no way to reach her regardless of all the love and security I provided. At the age of 18, finishing high school, she plotted to hurt me and some other family members. The heartache those days was immense. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced up to that moment in my life.
My son’s friend’s mother came over to get him one day. I shared my struggle through tears and heartbreak. She took me aside (a woman who truly didn’t know me that well even though our boys were super close) and she shared a personal story about her eldest son. She told me, while holding me, that sometimes we had to let go in order to continue helping our other children. Up to that moment I didn’t know anyone who had undergone things that broke the mama heart that profoundly. Whether it was addiction, mental illness, or whatever…I had not known someone personally who was navigating through similar experiences.
I listened to her. She had been at this for years. I felt her own release in that conversation. I listened so much that, now 12 years later, I can still remember her words of wisdom. This woman just lost her son a few days ago. That said son who was struggling with his own demons. And as I write this I swear my heart breaks even deeper. A parent should never, ever, have to do what she’s had to do this week. I know he’s finally at peace. She does too but there is always the uncertainty of how much we did or didn’t do to fix and save our loved ones. The doubts creep up and we are consumed by the unknown of it all. It’s hard to decipher what is real and what is not. Guilt and shame are familiar emotions that push the grief up. It’s all part of healing and letting go.
I know without a shadow of a doubt, that when someone has these struggles the only thing you can do for them is hold space. The loss is inexplicable. It’s unreal and I cannot imagine how my friend is holding herself up this week. So I pray and send loving light to her and her family since she’s not near me (although I wish I was with her at the moment). I keep meditating and hold her heart in mine. No one knows what another endures…not what she had to do for her son, not what I’ve had to for my own children. We have little windows we show to the world, but behind closed doors and blinds the truth of it is quite different. I am blessed to have had her 12 years ago to help me navigate my own grief, shame and guilt because I was completely lost. I had to let my daughter go. I had to love her from afar and continue to do so daily because she refuses the love. In the end I had to put my energy into those in my house who were willing to receive the love and security. And it continues…
That’s all we are asked to do: love and serve those who receive it (who are willing to accept it). We can’t fix or help those who don’t want it. It’s like hitting yourself against a giant boulder while the ocean smashes against you over and over. It’s pure insanity.
I love you, my dear friend. You know who you are…you will always be the words of wisdom when I struggle through my own little demons of guilt for not doing more…. I am here!!!!!