‘Her eyes rest on a little unicorn her daddy bought her two Christmases ago. ‘What’s on your heart?’ I ask. ‘Daddy,’ she says.’: Widowed mom navigates grief and solo parenthood

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Disclaimer: This story contains details of grief which may be upsetting to some.

“Her eyes rest on a little unicorn her daddy bought her two Christmases ago.

‘What’s on your heart?’ I ask.

‘Daddy,’ she says. Her answer, although frequently normal, daggers my heart.

She looks up at me and catches the tear dropping off my nose.

This grief, this missing your person, and this raising babies without their daddy – it is relentless.

The tears fall quickly while I try to finish singing ‘Jesus Loves Me,’ and all I can think about is how when Eric was sick, the babies always begged for him to come upstairs to tuck them in.

He was too weak for it, and I remember weeping as I climbed the stairs and tucked them in for him. Much like tonight.

My spirit is stirred amidst this pain, and my heart wonders if this isn’t a tiny bit of what our Father feels when we are far from Him.

If the absence of me and you makes Him feel this merciless agony, this deep longing, and this overwhelming sadness.

What I wouldn’t give to have my husband and their daddy back with us – the list is endless.

What our Father wouldn’t give to have our hearts back with him – the list is endless.

My heart reflects; what if our greatest suffering becomes our greatest offering? What if, by laying our grief on the altar, a holy transformation is birthed?

What if He can kaleidoscope the broken shards of our hearts into colorful light? Can we trust Him to do what He says?

She and I lay there in her bed together for a long while. Her, staring off into the distance with sadness written on her face. Me, holding her tightly and weeping for what was and for what will never be.

We’re used to each other’s tears. This blanket of pain covers us frequently – it’s heavy, but we have each other to help disperse the weight.

Eventually, I get up and close her door. I fold myself into the couch in the living room and my grief soaks my clothes.

There is no fixing this. There is no undoing this. This is our actual life. The Holy Spirit helps me breathe.

Even still, He is good.

Even still, He is here.

Even still, He is faithful.

I can trust Him to take my offering of mourning, and do with it what only He can do. So can you, friend. It is so.”

white stuffed unicorn laying on top of a blanket in the couch
Courtesy of Bethany Ashabraner

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Bethany Ashabraner. You can follow her journey on Instagram and Facebook. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribeto our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Bethany here:

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