To anyone who is trying to love a woman who’s lost her mother, take note.
First and foremost: Love her true, and love her cautiously.
Love her knowing that she’s someone who has lost the one person we’re told is supposed to love us forever—her mother. The one person in this world who gave her the color of her eyes and the shape of her hands. For that and for so much more, how could she not see and feel things differently?
She has loved and she has lost—and she’ll do everything in her power to never experience that again.
So if you want to hold her hand, you better get ready to hold onto it tight. If you’re ready to tell her you love her, you better mean it. Because it will take a lot of convincing for her to hold on and believe in you.
It’s not that she doesn’t want to believe in you, it’s just that she’s scared to. She’s not ready or willing to love someone just to lose them all over again.
She knows death is inevitable; she knows that relationships can act like a revolving door sometimes. She knows these two things are not even remotely one and the same. But these are things that matter to her. Not because she’s bitter over who she’s loved and lost but because when it comes down to it, it doesn’t change the fact that knowing people come and go doesn’t make it hurt any less.
So if you’re going to love her, listen and grasp what she’s been through. Understand that you’ll never fully know what it’s like. She wouldn’t want you to.
If and when she opens up to you about her mother, you’ll respond by saying you’re sorry, and just know she really does mean every single word of it when she tells you not to feel so bad.
Because telling you was never about wanting you to feel sorry for her, but a matter of understanding that she is both a force to be reckoned with but also as fragile as glass.
And if nothing else, she’s not looking for someone to save her.
She’s just looking for a love that’s true and cautious.
A love that acknowledges that she is more than what happened to her, with respect to understanding that she would be lost without her tragedy. She can’t pretend it’s not a part of her. Because losing her mother isn’t her whole identity, but it’s a story of her life she can’t imagine her world without if her mother never left it.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash
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My beautiful wife of 40 years lost her mother when she was 9 years old. Her father had to finish raising her and two siblings as best he could but his skills were probably not in that area. She went through a lot during those early years without her mom and then we met at 16 in History class. I’m certain the difficulties and trauma of losing her mother at such an important age, where her memories of her were intact, and being left with little guidance into her teens, shaped a personality of shyness coupled with a high level of fearlessness. Of course, such an usual personality (which I found magnetic) along with long sun-bleached hair:) drew me into her arms for life. I’ve always been certain her mother wouldn’t have approved of me, but I’m also certain her mother is actually a big part her personality.
Holding on as tight as possible :)