The recent loss of my mother was sudden, tragic, traumatic and life-changing. For anyone that has experienced immense loss, the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks and months we attempt to live without them are dreadful and distressing. Just getting out of bed becomes a challenge.
During this time, it was hard to envision the future at all, much less a happy one. I have a strong support circle of friends that helped to hold me up during that time and still are today. One would think that family is enough during this time but you quickly realize they cannot help you as their sadness is overpowering them as well.
Grief is like a bucket of black paint being poured over the top of your head, weighing you down and changing a world you once saw as bright and promising into a world of darkness and despair. No matter where I looked, the view was black.
I am now four months into the grieving process. The paint has dried a little and started to chip off away from my eyes. I am beginning to see daylight again. When people look at me, they are unable to see the black paint still trickling down, covering my head, drying and slowly breaking away. They urge me to keep busy and be kind to myself, only seeing me as I was before. Family, friends, counselors, co-workers and even strangers all try to help with words or acts of kindness but, sometimes, you have to let the paint sit and let it dry up a little on its own.
It’s important not to rush the process. Wait, breath, live one hour at a time, listen to those that genuinely care about you and stay as strong in your faith as possible. Pretty soon, the light of the person you lost will begin to shine again and you will see it so clearly.
Nov. 24, 1944, my mother was born into this world. She would be 75 years old today but, in the eyes of those she loved and left behind, her light will shine forever.
Theo Acker is a resident of Waxahachie, an educator and a guest columnist for the Waxahachie Sun.