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Overwhelming Grief

Overwhelming grief can be paralyzing.  It can cause fear.  It can make you feel like you can’t breathe.  However, I am choosing to take a different approach to overwhelming grief.  Yes, at moments I think there’s not enough air to breathe but in those moments when I exhale, I want to exhale love!

Alzheimer’s Disease has caused fresh grief over and over again.

My sweet mama has been battling Alzheimer’s Disease for eight years now.  It is a terrible disease.  I have gradually grieved the loss of my mama.  I grieved the first time she didn’t remember my birthday.  I grieved the day she forgot my kids were sick.  I grieved the day she burnt the Christmas pies and then cried and cried because she knew her mind was not good.  I grieved the day she thought someone had stolen her children and there were no words to comfort my mama in that moment.  I grieved the day she qualified for hospice care.   I grieved the day she wanted so desperately to go home and see her daddy.  The last eight years have been full of grief!

But now, a new wave of grief has been ushered in.  And it has been an overwhelming grief at times.  There is nothing I want more than my mama to be well.  I can smile when I think about her walking with Jesus.  She told Chloe one time that she believed her job in heaven would be rocking babies.  Oh, how she does love babies!  I have no doubt that she will be rocking babies in heaven!  However, that final goodbye looms closer and closer and as that final goodbye looms closer, my heart is overwhelmed!

When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

You see my mom has basically stopped eating.  She has eaten very little the past two weeks.  It is difficult to understand that not eating is okay!  (Especially for someone who knows about not eating and how NOT okay it is!)  I have just spent some time this evening watching a video and learning what happens to the body as it goes through the dying process.  Yall, I never ever dreamed I would be doing this.  I guess I thought Jesus would come back before now!  I know that short of His return, we will all get to walk this road with our parents.  My children will get to walk this same road short of Jesus’s return.  This makes me long even more for Jesus to just come back and take us all home!

The phone calls from my dad who wants me to fix it are heart-wrenching.  There are no words for the conversations I have had with my dad.  I lovingly tell my dad we are not going to do anything different.  I am doing nothing to save his wife of fifty plus years.  How incredibly hard is that?  I simply tell my dad this is his season to love!  Take that breath in that is so hard to take in and then breathe out love!  No matter how difficult these conversations are, I am so thankful that I get to experience them.  I am grateful that in the midst of overwhelming grief, I get to exhale love!  Love for my dad, my mom, my sitters.

[bctt tweet=”In the middle of overwhelming grief, exhale love!” username=”kksmith8694″]

Only Jesus knows how many days my mom has left.  Her body still has much work to do in this process.  I do not believe she’s going to die in the immediate future, but I do believe her body is beginning to say I am done.  First, she stopped taking her medicine.  Now she is refusing food and drink.  Even in that mixed up mind, it is obvious something has changed.  And that change has ushered in a new season of overwhelming grief in my heart.

Two Places at One Time

I want to go to Arkansas!  I want to go hold my dad’s hand and rub his shoulders and hug him.  I want to tell my mom stories she has long since forgotten.  I want to whisper how much I love her in her ear when she is sleeping.  Let’s be honest when she’s awake there are no sweet whispers!  Whew!

But I have a family here.  I want to be with them.   I want to not be in pain so that I can love my family and my parents well.

Another example of wishing there were two of me so that I could be in two places at one time.

In this season of overwhelming grief, I get to exhale love.  I trust God to direct my paths and wherever I find myself in Alabama, in Arkansas, on the phone, in a text, I get to love!  I pray every day, multiple times a day, that I would love well!

The truth is we all get to exhale love every day!  Whether it is in the middle of overwhelming grief or not!

Please pray for me as I have MRI tomorrow.  Pray for God to work out details on my behalf.  Pray for comfort for my family.  Pray for my sitters who care for my mama every day.  Pray for my sweet daddy as he processes and as he loves well!  Pray that we would continually be led to the rock that is higher than I!




Wife of 20+ years. Mom to 3 children. Love sharing my life with weary hearts so that we can know the One who is Good, who is in Control, and Whose strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Tracie Kent

    I will be praying for Gods hand to be on every single one of you for whatever the need may be. You are part of a beautiful Godly family and my thoughts and prayers are with you all. I live close by your parents so please don’t hesitate to call if you need me.
    Tracie Kent

  2. Beth

    Prayers for you and your family Karen, as your Mom transfers to her new job. They need baby rockers in Heaven. I have long said that when I get to Heaven, God is going to say, “Beth we have a little 4 year old that arrived yesterday and he is frightened in this new place. Can you go comfort him?”My thoughts of your Mom rocking those babies comfort you in the future

  3. Cecilia Brown

    Thinking of you Karen🙏 So sorry for all you are going through. Love you all.

  4. paula[cowling] roden

    Karen I am sorry about your mom Billy was always a kind person I will pray for all of you your mom for her life and Otto for things he has to face and lord help too all of your intire family. Heaven is a great place for her too rock all those babies.

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