As a mother of a daughter, my heart is grieving for the struggle of a well-known family in the music industry. As with all grief, it’s happened in stages. Not necessarily on a therapeutic spectrum, but more on a spiritual level.
Initially, when I read the report of trouble, I did not take it to heart. I viewed it as another spoiled child who took it too far. I offered a quick prayer believing the next time I read about it, she would have been released from the hospital to a rehabilitation center quickly moving to the next chapter of her life.
When I read the next report, I thought of the young lady’s mother and father. I fussed at the evidence of what happens when you try to live life on your own terms – introducing all kinds of things during childhood that no child should witness. I concluded, at that point, the child never had a chance. If we saw the foolishness that survived the television producer’s edits, one can only imagine how much more happened that never made it to the television screen. And I honestly think people challenged the parents to stop and consider the long-term consequences of their behavior. To challenge them to not just think about themselves, but to stop for the baby girl who was watching their every move.
My last stage of grief crept into my psyche with the first verse of one of my favorite songs, “I love the Lord, he heard my cry…” At that point, my grief critically shifted and became so personal that I gasped. I thought one of the reasons this young lady is lying in the hospital bed on the brink of death is because her mother did not prepare her to go on without her. Through all of the riches, through all of the fun, through all of the glamour, through all of the mess, through all of the disappointments, through all of the trauma, she did not teach her to go on with her.
Losing a mother is an experience absolutely no daughter wants to experience. As broken as my mother and I were during my childhood, I would be driven to tears any time a threat was made on her life and there were many. I even feared my thinking that death would relieve us both from her addiction. During one hospital stay, when the doctor informed my 20 year old ears she did not know what was sustaining my mother’s life, I set out to pray. At that age, I wasn’t calling on scriptures because I was a babe in Christ. I prayed fervently because I had no idea what my life would be life without her. I had no reference from HER voice on how I should begin to live without her. The only reference she’d made to our conjoined lives was that she felt like I was the only reason she’d been allowed to live.
So, when I heard the words, “I love the Lord, he heard my cry,” I was consumed. Have I prepared Lil Gal? I’ve taught her beauty secrets. I’ve taught her to mind her manners. I’ve taught her hygiene care. I’ve taught her about relationships. I’ve taught her to enjoy academia. More important than any of those, I’ve taught her to love and adore the Lord. To embrace Him in his fullness as much as humanly possible.
But have I told her what verse she can read when she is consumed by loneliness
Psalm 34: 18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Have I told her what verse she can read when she feels misunderstood
Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
When she feels cheated
Psalm 14:32 When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God.
When she is disappointed
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
When she is worried about what to do next
Matthew 6:25 – 27 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?
When she simply doesn’t know which way to turn
Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,
And this is why I grieved. While my mother thought it enough to share me with her belief of her only reason for living, I know that it is not enough for me to share with Lil Gal. I grieved because I don’t ever want her to feel as this young lady has felt for the three years she has been without her mom – that she can’t live without. I want Lil Gal to grieve a saint’s grief. And that’s a discussion for another time.