Ten Years of Tears
By Bernadette A. Moyer
Cryin’ For Nothin’
Songwriter Kevin Welch, Performer Country Music Artist Gary Allan
All of that cryin’ for nothing
All of that tryin’ for nothing
What has it ever got me
What has it ever taught me
I’ve got to keep believing
In somethin’ baby
‘Stead of just tryin’ for nothing
Cryin’ for nothin’ at all
When my first husband died my mother said, “Death is easier, it is so final.” She had been divorced from my father and struggled with her grief over the failure of their marriage. My husband’s death was final. I had no choice but to accept he was gone for good. Maybe it was easier for me.
In 1998 I lost a child. It may just as well have been a death. I had one therapist tell me it was an “amputation.” It wasn’t my choice but one I have finally accepted. I spent more than ten year crying over this loss. Ten years is approximately twenty percent of my life. Against all odds I hoped, prayed and pleaded for another outcome. It was not to be.
During this time I communicated with several people through online support groups. One woman had her own website called Pennies for Heaven. It was a bright and inspirational site dedicated to her toddler Michael who died. Michael crawled through a doggie door at night when his parents were sleeping. The next morning they found him floating in the backyard pool. He had drowned to death. Michael’s parents were young and he was their only child. I wrote his mother often and she wrote me back. We connected through our grief. Two mothers crying over the loss of a child.
I believe that site and newsletter went on for years. I read all her words. Then one day she made an announcement stating that she was writing two more issues and then shutting it down. She said she will never stop loving Michael but it was time. It was time for her to move past her tears and her grief. They were starting a new chapter in their life and having another child. I always admired how she took her grief made something positive come from it, helped others like myself and then moved forward. Maybe death is easier since it is so final. She had made a decision to move past her grief and start living a happy and whole life once again.
For me I hung onto hope, I thought in time, with age and wisdom that someday we would reconcile. Clearly that is never going to happen. What I am left with is my memories of another time and the fact that I cried for nothing. No amount of tears was ever going to change the outcome.
Grief is a process and has been a cleansing process for me. I still cry over my losses but I only allow myself a certain period of time for tears and then I let go. I won’t spend ten years of tears over anyone ever again. I just can’t allow myself that kind of pain and the loss of my own quality of life. They say, “The first cut is the deepest” and maybe after that much grief you learn to come back quicker.
Like country music artist Gary Allan sings from the song Cryin’ For Nothin’ “cryin’ for nothing’ tryin’ for nothin’ what has it ever got me. We could not reach it and I don’t know why. It took so long just to say good-bye.”
Good-bye to Ten Years of Tears … it was a long sad rainstorm, and just like after any good long rain, when it ends, the sun shines even brighter.
Today April 7, 2016 is the 5th anniversary date of my mother’s death. I don’t cry anymore. I know our history, the good, the bad, the happy and the sad. I choose to remember our story in its entirety, not all bad and surely not all good either. I pray for her soul, I visit her gravesite once a year. I remember her. I know that she is and always will be my mother. I respect that fact. Many of her strong and positive qualities like a work ethic and strength as a woman I learned from her. I learned to soldier on regardless of what has transpired in my life. And I am willing to bet from her vantage point in the next life that she is proud of me, proud of her second born daughter and all that she not only accomplished but survived.
Our tears are important for cleansing and for clearing the way and after the tears it can be and should be an opportunity to reset.
There is life after loss, there is life after sadness … we just have to want it!
Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
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6 thoughts on “Ten Years of Tears”
Thankyou for writing that. I too lost my eldest son due to estrangement. He speaks to only 1 of his four siblings. Another hurt he takes no responsibility for. My husband and I have survived, although the no contact with our grandson who we helped raise for two years about killed us. But we survived and we are living and although we know in our hearts our son and his children are gone from us they are never coming back we live with the hope that he will. Hope is a good thing and to continue living and enjoying the life we have is enough.
So sorry for your loss! Your story is not uncommon as I’ve heard from many parents/grandparents who helped to raise the grandkids only to have them taken away. We are all wise to focus on enjoying our lives! Thanks for writing! All the best!
Thank you so much for all your help in my life😘 I found you a little over three years ago when my daughter left me without a word and you were there for me and you have made me face the truth way before my heart was ready….she is not coming back into my life!!! I cry everyday but each cry is different every day as I know the pain has to come out but I have truly accepted it and enjoy the two grand babies I have with me everyday and a Son who adores me! Thank you Bernadett💕 Diane
Thank you so much for writing to me, it means so much to me, more than I can say! It is not our choice but one we must learn to live with. It is never easy but I have finally decided my happiness counts the most! It took me forever to let go … I really believed we would work it out. I loved her so much. But for me the truth is/was I loved who I thought she was and not who she truly is … the daughter that I raised was loving and kind and would never hurt others. That really isn’t her. When I removed my motherly rose-colored glasses it was a truth that forced me to see so much clearer. It was a process, a long and very painful process. Today I am just so thankful to have survived and to have come out the other side. My heart is huge. There is so much to love in my life! I am thankful for all that I do have rather than focus on any single loss. Thanks again Diane! XOXO
Bernadette, I just read this column and it couldn’t have come on a better day because I am struggling again. Yesterday I found out that my estranged daughter is getting married this summer. It was like a knife in the heart. The cruelty of the shunning still stuns me after all these years. Last evening I said almost your exact words to my friend:
” I loved who I thought she was and not who she truly is … the daughter that I raised was loving and kind and would never hurt others.”
To realize this fact helps me to remember that I was a good mom to all of my children. Incidentally, the estrangement came after a brutal divorce with a mentally ill and abusive man. Four of my five children are still in his life and not mine. I count my blessings that I still have one son, who with great difficulty faced the truth about his father. He and his lovely wife just had a precious baby girl. The loss of the other eight grandchildren all but ripped my heart in two. I am so grateful to have this tiny family in my life. Life does goes on. Thank you for your always encouraging and hopeful words!
So sorry Teresa, you deserve better! These kids will get it when their kids do the same … sad as it is … it tears you up until you get to that place where you no longer hurt and you no longer care. Once you arrive there … there is no turning back. I didn’t experience a wedding but when a friend of 30 years pointed out a website where I learned her child’s name and that he was taken from her my heart sank. There is nothing left between us. Fact is I am her mother but that really is in name only. You will get through this … you will get stronger … and yes it will hurt like hell! Big hugs! XOXO Bernadette