By Ope Malomo
During the summer holidays of my first year in high school, my mum fell ill, was admitted to the hospital and never returned home. Her death when I was only 11 shook my entire world, even more so because I had lost my dad only five years prior to this.
I had assumed that she would be around long enough to see me graduate from high school, complete my university degree and rejoice with me on my wedding day. We should have celebrated many milestones together. That wasn’t to be the case.
It has been 23 years since I was orphaned, and my pain has eased as the years have gone by. However, in recent years, two major events have reignited the deep longing for my mum: my wedding and the birth of my son. Of these two, motherhood is by far the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with, and at the same time it has been fulfilling and rewarding.
Despite having my lovely mother-in-law around to support me in the post-partum period, I was still overwhelmed with grief and loneliness. I yearned to have my mum close by, to comfort me as I ached from the pains of childbirth. I longed for her to cuddle my son and share stories of my childhood. Thankfully, I had very little time to be consumed by my thoughts, as most of my time was devoted to caring for my son, who craved my attention.
With each passing day, I am eternally grateful for the legacy my mum left behind. She modelled a positive attitude to life, service to others, generosity and devotion to her faith. These have been instrumental in coping with my grief as well as dealing with the challenges of parenting.
My experience as a bereaved child has shaped my parenting in many ways and taught me to:
- Create loving and happy memories for my family to cherish in years to come.
- Celebrate my achievements and that of my loved ones, no matter how small.
- Have a positive outlook on life, no matter what challenges I may be facing. God makes ALL things beautiful in His time and ALL things will work out for my good.
- Trust God with every aspect of my life including parenting. He knows my struggles and feels my pain. He knows exactly how to encourage me through His word and loved ones He surrounds me with.
I know not what lies ahead of my parenting journey or even my own personal life, but I do know the One who holds the future and I know His plans for me are of good, not evil. Because of Him, I can face tomorrow, come what may!
About Ope Malomo
Open Malomo is a wife and mother of one cute little boy. She’s a project manager, business owner and mentor for bereaved children. Her book, Letters of Hope, offers encouragement and coping strategies for bereaved children.