At first, you’ll get lost in her sad eyes. Eyes that will haunt you in your dreams. You’ll feel the need to save her, to protect her from the pain the motherless daughter is experiencing.

You’ll feel the deep-rooted brokenness in every kiss, every touch, and every embrace. You’ll see that she’s a different kind of girl, for she’s lost the most important person of her life.

The motherless daughter knows what it’s like to be left behind, to feel lost and alone. 

That is why she clings with all her might to every interaction you have. Because she knows that memories are all she will have left when you leave her. Because you will.

Everyone leaves, in her mind.

She will build walls as high as a mountain to protect her heart. You’ll probably get tired of trying to tear those walls down, but she will fight to keep them. You’ll be mesmerized by the beautiful waltz she does shutting you out. It is well-choreographed and practiced many times. It’s a beautiful and tragic dance she does so well. It’s her armor, always protecting her and guarding her from people, even people who love her.

It will sadden you thinking of how many times her heart has shattered as she shuts down when people get close to her, how many times she has tripped and fallen in the chaos of sadness. How long will she be able to keep up the dancing before she finally crashes? And will you ever be able to see her behind the walls?

The closer you get to a motherless daughter, the faster she runs. She will become cold and distant. You finally lose interest thinking you may never catch up to her. You see, a motherless girl will fly away before she’s chained down again. She will leave you before you get the chance to leave her. In her mind, everyone will leave her before she gets the chance to say goodbye. Because she has lost the person who was supposed to love her forever, without saying goodbye.

This has forever changed how she views life.

It’s not that she doesn’t want to love you and let you in; she is scared to. She can’t handle loving someone so deeply just to lose that person to heaven all over again. She wants so badly to let you in, to let you see she is hurting, to let you see her pain. But her mother taught her how to be strong. So she will act tough and pretend she doesn’t need you.

She will cry a lot but she will never let you see those tears. She sees them as a sign of weakness. She will hide from you at first; be patient. Let her know you won’t leave her, that you will stay, even on the bad days. Especially on the bad days. She won’t be able to accept your love for she feels unworthy of it. She feels she is too broken and damaged to be truly loved by someone.

When she finally lets you in, you will finally see the pain, the darkness, the deep longing she has just to be held and comforted.

You’ll see the empty, hollow hole that her losses have created in her soul. You’ll see the shell of the human she once was. You’ll see how the death of her mother has made her a broken soul.

But please, remember that deep beyond that facade, a little girl is lost and lonely, roaming the streets of life trying to find her way. Trying to find her identity and her direction. Trying to find her way back home again.

All that she truly wants is someone to care, someone to hold her when the waves of grief knock her back down to her knees. All she wants is to know you won’t leave her in a heap on the kitchen floor, sobbing uncontrollably.

She wants so badly to believe you are different, that you won’t be shaken by her darkness. She wants to know you will keep her safe and not hurt her any worse than she already has been hurt. All she wants is for someone to stay.

She wants to know that you will stay.

If you get the chance to love a woman who has lost her mother, do so with all you’ve got. Because she deserves that, for she’s been through hell and back. Let her know every day that she is worthy of your love. Show her that her tears are not a sign of weakness, but strength. Be the man who wipes those tears away. Let her know you want to be the one who makes her smile through her sadness, through her grief. 

Remind her she is not broken, but beautiful. Remember these walls are only trying to protect her fragile heart. Believe in her. Remind her every day that you won’t leave her like all the others, that your love is here to stay. Even through the darkness and pain. Remind her every day and mean it .

Because when you eventually get to the other side, it will all be worth it, because a motherless daughter will love you with everything she has left in her.

You may also like:

Mother’s Day Looks Different When Your Mom is in Heaven

Only a Motherless Daughter Knows

This is Grief

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Jessica Grillo

After suffering the loss of my sister and mother in March, I started writing about my personal journey through this lonely and brutal process . I found my voice, I found my truth , but most importantly I found healing in the words that were flowing from my soul.

Please Don’t Let My Baby Die

In: Cancer, Motherhood
Toddler boy lying in hospital bed, color photo

I wasn’t made for this.  I am not strong enough. Lord, where are you taking me? Why does this joyful time, filled with our last baby’s firsts, have to be this way? Why did the doctors look at me that way? They know what’s coming, and deep down inside, so do I. The inevitable word that is about to come out of their mouths.  The C-word.  Cancer. It’s life-changing.  Almost as if it were a car accident. Believe me, I know about that. To be the reason behind a grown man hanging onto a thread. Completely unintentional. I just needed...

Keep Reading

Hug My Babies In Heaven For Me, God

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman looking up at sunset sky

To my babies in Heaven,  I still miss you.  Sometimes I wonder if you can see us from Heaven. Do you get to watch us raise your siblings? Do you know us, like we long to know you? Are you proud to be our child? Does God ever pass on the messages I give to you in my prayers?  I hope so. I miss you. I miss you in the car rides when I look back and see two car seats where there should be more. I miss you when your siblings are laughing together, and I wish you were...

Keep Reading

I Should Have Taken More Photos of My Mom

In: Grief, Loss
Grandmother holding newborn, color photo

What’s the one thing I wish I did before my mom died? Take more photos. But no, I assumed I’d have more time. We always have more time, right? Until we don’t. My baby was born, and I was frazzled. Lost in a sea of having a third child and postpartum anxiety. My mom asked for photos. I was nursing, I hadn’t showered. I felt gross. I didn’t want to let my last baby go from my arms. I had time, right? Until you don’t. She asked for photos. And now. We only have one. We only have one.  I...

Keep Reading

I Carry the Baby I Lost In My Heart

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Early sonogram image of baby

I ignored it at first, the pink on the tissue. It wasn’t anything to worry about. I’d known for three weeks at this point that I was expecting baby number three, and I was still giddy about it. In fact, I had just shared my news with people at work and told them when I was due.  I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.  So, when I visited the bathroom, I ignored it.  Two healthy textbook pregnancies and births, why would this be any different?  But, looking back, there was a little nagging voice at the back of my...

Keep Reading

The First Christmas Without My Parents Cuts Deep

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Sad woman with Christmas tree lit up in background

“This is going to be the first time we go through the holidays without mom.” How many times have I heard these words spoken by others? How am I just now understanding how full of meaning this statement really is? Nearly 60 years old, this will be my first Christmas as an orphan. My sister and I lost my father over 10 years ago, my mother just last summer. It will be up to us to create memories for the younger generation, and I have faith that we are up to the task.  It isn’t that my parents made a...

Keep Reading

Dear Grieving Heart, Be Still and Know

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Little girl with flowers standing next to casket, color photo

It is said that grief has stages. Five to be exact. Not sure where I am on that scale, but I can tell you I have reached acceptance and then floated right back down to denial, all in a matter of days. What I am beginning to realize is that grief isn’t linear. It goes through waves and has a rhythm all of its own. Anger and acceptance can (and do) co-exist. You can be happy and sad at the same moment. You can feel lost and confused, yet know exactly where you are or feel completely alone in a...

Keep Reading

Your Love Is Passed On

In: Grief, Loss
Woman smiling, black and white photo

For so much of my life, I never understood why people used the phrase “passed on” when someone died. I thought it was an oblique turn of phrase. A weak way to express the truth of the matter. The person died. No reason to soften the truth, no need to cushion the blow. It wasn’t until my mother left this earthly plane a year ago that I started to understand the difference between the words “died” and “passed on.” I haven’t measured the time that my mom has been gone in days or months, but rather I have marked her...

Keep Reading

I’ll Miss Your Holiday Spirit the Most

In: Grief
Little girls in Christmas dresses sitting in white chair

Being in a stepfamily means a lot of Christmases, we had one for each household plus each side of the family: Mom’s, Dad’s, Stepmom’s, and Stepdad’s. That was a lot of “Christmas mornings” growing up, and every single one of them was with you, my sister. It gave us a ton of opportunities to share in the gift-giving process too, with each package labeled From C&C.  When I got married, I vividly recall the eye roll and dramatic “ugh” when you came to realize I would now be gift-giving with my spouse, not you. Believe me, it was strange. I’m...

Keep Reading

When It Just Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas, Look for the Baby In the Manger

In: Faith, Grief
Nativity scene lit up

I don’t know about you, but each Christmas season I find myself trying to catch the “feeling.”  It seems like every year I hear myself say as December 25th looms around the corner, “It just doesn’t FEEL like Christmas.”  Part of that is living in Florida. I have never felt like I belonged here. I’ve always longed for cooler weather and the changing of seasons. Oh how my heart aches for a “white Christmas” that I fear I’ll never get.  I’ve heard others echo something similar. But it seems like we’ve become obsessed with chasing this evasive feeling that is...

Keep Reading

She Wore Caesars Woman and It Smelled Like Love

In: Grief, Grown Children
Woman with two children, color photo

They say the brain rewires itself to accommodate for losing one or more senses. A blind person develops great hearing, a deaf person great sight. Neither deaf nor blind, I have some loss of both. The result: a finely tuned sense of smell that intertwines with my memories and emotions. The aroma of cut grass transports me to summer. Cigarette smoke in the bathroom reminds me of my abusive grandfather. Loves Baby Soft powder scent embodies the year 1987. The pages of a book smell of escape. My grandmother’s perfume exudes love. Grandma Darleen shined like a beacon in an...

Keep Reading