Welcome to Mother’s Backyard Buzz, this is a podcast where we “break the silent struggle” with grief by unpacking my book: My Backyard Garden – A Memoir of How Love Conquers Grief.  I am the author and your host, Debra Hester. Chapter by chapter, I’ll move us deeper into what I included and didn’t include in my book that speaks to this journey we all take – called grief.

O.K., we’re on this grief journey now. I hope you have a place in mind…remember my place is a garden. I kept coming back to my garden. It doesn’t have to be a destination, all this is left to your imagination.

So, you might now wonder: What do you need for a grief journey?  Have people asked you that question? No, people don’t ask you that way. It’s verbalized more like: What do you need? Have they told you:  Call me if you need me…or call me if you need something.

When I first started on this grief journey, so often things that seemed an immediate need also seemed larger and more important than they really were.  Now that these needs were not important; but they were not all the things that I would need to carry for most of my grief journey.

At first, I was consumed with the now. The things that were needed now. Once all the immediate things or needs were met, you know, the things we traditionally do, like go to the funeral, take care of all the business affairs and personal things that are left, finish talking to family, friends, co-workers, I began to see and think beyond the now.

I still felt sad. People talked to me about the stages of grief; but at the time the stages didn’t resonate for me. Don’t get me wrong, by now I’ve read about the stages, understand them, think they’re insightful and encourage you to Google the stages of grief if you haven’t already. I even suggest them in my MOVE workshop design.

But it was when I believed I should start to try to feel better that I had this insight. I don’t know if this happened to you or your someone that you’re watching who is clearly struggling with grief in silence; but if it did, I’ll share with you how I handled this feeling of: “I need to start to try and feel better point in my journey”.

Now, I didn’t feel better, it wasn’t this fork in the road moment, it was more of:  “I’m standing in the middle of the road now; looking forward and back and wondering what now?” And I thought to myself that I can’t go back, I can’t stay where I am; but where do I go? How do I go?

Well, I went with love. That’s why I started my book: My Backyard Garden with a reference to a bible verse: “…and the greatest of these is love.”  Love stands as the foundation of the book: love and its greatness. Love was sort of a walking stick for my grief journey. When I think of love as the greatest and love’s greatness, I meant love’s attribute: greatness. What a powerful thing greatest! It seems so large, at the front, on top, all around.  And in the verse, when compared to faith and hope, to be the greatest of the three? I just have to say: “Wow!”  I also think of it as greatness.  

All I can say is meditate on this thought of love being the greatest for a while and see how just the thought of this inspires you.  This greatest thing called love became my greatness during my journey.

The love that I had for my mother grew larger than the pain of losing her at times. This greatest allowed me to write and finish this book despite my fears and tears. I believe, loved ones that it is love that will help you through too.  Just as I did, love has a greatness that you must depend upon at this time. I will spend a few minutes talking about the greatness of love from my perspective and hope that even after this podcast you spend time meditating on this verse. 1 Corinthians 13:13 which reads: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of theses is love.”

I don’t want to focus on the different types of love. As I understand it, this bible verse was about agape love. We all know what type of love we had for and with our loved one; so I leave that definition of the type of love up to you. I will say that regardless of the type of love, remembering this definition of love can still apply:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  

And the truth that I’ve found during my grief journey is that love is the greatest.  Thanks loved ones for listening to Mother’s Backyard Buzz. #empathyforgrief. This is Debra Hester, breaking the silent struggle with grief.  Remember: move forward from grief with love and more empathy, less sympathy. If you found the podcast helpful, subscribe to me on iTunes or where you get your podcasts from.  To learn more about my mission, check out my website and reach out to me on my blog at: www.mothersbackyard.com. My book is available on Amazon & Barnes & Nobles. Please leave me a podcast review on what you’d like me to address from my book or personal experience. Leave comments on the podcast and let me know how you’re doing with your journey. Join us next week when the buzz will be about “the importance of memories”.  Peace and blessings.