Monday, February 28, 2011


As I sat in church yesterday, a young family got up to perform a special musical number. The father was on the piano and the mother stood with the children. As I was watching them I was so touched by the sweetness and completeness of this little family. I looked at the three oldest. 9, 7, 5. I was suddenly overcome with feelings of grief. Grieving the years that have passed. Those innocent and precious children were the age my children were when their father passed. So young, so sweet. So wonderful to see this family - we were once a sweet little family as well. The tears started and wouldn't stop. I started getting strange glances from my children. The tears just kept coming and coming. Long after the musical number was over, I was still crying. I felt like I was holding back... allowing the tears but blocking the sobbing that so wanted to come out. I contemplated making a run for the bathroom but felt like I was already making a spectacle of myself and thought that may just exaggerate that. So, I sat and let the tears continue to fall.

I can't say for sure what brought it on - but I can say that the topic of "mourning the years gone by" has been heavy on my heart lately. In moments of frustration the kids have retaliated at me with 'facts from the past' concerning my bad parenting behavior. It has left me reflecting on years I don't care to think about again. Years that I can't re-do. Years that have been wasted. Or so it seems.

The question is really... what would / could I have done differently. My 'bad parenting' is a reflection of trying to be a parent to children who were reacting with anger to their father's death, while trying to grieve the loss of my husband. My patience was short. I was trying to process through my own grief and that left little brain capacity for disobedient children. I was quick to yell, to lose my patience. I was incapable of of doing it.... well. I became this crazy mother that was nothing like I had once been. I look back and wonder what could have changed things. How could I have maintained the happiness and love in that little family and just continued on? Perhaps there is another widow out there that has considered this more or been more successful that could share some tips. For me... I need to forgive myself. I need to let go of the thoughts that they have been years wasted and I need to make the most of the years I now have.


  1. Kim,
    You can't beat yourself up! You did the best you could at the time and that is all that can be asked of us! We can all look back and see how we could have done things better or different...but as they say, hindsight is 20/20. You are amazing and I truly mean that!

  2. Listening to April'10 GC today... heard the below and thought of you.

    After her husband passed away, Sister Stella Oaks raised her three young children (including Elder Dallin H. Oaks) as a single mother. She once said: “I was given to know that the Lord loved me and that I would be made equal to my mission. I felt an encircling love … [and knew] he [would sustain us] through the opposition that [would] arise.” [Talk by Elder Neil L. Andersen, Tell Me the Stories of Jesus]

    I would venture to say you still endure the opposition daily. Something to keep in mind.

    Keep fighting the fight! You family love you and is here for you when you need us.

  3. I could echo that statement. I too was given to know that the Lord loved me and that I would be made equal to my mission. I have felt that encircling love and I know the Lord will sustain me. I remember the times the Lord has told me that and reminded me of it. For years it felt that the storm was so constant. I remember once requesting a priesthood blessing when I felt like I was struggling to stay above water. The blessing commanded the elements around me to be calm. It felt so fitting... because that it was I felt, like I was in this constant storm.

    Thank you Steve for the reminder. I need it. And thanks for being part of the most amazing and supportive family.