Posted by: Ingrid | August 9, 2007

I thought it odd that while on retreat, 4-5 of the women there stopped to talk to me about how they were young when one of their parents died.  Very young, 11, 15, 20, and in all of the cases it was the father that had died.  I think they wanted to empathize with me.  I also think, though I haven’t thought much about it, that there is something of a difference between mother loss and father loss.  Something that shapes us at a very deep level.  It would only make sense if men and women, made in the image of God (male and female he created them), are truly different at the core of their being.  If there is true masculinity and femininity, then the loss of one or the other would have profound effects on the children left behind.

I also must be careful of how I hear things.  Innocent comments people make as they try to show that they understand and have known grief too come through to me so skewed.  I hear a negation.  If someone tells me they lost their father at age 11, the underlying message I hear is, “Cheer up, it could be so much worse.  You shouldn’t be sad, look what happened to me.”  I guess I’ve always had that.  I’ve never drawn much comfort from the passages telling about how much Christ has known every temptation and affliction mankind could experience.  It always struck me less as a comfort and more as a message to stop feeling.

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