We all have names and titles we are known by. We have titles to show our place in the family; Mom, Dad, Grandma, Granddaddy, Aunt, Uncle, etc. Titles to show our work place or career; Dr., Clerk, Bookkeeper, Cashier, Cook, Police Officer, etc. Titles for our hobbies; seamstress, artist, reader, photographer, runner, weightlifter, etc. Titles to show our marital status; Married, Divorced, Separated, Widow, Widower. There are even titles to show respect; Mr. Mrs. Miss, Ms., Dr., Judge, Senator, or President. We even have titles to describe our Church life; member, Director, Pastor, Rev., Choir member, Teacher, etc.
Names are given to us. My husband always teases the children their first name is actually their last name. The first name you are given is your last name from your parent/parents. Most women change their name when they are married. But names are picked out especially for us. Some are named after someone in their family, Biblical names, names that are just liked by parents. In your family, names distinguish who you are from the other members of your family. There are famous names, people you immediately think of when you hear the name. Some for good reasons, some for bad reasons. Rev. Billy Graham, Martin Luther King, Donald Trump, Steve Spurrier, Elvis Pressley, George Washington and Michael Jordan are just a few who came to mind. Add on top of that nicknames we are known by and who we know others.
My daughter’s full name at birth was Amanda Hope Peake. She was nicknamed Punkin almost immediately. We shortened it to Punk over time. She was a beautiful daughter, Sister, Granddaughter, Great-Granddaughter, and Niece from the moment she was born. She became a friend when she was old enough to understand about having friends. Some she was still friends with until the time of her death. As she grew she became know by some of her hobbies; Cheerleader, Ballplayer and Actor. Eventually she became a Sister-in-Law and an Aunt. Then it seemed her life became complete for her as she became a wife and a mother! During this time she was also known as a Christian, Cubbie Leader, Seamstress, Choir Member, Property Manager and Crossfitter (if that’s a word). She never lost any of the previous names or titles. They were all part of her just added on through the years. Now, she is known as a Saint.
What made me think of all of this is the fact with all of these names and titles in the English language there is not one for us – those of us who have lost a child. There is not one for someone who has lost a sibling either. Strange. The German language has Verwaiste Eltern (orphaned/bereaved parents), Verwaiste Mutter (bereaved mother) and Verwaister Vater (bereaved father). Bereaved Mother. Explains me perfectly. Think I will use it. Bereaved Mom.
For 32 years, Amanda blessed my life here on earth. Even with her death, she is still part of me. She is still my daughter. I carried her within my body, gave birth to her, nurtured her, taught her, played with her, laughed with her, cheered her on, practiced ball with her, coached her, vacationed with her, gave her my blessing to marry her husband, planned her wedding with her, helped her with her children – loved her. Love of a mother does not stop when the child dies. It just leaves your arms empty but not your heart. I can’t physically touch her, but I still love her as if she were still here.
None of this diminishes my love for the rest of the family. I still love them as if she were here too. I still want to be known as a Mother, Mother-in-Law, Grandma, Daughter, Sister and Aunt. I still want to show them the same love I have always had for them. At times it is hard through the fog of being a VM, bereaved Mother, but I continue to try. I realize that as long as I have breath I am called to continue on with life.
There is a name that is above every name. The Name which gives me the strength to continue on with this life. Jesus, a name which gives me strength from minute to minute. “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knew till bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phl 2:8-11 (NASB). Scripture has many different names for Jesus – each with there own significant meaning – The Son of God, My Beloved Son, Emanuel, God with us, The Highest, Jehovah, Alpha, Omega, The Life, The Word, Jesus Christ, Messiah, Teacher, The Lamb of God – just to name a few.
Jesus the Name above all names. Jesus, the Savior of the World. Jesus, the Great Comforter. Jesus, the reason for this life.
We all have different titles and names. The most important title we can have is Christian. The most important person we can know is Jesus. There is no way to make it through A Parent’s Worst Nightmare without Him. Jesus will not leave us or forsake us. “The LORD is the One who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deu 31:8 (NASB)
I know y’all have names that are special to you for your child. You all miss your child as much as I miss mine. Your arms are empty and you yearn to hold them just one more time. They are still within your heart, your mind, and your life. We are Bereaved Mothers. We have one person who completely knows us, understands us, loves us unconditionally, comforts us and walks with us forever. His name is Jesus. I encourage us all to put our relationship with Him first. Read His Word, Pray to Him and meet with His people regularly. It will help us to not give up! We are not alone!
Love to all of you Bereaved Moms,
Prays and Hugs,
Manda’s Mom #APG