It’s a tough gig to be on a panel of women at church on Mother’s Day when you are still wrestling with the grief of losing your own mum only a few years ago.
It’s even harder when it’s four services in a row in front of large numbers of people.
Along with three other women, my daughter Merryn was asked a range of questions on the topic “Women of Influence”.
Merryn’s mum, Rosie, was such a woman of influence, having significantly touched many people’s lives through her unconditional love and acceptance for people of all backgrounds and circumstances, her unfailing joy and faith amidst all life could throw at her, and the inspirational way she lived for 16 years in the face of the slow but relentless progression of breast cancer.
The questions to the panel ranged from the light-hearted to the deeply personal. Merryn was asked the toughest question of all… “What did it mean for her to have recently lost her Mum? How did she handle this?”
Church is a place I am rarely seen these days but I really wanted to hear what she had to say and be there for her, so I attended the fourth service. After three earlier services Merryn still spoke as if she was being interviewed for the first time. The question clearly still tugged at her heart and she spoke openly about the depth of pain and grief she felt. She displayed deep, authentic feelings while framing them in a very personal, safe, sacred space. Without trying to embed ‘a pastor’s message’ in her words she demonstrated a wise, practical approach to dealing with the grief of losing a loved one.
I was extremely proud of my daughter (as always!) not just because she is my daughter but because she too is already a “Woman of influence” who shares her mum’s deep compassion for others and combines it with leadership skills well beyond her age.
Go Gracie Go!
I love you heaps, Dad
Ian James 14th May 2018
© 2017 Ian James, http://www.onlivingauthentically.com