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“When Will I Feel Better?”

The question goes through our minds in a dozen different ways and sounds like this: “When will I feel better?”

We expect to grieve during the funeral and for weeks after the funeral, but then a month passes. Six months. A year. Five years.

We want our living hell of loss to be over. Or at least tolerable. If we knew how long we had until we reached some kind of acceptance, we’d know we could hold out for that day.

woman in gray tank top while sitting on bed

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

I asked a version of the question, too, though I was well versed in what to expect with grief. A few years had passed since the deaths of my parents. And yet I’d stumble into a grief trigger and find myself longing for them in the same way I’d done the first year.

I’d get mad at myself. Feel like I was a hopeless case. Or that I was destined to be forever in a grief loop.

So, what is the answer to “When will I feel better?”

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Searching for Safety During COVID-19, Motherless Mother’s Day

By Toni Lepeska

The coronavirus pandemic has elicited a new catch phrase – “stay safe.”

I hear it on the telephone with doctor’s offices and in text messages from friends. It has replaced “take care,” “see you later,” and “be careful.”

How essential is safety? Where can we find it when our world has been turned upside down?

The urge to secure safety was my initial knee-jerk reaction to COVID-19 and stay-at-home measures. I wanted my mother. I wanted to “circle the wagons” with her. But she’s been dead almost 11 years.

young gorgeous woman standing behind iron grate

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Interestingly, I also hunted for safety after my father’s death. My mother, terminally ill, became my responsibility. She could not be the source of safety and comfort that she’d always been. I cried out to God, “Send me a protector!”

We often overlook the essential need as human beings to feel safe until we feel threatened or at risk physically or emotionally. The desire to secure safety is hardwired into us, on par with shelter and food.

Our first source of safety is our parents, especially our mothers.

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