Grieving mom

I’ve been overwhelmed by the support, encouragement and comfort from friends and even strangers responding to my blog about the death of my mom and the associated post on Facebook.  The last blog post received more comments than any of the previous 180 posts I’ve written in my 15 months of blogging.  Thank you.

I have a few observations about the grieving process.

I don’t understand grief very well.  My wife Shannon’s brother Randall passed away on June 21, 2012 (see post here) and I didn’t do a good job of caring for her while she was grieving.  My family has been great since we heard the news about mom on Aug. 4, but I’ve had a heard time receiving care and knowing what to do.  I do know, however, that it helped to blog about mom on Saturday because it gave me an opportunity to stare at pictures of her, to reflect and cry.  Hopefully, my grieving process with mom will help me be a better friend to people in pain.

Pictures help.  They help me at least.  My mom didn’t look too good at the end, so it has been really helpful to just go over family pictures growing up when we all looked younger.  My family spent part of the evening together last night listening to me talk about photos of our family vacations.  With my mom gone, it helps for my family to have more points of contact with her and my background.  We did something similar when Randall passed away.  It’s difficult to see some of those pictures and not get emotional, but I think that’s the point.  (Photo 1: Mom, older brother Rich and me, apparently not wanting a picture; Photo 2: Mom, her mom and me at high school graduation.  My photos have focused on mom and me because I’m not sure family members would approve of certain photos involving them.)

Specific memories help.  It’s has helped to hear specific things from people who actually knew mom.  Many of you never knew her and your remarks have blessed me in ways you can’t imagine, but there is something particularly moving about hearing from people who knew her, were affected by her, or can see her impact on me and my family.

I’m falling behind on my Psalm 119 blogging, but I’ll get back to that soon because I know mom would want me to stay focused on God and God’s word even as we grieve her absence.


  1. I remember staying with your grandma several times – love the picture. Your family has many memories for me. I have several of your mother in biblestudies, courtside at games between our dads, and times she spent with my mom. She was a good friend to my mom over many years.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear this. Somehow I’d missed your last post.

    You and Shannon have had a really hard summer by the sounds of it…

    I love that your Mom inspired in you such a love for God’s word. That’s an awesome legacy. She sounds kinda cool.

    Sending you and the whole family much love and prayers – praying God will have you in His hands.

  3. I”ve been thinking of you and praying for you (and Shannon as well). May you continue to find comfort in your photos and your memories. May you continue to be blessed by the encouragement of friends and family. Most of all, may you be find rest in God’s word.

  4. Don’t worry, you’ll see your Mom again soon! When you see her you won’t believe how brief it was that you were apart. Hang in there.

  5. Deborah, is saying, “Hang in there” to a grieving son supposed to be comforting? I’m 72 and I’ve lost my parents, my husband and two of my children, and no one has ever told me to hang in there, otherwise I’d slug them with my purse. Please calm your foolish tongue child.

  6. Thanks for your honest post Dave. I wish I could be there to hang with you and talk in person and look at photos. I did have two more memories, though, I wanted to share. The first one, and I can’t remember if I actually saw this or just think I did because of the way you or Rich talked about it, has to do with how your Dad would chase your Mom in the kitchen to tickle her. I think I remember you telling me there was even some circular part of your home in Ames where he would chase her. That always cracked me up. I could never imagine my parents doing that, and it really gave me a different picture of what marriage could look like. Also, I remember visiting your house and hearing that it was a Lamb tradition that you always had “TWO” deserts every night – TWO. I did not even have one. I remember having cookies and cake with ice cream at your house. That was awesome. Keep on sharing the memories and looking at the photos. It is good for your soul. Peace, Alex.

  7. Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat, Elizabeth, let’s dial it back a notch. You make it sound like I committed a mortal sin! Soak your feet please.

  8. Dave, I appreciate all that you have been sharing during your time of grief and remembrance. In the spirit of your note about specific memories, I wanted to share one specific memory I have of your mom, which is perhaps my only real encounter with your mom.

    This was when I was living with you guys, and she was in town also staying at your house. We were in the kitchen at the same time at the beginning of the day, and I was telling her about my work at The Enterprise Center as I was getting ready to head to work there. I remember her being such a focused listener and good question-asker.

    I don’t recall sharing anything meaningful or profound, but when I finished and got ready to leave your house, she asked to pray for me, and I remember her praying in particular for my safety. As I got on my bike to head to work, I pondered why she would pray for safety.

    Just as I hopped off the curb and onto the street, a car swerved in front of me and narrowly missed hitting me hard. I guess it didn’t take long to see how your mom’s prayer was of importance to my day.

    As I read your words about your mom’s life and her impact on her, my one real encounter with your mom seems so consistent with the person she was all her life. I’m really sorry about your loss, Dave, and I grieve with you. I join you in honoring your mom for the godly person she was and the influence she had on you and on so many others. Including me.

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