Amish Author Patricia Davids & The Day She Didn’t Want to Be Strong


Today I’m featuring a repeat of a blog which featres the story of an inspiring woman, Amish Author Patricia Davids who talks about the effect of often well meaning words and a day where she didn’t want to show strength. Here’s Patricia:

“You’re such a strong woman, Pat. You’ll get through this.”

I can’t tell you the number of people who said those words to me in the days following my husband’s illness and death last year. “You’re such a strong woman.” On the day of his funeral, I whispered to my daughter, “The next person who tells me how strong I am, I’m going to wrap my hands around their neck and show them just how strong I can be.”

I honestly didn’t want to do violence to my friends and family, but I didn’t want to be strong, either. Being strong meant I couldn’t fall apart. I couldn’t melt into a puddle of tears. I had to be the one who got things done. I had to make the funeral arrangements, call all the family, take his clothes to the mortuary and arrange for the dinner afterwards. I didn’t want to do any of those things. I didn’t want to be strong. I wanted to sit in a dark corner and weep.

Strength, like courage and faith, is something we hope and pray we will have when we need them. We can never be sure what we’re made of until we are called upon by the Lord to show our stuff.

Was I strong? I’m not sure. Was I brave? I have no idea, but things got done. Did I have faith? Yes, I know my beloved is with God, but it doesn’t make me less sad. I’m human, after all. Someone I loved was taken away from me. I survived. I’ve gone on with my life as best I can, but I will never tell a friend how strong she is in the face of her tragedy. Instead, I hope I will pick up as much of her burden as I can carry so she doesn’t have to be so strong.

Losing a beloved spouse is something we all dread and may have to face. I’m glad that Pat has been able to keep writing. What do you think is appropriate to say to a someone who has just lost a loved one? Suggestions?–Lyn

http://www.patriciadavids.com/

https://www.facebook.com/patricia.davids.77



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About Lyn Cote

Lyn Cote welcomes other authors to her "Strong Women, Brave Stories" blog to share stories of women who triumph over the challenges common to all women.
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29 Responses to Amish Author Patricia Davids & The Day She Didn’t Want to Be Strong

  1. Tracy Verdev says:

    I see this is an old post, but I wanted to respond anyway. I am an empath, which means I take on the emotions and experiences of others as though they are my own. I always have, I just didn’t realize that was happening when I was a kid. So, if I were to tell someone that I know how they feel, even though it never happened to me, it would be true. But I don’t say it, because they wouldn’t believe me.

    I am a writer, and as a writer I am always frustrated at times when others are hurting, because words fail to heal wounds. So what I do is…I tell them exactly that. And then I do my best to be as present as possible, especially after everyone goes home and the dust settles, because that’s when it gets real. And I tell them I will sit with them in it, and love them through it.

  2. jel says:

    Loved your new book!

  3. I am so sorry for your loss, Patricia. I truly am. My heart breaks for you.
    And, I’m with everyone else here about not knowing what to say. October 30, 2011 my 87 year old mother went home to be with the Lord. I had someone say to me that God needed her more than we did. What?! Forgive me if anyone here says that, but I found no comfort in those words. I might be married and in my mid-fifties but I still need my mom, and I miss her terribly. I shudder to think about losing my husband of 38 years. Also, on Mother’s Day of 2012 my brother-in-law of 43 years passed away. People said it was for the best. Best for whom? Him, perhaps, but not us. We loved him. Our only comfort in the loss of these two cherished family members was they both knew the Lord. My poor sister is trying so hard to be strong and apologizes when her eyes get misty or if she isn’t being strong. I keep telling her it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to show feelings, and that she doesn’t have to be strong for her or anyone else. I know people mean well, but when you lose your loved ones the last thing you want to hear is that God needed them more than we do or it’s for the best. A hug and/or a listening ear will suffice.

    Patricia, your book sounds awesome! Don’t add my name to the drawing though because my book, Groom Wanted, comes out this month too, so I’m going to Walmarts to get a copy of all of August’s Love Inspired books. *smiling* I so can’t wait to read yours, Patricia.

    God bless you,
    Debra Ullrick

    • Debra,
      So good to see you hear. I’m sorry for your loss, as well. People were trying to be comforting, I know they were and I respect that, but I heard so many hurtful things in the days after Dave passed away. I think the best thing I heard was from someone I didn’t know well. She said, “The healing will come. Not as fast or as slow as you might think, but it will come.”

      She was right. Slowly but surly I’m healing. I know you and your sister will, too. Hugs until then.

  4. Jackie Tessnair says:

    I am so sorry for your loss.I haven’t loss a spouse so I can’t say I know what you are going through.I can’t imagine what it would be like without the love of my life…it just terrifies me to think about it.So I know you have had a very hard time.I can imagine why people that has loss spouses goes through so many different emotions.Thanks for sharing with us…

    • Jackie, thanks for stopping by and posting a comment. Everyone deals with grief in their own way. A foundation of faith is a great comfort. I’ve been blessed to have an understanding and supportive family.

  5. Annette Davidson says:

    My best friend just lost her husband to cancer a few weeks ago. I have told her that I am here for her if she needs anything or ever wants to talk. I pray for her and let her know that I am praying for her. I try to let her lead me to her needs. I feel she needs alone time to grieve. When she does feel like talking or going to lunch I am here for her.
    Blessings to you.

    • Annette, I appreciate that you are giving your friend time to grieve alone. My only advice would be not to let too much time go by before you reach out to her. As a widow, I knew people who didn’t want to “upset” me by calling. Letting me talk about my husband didn’t upset me and still doesn’t. Feeling avoided upset me.

  6. i have not lost a spouse, but i have lost a father, and dear ones. Some suffered from cancer, some killed in accidents, some of medical error. Grief knows no class or age. God gave me two arms to hug, and i use them often, especially when there has been a loss. Prayer is the first and most important thing i can do, hugs are a close second.

  7. Megan Parsons says:

    I always tell them that I am sorry and that I am praying for them. Also let them know that I am here if they need anything at all.

  8. Kim F says:

    There isn’t anything you can say to someone to ease the pain of losing a loved one. I usually just give them a hug and tell them I am close by if they need me and then I send lots of prayers their way.

  9. Janet Dowell says:

    It is hard to know what to say to someone who has lost that special person in their life………….but I believe just being there for that person is important. Sometimes we need to be willing to listen without giving advice because a lot of times that person just needs a friend to listen.

  10. Jan Drexler says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, Patricia.

    We’ve lost five children through miscarriage, and I’ve learned that’s one grief that many people don’t understand. I’ve heard the most senseless and hurtful comments from people who really didn’t realize what they were saying.

    But I think my experiences from 20 years ago helped immensely when my father-in-law passed away in January. While other family members were busy trying to “do” something to help my mother-in-law through this time, she chose to spend the first couple days with my husband and I. She knew we would let her talk when she needed to talk, grieve when she needed to grieve, and laugh at the memories when she needed to laugh. I was a very good time, although it was so hard.

    I love the other Amish stories you’ve written for Love Inspired, and I’m looking forward to this one!

    • Jan, as I nurse I can relate to the hurtful things people say because they simply have no idea what a mother who has a miscarriage is going through. I understand that they think they are helping or being comforting. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m so glad you were able to be there for your mother-in-law.

  11. Judy DeVries says:

    Pat…I remember hearing about your husband’s passing. As I read the above it brought tears to my eyes. Personally I could see crawling in bed for awhile and not facing the world but none of us knows what we would do I suppose.
    I have found the best thing is no words. Hugs. Just a big quiet hug. We are across the country from where we grew up though and so I do see on the obituary page when people we know pass and it’s always been hard for me to say anything beyond..We are praying for you. Because I’d rather just give them the hug. Sorry…I ramble.

  12. Cheryl Baranski says:

    I try to offer a shoulder to cry on when ever they need it.
    I let them know to call me day or night.

  13. Mary Jackson says:

    I always say if it was good person, The Lord needed another angel. I have lost my whole family to cancer and I was young when my mother died and I know the Lord got the best angel when he called her home! This book sounds very good! Thanks for the great post!

  14. You got it exactly right, Amy. Even if talking about my husband makes me tear up, I still love to hear others tell stories about him and share how much he meant to them.

  15. Amy C says:

    I don’t know what to say to people when they have lost a loved one. I am so bad with words. They always come out wrong. For me it is best show actions of comfort instead of words.
    My grandpa passed away 8 years ago. He and grandma had been married for 72 years. What could I say that would be comforting. Knowing how bad I am at words, I just stuck by her. Cried with her, took her shopping, let her cook for me (she loved to cook and have someone to enjoy it), shared memories with her. I think she loved it when I asked about her and grandpa through the years. She was special. She passed a year ago this month, six months shy of turning 100 years old!

  16. Judy B says:

    I know exactly what Pat is talking about. When my husband died at the age of 44 due to a brain tumor I wanted to lash out, punch people in the face, throw myself on the floor and cry until the pain was gone. The last thing I wanted to hear was, God won’t give you more than what you can handle. Do you know how many times I heard this? I felt real true anger bubbling up inside of me. I would have preferred that friends and family would have just held me in their arms and let me cry. I mean really cry! No words were necessary I wish they would have just cried with me.

    I love Pat’s books. I would love to win a copy of, A Home For Hannah. Praying for you Pat. We do move on but we will never forget!

    Blessings!
    Judy
    sweetpea.judy(at)yahoo(dot)com

    • Judy B.
      Thanks for letting me know I wasn’t alone in my feelings of anger. You said exactly what I was feeling. I truly believe only someone who has been through a lost like ours can understand that no words are needed. No words help. Just hugs them and tell them how sorry you are for what they are going through.

      The other thing I noticed was how much my hand hurt at the end of the day. Everyone one who took it had to squeeze it.

      • Yes , them being there for you says more and word at that time it is better not to say anything unless they have loss their husband, they don’t know what you are going through. People don’t realize that you really need them in about a month after the funeral, but they are not around then, but God it always there. I know we question why this happy, but we will never know. My husband has been gone a long time, but some days it is just like it just happen. God bless you, and hang in there. Norma Stanforth