ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Help Someone who is Mourning

Updated on May 26, 2011
Flickr photo by Zaxl4
Flickr photo by Zaxl4

A long awaited four-day weekend had finally arrived. I packed my duffel bag with haste anticipating the road trip I was about to embark on with a few close friends. I could not have asked for better companions. The drive passed with ease as the four of us young men engaged in provocative conversation and as exclamations of delight in God’s creation flowed freely from our mouths.

I had already taken into consideration that upon my return on Sunday night I would be welcomed by a sizeable load of homework and I would have become indebted no little sum to the keeper of sleep. This by no means seemed insuperable though and hardly tinted the ecstasy I was experiencing.

We spent our time in Seattle, exploring every part that was accessible to us. We slept on the floor of a church and walked the streets late into the night meeting the most diverse set of people I could have imagined. My heart was light and I felt alive.

The adventure fulfilled my expectations completely. I pulled into my driveway as the sun was setting expecting to be warmly welcomed by my parents and then rapidly finish my homework. I stepped out of my car door and everything changed in the blink of an eye:

“Oh, Drew! I am so glad you made it back. I didn’t want you to come home to an empty house. Join me; your dad is in the hospital.” I heard my mom exclaim.

Entering the hospital room, I was grieved to see my father in such a weak state. His body was covered in rash, which ate away his rough skin leaving tender flesh exposed. His mouth was festering with sores making it painful to utter even the shortest of sentences. My ultra-marathon running father had been reduced to a poor man who needed assistance to take on a seated position.

The loss of a parent due to illness, injury, divorce or death affects a child or young adult drastically; physically, mentally and emotionally. It can also call a child to step up in maturity and grow through the trials they are faced with. My experience with this is minimal in comparison with the tragedies that many young people are forced to endure, but it tore me from bliss and made me aware.

My father was transported an hour north to OHSU and was in critical condition through thanksgiving, his birthday, my brother’s birthday – he stayed in the hospital through Christmas and New Years. Everything was so much different; the omission of a father left me drained (physically, spiritually and emotionally) beyond belief. Along with my normal workload – which often feels over-bearing in its self – it was considered my responsibility to execute the fatherly duties throughout the house and at the apartments of which he is landlord. My mother was so often at my father’s side that I assumed many of her duties throughout the house as well. I found myself doing the laundry and cleaning the kitchen as my homework called from my yet unopened backpack. On top of these additions, I found myself at the hospital frequently, which greatly reduced the productive hours in my day.

Less than a week ago I had the opportunity to converse with a sophomore in high school named Jordan who had within the last month lost his father in a fatal car accident. I had been an acquaintance with Jordon for some time and have always admired him for his joy and ready smile. What I now saw was a far cry from what I had remembered. His demeanor was that of an old man. His eyes shone as if a flood of tears were to brim over his eyelid at any moment.

“Before my dad died, I was getting my life back together. I stopped drinking and was really starting to apply myself in school. As soon as I heard news that my dad was killed, I opened up the cabinet that contained alcohol and I began to drown my emotions. Even now I have been drinking and am –“his body began convulsing and he remained silent as tears gushed from his eyes and he was overcome by sorrow.

My life continued as my Papa was lying in his hospital bed, but any joy I experienced during this week was tainted by overtones of worry and sorrow. Many people have counted on me for some time to be the resolute and comforting listener they need in times of strife. I never expected to be the one in need. These days, I was so in need of peer and adult support that I am still inexpressibly grateful (over a year later) for those who came along side me.

I specifically recall two of my friends driving up to the hospital with some candy when my dad was in his most critical state. I didn’t know either of these friends very well, but I appreciated their visit so deeply (they didn’t do anything extraordinary, they were simply there for me; they were friends) and I still regard them as two of my most intimate friends.

A dear friend of mine; Marcus has lived solely with his brother and mother for years due to a divorce in which his father broke ties with his sons. Since that day, Josh has not been effective in school and is currently struggling to meet the requirements for graduation. The absence of a father figure in his life relinquished his ambition to do well in school.

The beginning of this year a passion had sparked within me for writing. Just before my four-day weekend I had been informed that I had the highest grade in my AP Literature class and was doing well in College Writing. The months that my dad was in the hospital, all of this changed. I failed to turn in much of my homework and my class participation was minimal.

Any attempt I made to do my homework was stopped short by guilt. Any time that I spent at home, I felt should be spent at my father’s side. My dad asked me sincerely to take care of myself before him, but I could not. More debilitating than my draw to the hospital was a feeling that I had much more pressing matters to grapple with than to conduct a two-page explication on a sonnet by Wordsworth. I felt that I would benefit much more from processing my own feelings than I would from reading the gloomy tale of Frankenstein and his shunned creation.

My dad is now home, recovering from the sickness, which transformed his able body into an immobile mass. My mind is greatly relieved and my grades are said to be back on the rise. I have had the liberty to take many naps and no longer owe my eyelids any extra rest. For many people who lose their parents, this is not the case. Instead of being a trying era, they find themselves in a life-long situation that they must learn to handle.

In dealing with such hardships some arise to their full potential. This select few decide not to succumb to their circumstances, but to use it as a stepping-stone to reach the highest goals. As James the brother of Jesus urges, “consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Those of us who do not have to live in such a difficult spot are blessed beyond our imagination. It is necessary that we do not take this for granted. We must understand that many students who arrive at school late and disheveled everyday have much more on their plates than we could hope to endure. Instead of judging these people, it is imperative that we come along-side them and assist them through their struggles. If we do this, these people will likely rise from their sorrows and find that their task is surmountable.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • apStumbo profile imageAUTHOR

      apStumbo 

      8 years ago

      Wow. Thank you very much jjs!

    • profile image

      jjs 

      8 years ago

      great piece. great ability with words. great content. you are an exceptional young man!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)