I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are ever giving liberally and lending, and their children become a blessing. Psalm 37:25-26 NRSV

Thought

If you have lost your life partner, anxious moments may occur as you individuate and adjust to meet the needs of your children—or fit into the lives of adult children—who are now without a father or mother. Regardless of the ages of your children, your role as parent without the equal and opposite presence of your husband or wife is different—imperceptibly redefined. This is a kind of forced individuation. Young children and even teens may demand more of your time and energy. Grown children may perceive you as more dependent and in need of a substitute husband or wife, a role you neither desire nor want them to fulfill. You may feel ignored or hurt if they presume on your strength when, in fact, you need their support. In turn, they may feel inadequate to satisfy your emotional and physical needs. Whatever your loss, rebalancing relationships within a permanently altered family structure is an emotional complication of grief, especially as imperceptibly you continue to individuate.

Prayer

God, the structure of our family is confused by the death of the one loved and lost. I pray for your righteousness as I individuate and grow within our family. Amen.

Assurance

Relationships are complicated; each individual family has its own dynamic.

Originally published in Beyond the Broken Heart - Daily Devotions for Your Grief Journey,
Abingdon Press 2012