I’m Stuck In a Paddleboat and I Am Pretty Sure I Need a Ship

I need a ship and all I have is this little paddleboat!


This ocean of grief makes me feel like I will never find my way to the shore of happiness again. This is such a strange feeling for me, I am the person who always has a smile on her face, finds the positive in literally every situation (and I do see a positive of my mom being healthy and whole in heaven, as that is what she was working toward the majority of her earthly life), and just is happy.

Today is better than yesterday (I don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow is not here yet) but the waves of grief are so overwhelming I feel like I am in a paddleboat, in the middle of the ocean, while there is a massive storm on all sides of me. I am in a paddleboat when I need a ship. Just like a paddle boat is not typically equipped to handle the hardest of storms, I don’t feel like I was very equipped to handle the pain that has come along with my mother’s death. I know it is only by the hand of God I have been able to function somewhat normally since my mom passed.

I think the hardest thing is thinking about the what-ifs. Like what if I could have prayed harder or had more faith…would she have lived? What if we tried a different treatment, would it have made a difference? What if I had spent more time with her, than I did, would it have made this any easier (I venture to say no)? What if I had gone with her to that one doctor appointment, would that have changed this course of things?

I know that none of this was a surprise to God, but goodness I wish I could have been prepared for the hurt and the pain of losing my mom. I, unfortunately, now understand when people say, “You will never understand the hurt of losing your parent until you experience it”. How right they are…we think we can empathize with them…I have always been a very feeling person my entire life and I do hurt when my friends hurt. However, the pain of when it is your parent (or spouse, child, etc) is so deep, that even though we hurt with our friends (and I would sob with them) we just don’t comprehend the depth of the pain, until we experience it.

Part of me does think that when my mom got to heaven’s gates, while she was excited to be with God in all his glory, someone probably had to explain just why she was there so early in life, ha. I could picture the entire exchange happening…”God, um I am happy to be here and all and am beyond excited to worship you and see my mansion, but I was only 57…so I feel like maybe this timing wasn’t quite right…wanna tell me what in the world happened?” My mom was such a character, I honestly could picture that…if anyone were going to ask God something like that, it would be her.

I always knew my mom (and my kids, my spouse, my family, my friends) was a child of God and he was gracious enough to loan her to us for almost 58 years. I wish I could have had a longer loan, but all things work together for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28), so I am just trying to make it through each day as best I can and hold onto that verse.

I don’t like these feelings of grief, sadness, hurt, heartbreak, and all the bazillion other feels I am feeling, but I will make it through them because I am my mother’s daughter. Even though I don’t feel very strong right now, I know that the same God-given strength she had is inside of me. So, I will keep pushing through this storm in my little paddleboat, because I know that the God I love and trust is the biggest ship of them all and he will keep me from going under completely, even if it seems like I am barely able to keep afloat.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalms 34:8)

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Hi! I'm Toni. I am a happily married, christian, momma of 3 living on Florida's sunny Gulf Coast. I am a lifestyle blogger and Seint Arist. I started blogging when my last child was born as a way to share my love of all things travel, cooking, beauty, recipes, and more. Now pull up a chair, grab a glass of sweet tea and let's get to know each other. I truly hope you enjoy getting A Daily Dose of Toni!


  1. 1

    So very sorry for your loss. Virtual hugs to you. I lost my mom in 2016 and it took me a long time to recover. I still have grief but it’s not overwhelming like it was for a little over a year. It’s okay to grieve and don’t put a time limit on how long you do.

    • 2

      Thank you for your words. I am so very sorry you have experienced this. I definitely don’t think I could put a time limit on it. My mom was my absolute best friend, so I am sure it will take me quite some time. But it is encouraging to know there will be a light at the end of the tunnel (even it takes a long time to get out of the tunnel). God bless you!

  2. 3

    So sorry for your loss. May God heal your heart soon. I loss my mom last year. So, I understand your pain.
    It was a year April 15,. I’m surprised at where I am with my grief now. I can laugh, smile and think about her again without doubling over. It will get easier. Hold on to the memories. God bless!

  3. 5

    I lost my mother almost 12 years ago, just after my 1st child was born. It was a shock and so overwhelming and sad. I am sorry to hear of your loss, as I know this is very difficult. I live in Florida also and enjoy your blog when life doesn’t keep me too busy. I can tell you the pain never really goes away but it does become easier to manage as time goes on. My thoughts a d prayers are with you.

    • 6

      Thank you so very much. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. It’s definitely a road I thought would come much later in life, even then I don’t think it would have been easier. They say you never know the pain until you experience it yourself…it’s so very true. Hugs!