A Daughter’s Pain

But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting

on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, ~Psalm 103:17


{By far, the HARDEST part of losing my husband has been walking beside my children as they navigate their own grief.  This article is a personal excerpt out of a prayer journal I keep for my daughter.  My son has a similar entry in his.}


A nine year old girl should never have to sit across the breakfast table from her hero and hear he is dying.


She shouldn’t have to experience the shock of hearing months later that the doctors had it wrong and her Daddy’s rare form of leukemia wouldn’t take him, but would change the lives of her family members forever.  Only to hear at the age of eleven that he is battling another new cancer.


A fifth grade girl should not spend her Spring Break moving her parents into an apartment 425 miles away their from home, then returning home with her sixth grade brother to be cared for by extended family.


She shouldn’t have to endure the next two years separated from her parents more than she is with them due to out of state cancer treatments and lengthy hospital stays.


She never should have her eyes see the horrors of a strong man shrinking away in a cancer riddled body.


She shouldn’t have to hold this man’s hand as he lay in a coma experiencing a series of strokes and seizures.


She shouldn’t have to sweetly “shush” his agonizing moans.


No thirteen year old daughter should ever have to stand over the hospice bed of the greatest love of her young life while he takes his final breath.


She should not have to choose a dress to wear for her father’s funeral.


And no fourteen year old young lady should have to spread her Daddy’s ashes at their favorite annual vacation spot.

macie and tim2


Today, as deeply as my heart is shattered and breaking for my own loss as well as the tremendous loss my children are experiencing, I stand in awe of my daughter.


She is not like other fifteen year old girls.  She has witnessed too much heartache and unspeakable sorrow.  She has matured beyond childhood in many ways, and yet is still just a girl who deeply loves and desperately needs her Dad.


As she ventures forward in this life, learning, growing, navigating complex relationships; my prayer is…


*that her loss both strengthens and softens her.

*that the horrors her eyes have witnessed somehow bring a deeper acceptance of and compassion for others.

*that the love affair between her Daddy and me built enough memories in her young mind for her to know what a strong marriage centered on the foundation of Christ is like.  Not that we were perfect, but that even through our imperfections, God made us perfect for each other.  I pray she finds the one who God is already molding to be hers and that she is sensitive to the work He is doing to prepare her for him.

*that she continues to lean hard into God.  Praying earnestly and listening intently as He guides her through the final years of adolescence into adulthood.


Her healing process will continue until she draws her own final breath.  She has many firsts without her Dad yet to experience, many tears yet to cry, and many frustrations yet to overcome.

She lost too much far too soon.  She has walked a difficult path for years and is finally emerging into the light of living life fully again.  In many ways, she reminds me of a butterfly.  She has had to spend a great deal of time immersed in darkness, and it has made her who she is.  The layers of a happy, loving childhood; intense trauma and sorrow; fierce love and loyalty, they intricately interlace to form beautiful wings that will help her fly.

And fly, she will.  She loves deeper.  She dreams bolder.  She sees the value and goodness in a person quickly.  There is a strength that radiates from her soul that can only come from Christ.

I am honored to be her Momma and proud to watch God working in her life.

Father God, You promise to be a Father to orphans.  Your steadfast love and righteousness are gifts for generations of those who fear You.  I lift the children of each widow who reads this to Your throne right now.  Lord, guide them in your ways, comfort them as only You can, and transform their pain into something beautiful that brings glory to You.  Amen. 


Lori meet usLori Reynolds Streller is a mother of two who finds herself smack dab in the middle of widowhood.  She is choosing a life of gratitude by intentionally living this new life well.  She answers to Mom, daughter, sister, aunt and friend.  Her sanity is fueled by daily time with Jesus and a lot of coffee.  Boot camp workouts and running are her stress relievers.  As a writer/speaker for aNew Season/A Widow’s Might Ministries, Lori uses her sense of humor and her reliance on God’s faithfulness to minister to others.  She boldly claims the goodness of her Lord in the midst of chaotic suffering.


If you are interested in having Lori speak at your church or function, email her at admin@anewseason.net.

Other articles written by this author:Lori Reynolds Streller

See more A Widow’s Might Articles on Parenting:

Parenting Thru Grief

Mission: Parenting



5 replies
  1. Teteyian
    Teteyian says:

    It’s been 40days since we lay my husband to rest. He left behind two young daughters aged 7 , & 1. To say am heartbroken is definitely an understatement. My prayer is that my daughters and I will have the strength to move on from this tragic loss.

    • Lori Reynolds Streller
      Lori Reynolds Streller says:

      Your loss is so fresh, your aching so raw. I am truly sorry for this devastation in the lives of you and your daughters. I pray God’s strength carries and protects you as you navigate your grief. He is faithful. I am witness to His faithfulness.

  2. Candy
    Candy says:

    Tears flowed down my cheeks as I read this. I have 4 daughters who walked through their dad’s illness and death with me. They were all married, but that doesn’t lessen the pain. Thank you, Lori, for sharing this. Our girls have been forever changed.

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