Monday, November 30, 2009


Honored to partake of the
“One word at a time blog carnival,”
with such delightful participants
hosted by our charismatic host Peter Pollock

GRIEF- a small word for such a great amount of pain
What happens to children, when someone very close to them dies, and they are left alone? Do they ever recover? How long is their grieving period? Many experts have told me that it takes a while. Maybe this was the exception to the rule, or maybe it was a psychological approach for the two girls to bear their miserable lives and to endure so much pain. Well I am here to tell you about two little girls that never ended the process of grieving until one was forty and the other thirty years old.

The story began in 1952, when I was more or less four and my sister a year younger, that’s when our mother died at least physically. Or should I say that’s what everyone said. My father, who was overseas in the service at the time, came home. We lived with some aunts for a while, and then we ended up living with our father .Living with abuse from our stepmother and a drunken father was no fun, so all my brothers and sisters were placed in different foster homes or orphanages. Family services placed us in a foster home, one after another. How come they did not keep us, we did all they told us too, even if we did not want too. We were helpless and innocent and yet we felt guilty.
My older brother said that many times he saw mother sitting or standing at the foot of his bed watching him as he slept, I believed him because I remember seeing her when I made my First Holy Communion, a day when I received Jesus for the first time. And many times I would be walking alone and afraid and would turn around and I would see her. You see we were afraid of everything.

All this time my sister and I had a broken heart and I guess to survive we kept our mother alive. More so than if she was dead. We spoke to her every day, and we constantly asked God to send her back to us. Since we had no mother
It was a mysterious relationship difficult to understand unless you were two little girls looking for love, instead receiving physical and mental abuse. Once we were hit so hard that we had a lot of bruises on our body but they told the teachers that we had the measles. We were so alone; no one would believe our story. We found out that it was just us and God.

We were made to feel that we were bad and ugly and beaten and not fed. We had no boots or coat or gloves to keep us warm, except our prayers, and talks to God. We were always sick.We went to bed hungry every night, and if we were fed at one home it was rotten food that had been kept for over weeks and then given to us, my little sister was so scared that she ate it, I would not eat meat on Friday because the sisters at school said it was a sin. (The Catholic Church forbade you to eat meat on Fridays as a form of penance and sacrifice, the rule is still effective now only for the 40 days of Lent, 40 days prior to Easter)

We cried every night until we became older and realized that mom was in heaven, then we would pray over and over asking God to let us go see our mom if He would not let her come to us. What an extraordinary faith we had, to believe that God could do all, including taking us to heaven. We did not know that in order to see our mother we had to die. We did not understand that concept until we became older and then we wished we were dead so that we could have our mom back.
I will skip many of the things we went through from sexual abuse to so much sorrow and sadness from one home to the other, “When will it stop” we tried everything from obeying, to running way, from going to stores and stealing for them, we could not talk to the other children, she always found out and then we got a beating. We even offered all our pain without complaining so that God would grant our wish and take us to heaven. We even told the priest in confession and no one listened.

Then later on in life, when I was roughly forty I was in attending my prayer group and was anointed and slain in the Spirit… I saw my mother and I kept crying and crying for hours, and as this vision of a person in dazzling white gown held my hand and took me through all my experiences in my life, then I finally stopped my grieving for my mom, for I then knew and was led to understand by God that it was not our fault and that she was there with God through all my experiences in life and finally I understood all, that she was our hope she was our guide leading us to God. I know I skipped a lot of the story but after all it was over thirty years. God has always been there and as He held my hand the day of my healing, He held it throughout all my sufferings and especially when my mom finally left to be with Him. He allowed her to be ever present in our lives for so long so that we had something to hope for during our struggles. Our faith never wavered, we found a friend in God, a friend that was there for us and always will be.


  1. I am sorry you had to go through all that, Bernadette. I am glad you found peace in God.

  2. I've never been called Charismatic before! :-)

    Wow. It's hard to believe that anyone would have to suffer through all of that - but I completely believe you.

    I don't have the words to express how sorry I am that that had to happen to you but I RWEALLY appreciate you sharing it with us.

  3. Peter said it so well... thank you for sharing such a personal and painful story of your life!

  4. It's an incredible story, Bernadette, and more incredible that you would share it with us. It's a beautiful picture of the healing power of grace.