When Love is A Four Letter Word for a Parent

by | Jan 7, 2014 | what you can do | 4 comments

sad heartI am the mother of a twenty-seven year old daughter who has struggled for years with a drug and alcohol sad heartaddiction, cutting, brain disorders (bipolar and more) and suicidal tendencies. It’s been a long, hard road full of countless experiences I thought I could not bear. In the last fifteen years my love for her has brought me intense pain and heartache. Love became a four letter word, but I have found my way to hope and peace, so I wrote this for those of you who are still trying to find your way there.
For brokenhearted parents love is a four letter word.
What was meant to bring joy has become a portal to pain,
A highway to hell,
A frightening roller coaster ride you can’t get off, that never stops.
A haunted house, a maze with no way out.
A hurricane with no eye of relief.
A wound that never heals.
Because we love our children deeply, we suffer deeply.
When they break, we break.
Their tears stain our cheeks.
We walk around with our hearts unprotected,
On the outside of our chests
Bleeding and exposed.
Their madness our insanity.
Could it be possible that their dying not be ours?
Our cold hearts beat again?
Our life not so wrapped up in theirs?
I believe that yes, it is.
Because of love, that four letter word.Yet love is also the place where hope lives.
Hope, another four letter word.
So hold on to love and hold onto hope
For Both are gifts from God.
In Him we love 
In Him we live
In Him make peace with pain
Until our dead hearts come back to life,
Until they beat again.

Though we break and bleed.
Wounds can heal.

Relief be found.

We can be restored.

In God                                                              hands with bandaid heart
In His life
In His presence
In His unfailing love
In that terribly, wonderful
Four letter word.
Brokenhearted parents can find
The pathway to continue to endure.


  1. Loriann

    Thank you friend….I have felt and continue to feel all these things. I would describe it as feeling out of place in your own world…like an outsider. After the drunk driver hit my baby girl the TBI took her away to a land I can’t navigate, but I am there too. I don’t know if I’ll ever again feel comfortable in my own skin, in my own family. So much is shattered. I love God, and He loves me yes. Still, I’m not home yet… I’m so far from home and in the land of the heartbroken and arid. To hear your poem, it helps. There are others too…
    Your friend on the pilgrim road, Loriann

    • denayohe

      I am so sorry, Loriann. I can feel your pain bleeding through your typed words. You have described it very well. TBI’s are spoken of so little, yet bring so much heartache to families. Life-altering. How long ago did this accident happen? I hope you have found a counselor to talk with. This would help you process your emotions, but it is a long road, isn’t it? I do know several very good counselors who do phone or skype appointments if you would be interested. Does your local hospital offer support groups for those who have experience this, or for their loved ones?
      Hold on to hope in this arid, heart-wrenching desert – and when you can’t hold on any more, know that God will hold on to you. I believe one day you will feel comfortable in your skin again, but it will be a new normal. It will be different, but you will make peace with it. As you turn to God, he will guide and direct your next step on this journey – to what will lead you to healing and wholeness. It is a slow process, though. Never fast enough for me. I pray you see yourself making the tiniest bit of progress today.
      Do you like to read, Loriann? If so, I will recommend a few books that have helped me on this path of suffering. Let me know.
      “We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.” (Psalm 33:20-22) Keep trusting, pilgrim friend.
      We are friends on this pilgrim road, yes, we are. Take comfort in that, in knowing you are not alone.

  2. Valerie

    Reblogged this on More Than Skin Deep~a self harm awareness project and commented:
    To my readers, this is a little different than what I usually post however this poem is a thought provoking look from the other side, of those who are standing by watching those who are struggling and who desperately want to show love to their own.

    • denayohe

      Glad to offer this perspective. I look forward to checking out your project!