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From Cradle to Cross: A Mother’s Joy and Pain


Every Good Friday was just like any other day for me. The streets are empty. Everything is still. At 3:00 PM, I’d bow my head in prayer and reflect on Jesus’ death. That is before the death of my son. I never knew what it felt to be the mother of Jesus, losing a son until of course, I lost my precious son 8 years ago. Even if Mother Mary knew that Jesus died to save us, she was just as inconsolable as any mother who lost a child. My son was “clinically dead” when I got to him and I did not see him suffer. Not that I am diminishing my own pain but I bet Mother Mary suffered one thousand times more than I did for every nail and insult given to her beloved son.

How does this pain feel? Imagine…

When I first become a mother, I experienced powerful feelings of protection. I realized I would do anything to keep my children safe from harm. They become my highest priority, the center of my new identity. My life radically changed; I gave up sleep, energy, privacy, free time. Being a mother expanded my sense of who I am, and I developed into a new person. I discovered strengths and skills I never knew I possessed: patience, empathy, attunement with another human being who is totally vulnerable. I accepted new and wide responsibilities, I looked and planned much further ahead, I put my child’s needs ahead of my own, I adapt to my child’s time-frame; I transformed into a sort of nurse, teacher, handyman, referee and so many other things too.

Mothers may also find out uncomfortable things we did not know before. But we change – and we change for always. We have a powerful desire to erect a ‘bright canopy’ over our child, to make their life as perfect as we can, to keep them safe against all harm.

It is this ‘bright canopy’ which is torn apart when our child dies. We lose a part of ourselves, not only because they are our children, but because of the way they have become entwined with our own identity. Our inner world is torn, as well as our outer world. We may experience an overwhelming sense of failure; we thought that we could keep them safe, protect them, and we have been shown in the harshest way possible that we were wrong. Whatever age our child is when they die, we still feel the wrongness of their death. The natural order of the universe is that parents die before their children; anything else is against nature, an accident, a catastrophe.

So as Mother Mary gazed up to see her son dying in agony on the Cross of Calvary, Jesus looked down and said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” Jesus indicated that his disciple, John, would take care of her from now on. A short time later, after Jesus bowed his head and gave up his spirit, a Roman soldier came by and pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, just to make sure he was dead.

How cruel!

Doesn’t every good mother feel their child’s pain?

You know they do.

But there is more to this pain and sorrow . . . more than loss and grief.

And though Mary, his mother, felt the sword pierce her own soul as she watched him dying on the cross, that pain would later be replaced by unbelievable joy and jubilation as her Son arose three days later, in the victory of Easter.

Through the pain and tears of the cross, the Hope of all Humanity had triumphed over sin and death.

In a very real sense then, our salvation — and the promise of new life in Christ — is born in pain.

I have reached a point, where life is good again. I know I will meet my precious son, my Luijoe when my time comes.

Those of us who believe in Jesus Christ, in His love and His promise of salvation, are the children of God.

And God says, “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.”

So no matter what we may be facing today or in the days to come, let us trust in the Lord — the One whose love for us surpasses even that of a mother for a child.


11 thoughts on “From Cradle to Cross: A Mother’s Joy and Pain”

  1. The first time I came across your blog and found out you lost your son, I experienced sadness and grief in a way that I think only mothers can know. I cannot imagine how painful it must have been for you, to see your son lifeless. But like you said, yes! Because of Jesus’ life and sacrifice on the cross, there is hope of you and your son being reunited again! And you can once more know the joy of seeing your son alive. Forever!

  2. Hi. I’ve enjoyed reading your articles and somehow I can relate to your stories about losing a child. I had a miscarriage 3 weeks ago and found out that I had blighted ovum when I was 11 weeks pregnant already. When they told me the baby didn’t form properly and they had to terminate the pregnancy, my husband and I were devastated. It was like losing a child too because we’ve already planned for so many things. We even had a name for the baby already. The doctors told me that it really happens sometimes and that I would have no problem if I try again, but the feeling of lost is still there. And now I’m still adjusting to the idea that I’m not pregnant anymore and I know one of these days I’ll heal both physically and emotionally. And I know God has a very good reason for letting it happen. Thanks for your articles. It helped me a lot to understand and deal with it.

  3. @stentorized- I didn’t realize Mother Mary’s pain until years later after my son’s death

    @cessaborro- there is grief in an early pregnancy loss. Take the time to feel the pain …

  4. What a beautiful post! I completely agree with everything you’ve written. The thought of Mary watching Jesus die came to me as I was watching my own son die…I felt like I could relate to her very well, yet at the same time I knew that her experience had to be soooo much worse than what I was experiencing. God blessed me with a beautiful and peaceful experience of holding my son as he died…I didn’t have to watch him being tortured. Just the thought of a mother having to go through that breaks my heart.
    I, like you, look forward with great anticipation….I can’t wait to see my son! I bet our boys know each other!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I’ll be back to read some more…

  5. Thanks for sharing Noemi. It really isn’t in the natural order of things for children to go ahead of their parents. With our belief in Easter and a gracious God though, we know that the time will come when we will be with all our loved ones who may have gone ahead again.

  6. ate noemi, thanks again for this post and giving me more meaning to my grief. I haven’t really come to terms with my mother’s death because i never saw her suffer. And now I realize, and you’re right, Mother Mary suffered immensely because she saw her Son dies before her own eyes – the suffering and all.

    And thanks, for reminding me again, that God will surely comfort us!!!

    God bless to you and your family!

  7. thank you for this post ms noemi.

    my niece Anne went back to our Father after spending a little less than 10 months here on earth- a good 3 months of those were in the PGH.

    thank you for this new perspective. we are all still struggling to cope, there are many, many, many good days, and there are… The Other Days…

    thank you again for sharing God’s revelations. may we all continue to find peace in knowing that God’s love for us through our Lord Jesus Christ transcends time, and space, and yes, even death!

    Happy Easter!

  8. you know, til now i donot know how i can express my grief. i lost my 26 yr old son last yr . he was held up and was shot in the heart only a few steps away from our house in one can console me tho they try and i understand but only a mother who also lost her child can say how i feel til son is a mountaineer, a video artist , an architect who is just starting his life.i bought books about life after death, spiri worlds, etc just to know where he is now. tho i know he is with the lord but still i like to ask the Lord if he is safe or what is he doing? i truly believe he is still with us as he has done so many proofs to communicate .i have accepted and acknowledge my grief but why is this feeling still with me?i think i also died and lost my ability to protect my children the way i did since they were young.thank you so much for your site. i now feel i’m not alone.but still i feel i am..goodness

  9. it’s almost been 8 years and still justice has not been served. Instead of griping about it, I will just continue with my advocacy and help those in need. Sometimes it is not easy after all the years. It gets harder just before the angel date or the anniversary date. Imagine 8 years without y Luijoe. I will recite later on.

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