Grief and the Holidays

This year for the first time in my life I have no desire whatsoever to move forward into the joyous season. I’d just rather skip right over all the silly season and wake up on December 26th, thank you very much!!

Grief hurts!

I’ve been visiting with a grief counselor who has helped somewhat. Although, honestly I believe one thing that will help is simply time.

Today I’m missing my sweet mother-in-law. We did not have the typical mother-daughter-in-law relationship. Ours was very special and unique!

It was more mother-daughter!

Right now where I live the leaves are falling from the trees. Actually, there’s a blanket of fallen leaves laying over our yard. Mom didn’t like to let leaves pile up. She was always concerned someone would come around and flip a cigarette out and start a fire. Even in her last days, she’d go outside and rake leaves all the while, needing her walker to help her walk. She’d worked hard all her life and did so as she was able to right up to the end. I admired her so very much!

I always called her ‘mom’. She passed away this past August!

I miss her fiercely! As I know my sweet beloved and his brother do as well!

I’ve realized the family dynamics change greatly when the previous generation is gone. Dad, my husband’s father, passed away in 2016.


This is mom and dad long before I came along. They were so much in love. And because of that love, presented a godly example of what it was like to be married. No, their life wasn’t easy for they both had to work hard all day every day for most of their lives. Yet, when the end of the day rolled around and they laid their heads on their pillow, there was contentment in sharing another day together!
What a lovely couple they made!

I don’t know how to do this grief stuff!

According to a quick search on the internet, grief is the response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or some living thing that has died, to which a bond or affection was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, grief also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, cultural, spiritual and philosophical dimensions.

I acknowledge that I’m in a deep season of grieving. I lost my mother in September 2019. I was with her when she exhaled her last breath. My dad passed in December 2020. I couldn’t be with him as the nursing home refused me to be with him! That still hurts deeply!

And now my precious mother-in-law!

Grief isn’t just about the passing of loved ones.

During the past few months, I’ve come to realize I’m not only grieving the loss of parents and sweet in-laws, but I’m also grieving the loss of my innocence. Having gone through horrific child abuse I learned early in life to pretend all was well and to stuff my true emotions way down deep on the inside of my soul. Well, that’s not healthy!

I believe I’ve been dealing with a lot of physical issues due to ignoring this pain within my soul!

How to deal with the grieving process (Grabbed this off the internet)

  1. Acknowledge your pain.
  2. Accept that grief can trigger many different and unexpected emotions.
  3. Understand that your grieving process will be unique to you.
  4. Seek out face-to-face support from people who care about you.
  5. Support yourself emotionally by taking care of yourself physically

The pain isn’t as bad as it was in the beginning, right after mom passed. I watched her exhale her last breath. I rejoice for I know she’s in Heaven and no longer suffering. Yet I surely miss her. I miss what might have been!

Over the past few months, I’m gaining more knowledge and understanding of what it means to simply sit with my pain.

I’m learning to embrace it!

I’m learning to talk to it!

I’m learning to touch it!

I’m learning to feel it!

I. Do. Not. Want. To. Feel. This. Pain!

Yet, I also know if I refuse to do so then my healing will take a lot longer. I don’t wanta prolong the healing that’s watching me as I grapple my way along this morbid path. I want to embrace my healing! Grab my healing and dance!

I simply refuse to drag this giant bag of pain and various attached emotions along behind me for the rest of my life!

I have way too much to live for!

I am so stinkin’ blessed with this incredible husband I have!


I am writing more books and they are being published!

Writing helps me release those demons who’ve messed with my mind.

Writing is healing!

Writing is a cleansing process. I’ve written a lot of letters lately to those who’ve hurt me in one way or another. I’m choosing on purpose to release them, to forgive them and move forward.

Does that mean the pain stops?

Nope!

Well, not for me anyway!

And one positive thing with all this pain junk is that I’m now realizing I can actually feel. That means I’m not stuffing it! I’m not pretending I’m okay when inside I’m falling apart!

Here’s a list of the first four books I’ve written.

Each of them are available on Amazon.

My first book.
Second book I wrote.
This was the third book I wrote. A hard one to write.

My latest book I’ve written. This book details the abuse I lived through during my childhood. Another hard one to write but very needed!


I’m currently working on book 3 in the Secret series as well as the story of my beloved and I. Both will be released in 2022.

I’m also learning to be gentle with myself. I used to put me last. I guess many of us do that for whatever reason. I’m now learning that I’m worth the effort of self-care. It’s not easy cuz I’m having to unlearn years of negative self-care and replace those learned behaviors with care for me.

I know that’s how my Abba Father desires me to do. He tells me that in His Word.

I know grieving is an important part of living. It means I’ve loved deeply. And was loved deeply!

I know I’m gonna be alright.

I also know this part of my life path is messy and hard and sad.

So if you see me, don’t fret!

Don’t think you need to be upbeat and joking around me. Sometimes I’d just like someone to sit with me. Not saying anything or doing anything special. Just being real.

It’s okay. We all experience grief and we all deal with it differently.

I’m just choosing to be raw and naked with mine! Maybe what I experience will help someone else!

I don’t know how we’ll do holidays this year.

I know the three of us will have Thanksgiving together. My beloved and I have been talking bout getting away on Christmas. Making new memories.

Our family is small…though not of our choice. Our son and his sweet family live far away which makes getting together often very hard. The other family members…..well right now there’s stuff going on so we just simply let ’em be and go on. We know God’s got it and He has them in His capable hands. For that we are thankful.

I am blessed….I hurt deeply but that simply means I’m allowing myself to finally feel!

And lordy, those feelings sometimes suck!

But…..I will rejoice!
I will keep on keeping on this healing path!
I will discover great and amazing blessings along the way!
And I will always be grateful for being able to feel!

That simply means I’m not dead yet!

I pray your holiday is comforting.

Don’t force yourself to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. It’s really not worth that effort. You, my friend, are so worth learning how to deeply love and respect yourself!

This year I refuse to put myself in a situation that could cause drama or crap! Life’s way too short for that stuff!

Blessings to you!

I Wept for You Today


I wept for you today
In the kindest most gentlest way
I wept for you today

Do you see the child within
So broken and so scared
I wept for you today

When will you stop running
When will you surrender
I wept for you today

I see that wounded one within
I sense the brokenness and the pain
I wept for you today

Do you feel so all alone
Hopeless and despaired
I wept for you today

I long to hold you to take your pain
But I hear you boost I’m fine
I wept for you today

I ache for the wounded little you
The one so scared and all alone
I wept for you today

When will you let go
When will it be enough
I wept for you today

It’s your choice to let go or not
It’s up to you to receive His love
I wept for you today

Please before it’s too late surrender
Allow Him to comfort you so well
I weep for you today

Freedom in Him can be had
Forgiveness is your key
I weep for you

You’re not alone
You are not rejected
I weep for you today

I pray for you

I weep for you today

~Pamela Richards-Woodall

Hope in a Pandemic

Strange title, huh?!

Yet, I have recently realized that for me, can’t speak for anyone else, I have indeed begun to find hope during this season.

We read in the Word in The Passion Translation, in Proverbs 13: 12, When hope’s dream seems to drag on and on, the delay can be depressing. But when at last your dream comes true, life’s sweetness will satisfy your soul.’

Same scripture in the New King James Version, Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

Either way, we can clearly read that without hope, we’re sure to experience depression and often times, defeat!

What do you hope in?

Is it….friends?

The government?

Weather?

Stock Market?

Leave it all to chance and hope for the best?

We all need to put our hope in something or someone!

I place my hope in Jesus Christ!

Photo by Yelena Odintsova on Pexels.com

Without Him I have no doubt I would not be here.

With all the many horrors I’ve experienced and lived through from childhood on….He is the only reason I live and breath!

So today I celebrate my hope in a pandemic!

I am gaining more and more healing during this time of mourning the passing of my sweet mother in law as well as both my parents over the past two years.

I’m also gaining healing over past traumas that have caused me great grief and saddness.

I am embracing newness of life as I uncover those hidden treasures the enemy has kept from me that were mine all along from Abba.

I encourage you to also begin seeking your hope!

Hope is energizing!

Hope is healing!

Hope is a sweet medicine bubbling up from the depths of one’s soul!

Photo by veeterzy on Pexels.com

Jesus is that tree of life we can draw strength from!

It is He who has sustained me and given me the ability to keep moving forward.

It is He who has comforted me when my heart was breaking because of hurtful words spoken by those near me.

It is He who has made a way where there seemed no way.

It is He who has proven time and again He is oh, so trustworthy.

It is He I run to and fling myself in His waiting arms when I feel so broken from grief.

Did you know grief isn’t just about that person who has died?

No, grief can also include mourning that broken relationship; time lost and never to be gained again; seasons of life that could have been avoided if only….grief comes to us in all shapes and sizes.

I pray that if you are in a grieving season you’ll be especially kind to yourself and also allow yourself to feel the feelings. Ya gotta feel it to heal it! May sound trite but it is truth!

Who or what are you hoping for today?

To what tree are you clinging?

I’d love to hear from you!

Massive blessings to you!

Drop me a line here or email me at pamelajwoodall@yahoo.com

Healing me? How?

A book in the Bible talks about seasons.

Ecclesiastes 3 tells that there is a time and season for many things under Heaven. Right now this is my time of healing.

1 There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

But how do I heal?

That I do not know!

What is healing?

This is what google tells me, the process of making or becoming sound or healthy again.

Wow…boy oh, do I need that!

And where do I even begin?

Healthy?

Was I ever healthy?

I’m honestly not sure!

I’ve had professionals tell me I should be in an insane asylum or dead because of the horrific amount of trauma I’ve experienced.

>Trafficked to men in the community until I was 11 years old to pay the ‘light bill‘ each month.

>Massive amounts of child abuse: physical, sexual, neglect, psychological.

>Given enemas’ over and over to ‘get the devil outta me’.

>Groomed to obey whatever ever was told to me.

And so much more.

I write about this and more in my latest book, House Full of Secrets: Human Trafficking and Redemption.

All of my books are available on Kindle or Amazon in paperback. A portion of all book sales goes to Broken Pieces No More Inc, a nonprofit my husband, a dear friend and I formed to raise awareness of child abuse and human trafficking.

Right now with all that’s going on I am stepping back from most areas and focusing on gaining my own deep, inner healing. If I’m not healed then I won’t be of much use to others. It is imperative that I gain my own healing as I want to be instrumental in helping others who have trod a similar path as I have. #healingispossible

We all need healing for we’ve all been hurt in some manner.

What are you hoping to heal within?

It is possible!

And you are not alone, no matter how much you or the enemy tries to convince you of..it’s a lie!

Never allow anyone to deny you this unique opportunity to gain that necessary healing either.

I pray you will be able to join me on a similar journey and grab hold of the healing you deserve.

I Feel Your Loss

You have been gone ten days today.

I sat and watched them lower your casket in the ground. I know some may think I’m morbid but for me that’s closure. I know it was only your body as you are now in Heaven with Jesus! And that reason alone causes me to rejoice!

Yet I miss you so very much!

I’ll never again hear you say, “Honey, I love you too!”

Even so, I’d never wanta bring you back to this earth with all that’s going on! You are in a much better place now!

So for this season, I will grieve and I will mourn your passing.

I will allow myself to feel all the feelings and emotions and I will grow all the better for it!

I will closely guard the precious memories of you I have!

And I will learn from this relationship and hopefully, allow my others to grow as a result.

I don’t fully understand the process of grieving, of mourning but I am learning and growing.

I miss you so very much!

And I love you deeply!

Thank you for teaching me all you did!

Anger and Grief

Do these two really go together?

I don’t know the answer to that but I suspect they do!

At least they do for me, here, tonight as I sit at my desk staring out into the darkness just on the other side of my window.

I find myself wondering if there’s anyone out there somewhere watching me! Lordy I surely hope not! No alarms are going off so I’m safe…for now!

My beloved is still at work though he will soon be home. Oh how I dearly miss him! And I so dislike him working this second shift but we know it’s only for a season. However, I pray I can maintain for the season no matter how long. I am very grateful for him and wonderfully blessed he is my husband!

This other season….this season of anger and despair and grief that seems as if it’s suffocating my very being….I do not like this season at all!

Anger!

Anger so white hot it seems as if it would sizzle my flesh right off my bones!

Anger that causes me to want to crumple up those who have hurt me into a small little ball of nothingness and throw them so very far away!

Anger!

What is anger?

It is an emotion that can produce a flight or fight feeling. It can bring on fear or depression. It can make you feel as if you’re going outta your mind.

Anger is a valid emotion.

Anger can also mask underlying emotions!

You can do some research on it.

For me, I know my anger is a mask of deeper emotions.

Emotions that have been swimming to the surface of my soul for years.

Why haven’t I felt them before now?

Well, I probably have though not to this degree!

You see as I’m now safely with my beloved, I am able to begin the process of really beginning to feel that horrific rejection and woundings from my childhood. Those things happened when my mother and grandmother and others viciously abused me.

I’m grateful for the forgiving process for I do believe I have begun that long ago and will continue.

Healing

Now, I need to focus on healing the little girl within!

I need to listen to her silent screams that are erupting from my soul!

I need to give her the attention she deserves as we work together to heal all those deep, burning wounds from long ago.

I need to acknowledge that what happened to her really happened to me.

Healing sucks and is very messy but oh, so necessary if one is hoping to live a healthy life. And I do!

So I will feel it to heal it no matter what!

I lived through the hell of it all and I will live through the recovery of me, the true me, the authentic me!!

I will grieve for the lost little me!

I will heal.

I will journal.

I will go hang out in nature.

I will let myself cry.

I will talk with my counselor.

I will heal because I am worth it!

I pray you too will find whatever healing you are needing. The effort is worth it!

#griefsucks #mentalhealthmatters

I do not like grief!

There…I said it!

My mom passed in September 2019 and my daddy died in December 2020.

My sweet mother in law, who is more of a momma to me, is in her end of life phase. Of course we never know when that final day will be..yet…we must grieve!

I have had to acknowledge I am not in a good place right now! I know it’s a part of life but still…I don’t like being here. Nevertheless, here I am and there I shall go and in the going I will gain healing and His peace!

I’ve realized over the past few weeks as we are preparing for the home going of my mother in law, I haven’t really allowed myself to grieve the loss of both my parents. Wow…the onslaught of emotions is huge!

How do you deal with grief?

My old way, which was to pretty much avoid the subject all together, hasn’t worked out too good yet!

Matter of fact, I will be seeing a grief counselor beginning next week for a season.

I encourage anyone in need to see professional help with any mental health issue.

Given the day we now live in with fear being spewed forth on all fronts, we are on overload! We hear fear based noise all day long…if we have the medium going. I chose to turn mine off!!

You do have that choice! Although many would like us to think we don’t!

Yes we do!

Yes you do!

Yes I do!

I want to make healthy choices for my life! As I’m walking through this season of grief I must make sure to destress often or I’ll be on grief overload which is not good for anyone!

Hanging out in nature helps me with destressing a lot!

Writing in my journal helps too. I dump feelings, emotions, thoughts no matter what. It helps me to get ’em all out so hopefully I’ll not pick ’em up again. Sometimes I do though then need to do the dumping all over again! Practice!

I encourage you to be active in processing your grief or even fear! Both can play havoc with our being. Make sure to take time for you because you are so worth it!

Until next time….blessings!

#secretsnomore

I am pleased and excited to announce that my latest book, House Full of Secrets: Human Trafficking and Redemption, is now available in paperback and kindle. Any of my books may be purchased through Amazon.

This was a very hard book to write as I shared a great deal of my own personal story. And in it I share parts of my soul with you. Parts of my soul I’d never want anyone to see; yet, I truly believe that I need to share my truth in order that others may know the freedom and hope I now experience.

I shared secrets.

My book shares secrets. Deep, dark, evil ones!

Those secrets I’d been forced to keep as a child ‘or else‘.

Secrets I am finally finding my voice to speak out!

Proverbs 31:8-9 tells us to speak out for those who do not yet have their own voice with which to speak.

I am choosing to lend my voice to any one who needs it!

I speak about all forms of child abuse: neglect….my emotional and mental needs were neglected as well as often times I went hungry although we had plenty of food.

Physical abuse where I was hit either with switches until my little legs were bleeding or beaten with a belt, of course, where no bruises would show.

Verbal abuse was a constant of hearing what a horrible person I was, that I wasn’t ever wanted and how my mother so wished I’d of been a boy or never even born, called all sorts of vile named and more!

Sexual abuse has always been a part of who I am. Or rather who I was!

My mother and grandmother trafficked me out to men in the community to ‘help pay the monthly light bill’. This went on until I was eleven. It ended when I put a shotgun to my grandmother’s forehead threatening to shoot her if anyone ever touched me again!

The sexual and physical abuse stopped but the verbal/mental abuse grew even worse!

Now I have way more peace and hope than ever before in my life. I know Whose I am and I also know I’m okay!

Photo by Yelena Odintsova on Pexels.com

I have gained a tremendous amount of healing for which I’m eternally thankful.

Life is so good!!

I have risen up out of the ashes more incredible than ever before.

I long to see others who are walking wounded gain their own personal healing and freedom.

This is a new and exciting time in my life. One where I am stepping out of my comfort zone doing things I’ve often dreamed about. Like speaking to anyone who’ll give a listen. Traveling and sharing my story so others can step into his or her own freedom!

This is a brand new path. I hope I’ll see you along the way.

I am available for speaking opportunities.

I have one local at a Celebrate Recovery spot at Faith. Hope. Love. Church of God in Somerset. Then I will be speaking in Winchester, Ohio at Daystar Christian Center on August 15th. And on October 9 and 10th I’ll be speaking at Lake Road Baptist Church in Morrow, Ohio.

I am available for conferences, workshops, clubs, schools, churches, organizations, etc. Wherever there is a need to help others share their secrets! I will be your voice!

What secrets have you been holding?

I’d love to hear from you.

You can let me know here or email me at pamelajwoodall@yahoo.com.

No one deserves to carry a burden of guilt and shame from being forced to keeping secrets!

There is freedom!!

I’m happier and more content now than I’ve ever been in my life!

Life is indeed good!!

Blessings to you this day!

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Abusive Mothers and Mother’s Day

This Sunday is the day set aside to celebrate mothers.

I’m seeing lots of commercials, shows, gift and card ideas for that special mother. While I do agree that honoring a mother is a grand thing to do, I want to speak to those who may not have a kind and healthy mother.

You see, I can relate to that indiviual.

My mother was abusive and anything but kind. For many years of my adult life I did what I thought others wanted me to do: Make the best out of a bad situation. Or, forgive and forget. Or stop replaying all the old hurts and just be nice. Or why can’t you just forgive her and be the good daughter?

Here’s a picture of my mom and I when I was around nine or ten years old.

I was a cute kid!

I’ve had people most of my life telling me things like, “Oh, you’re supposed to love your mother”; or, “after all, she’s your mother, she birthed you so the least you could do is take care of her”; or, “Well, maybe she was abused in her childhood, you don’t know, show some respect” and lots more!

That’s totally messed up!

I can’t find anywhere in my Bible telling me I must remain in an abusive relationship!

We can read several scriptures in the Word of how we’re to ‘honor our parents so our days will be long upon the earth’.

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, honor is to regard or treat (someone) with admiration and respect : to regard or treat with honor. b : to give special recognition to : to confer honor on. 2a : to live up to or fulfill the terms of honor a commitment. It says nothing about remaining in an abusive relationship!

Even trying to articulate my thoughts and feelings on this topic is challenging.

And I do believe I honored my mother as best I could even though we had a very hard relationship. I can now better understand that she was just mirroring what she saw her own mother do. After talking with mom about whether or not she knew I was being abused as a child, she confessed, “Of course I knew! It happened to me! Why shouldn’t it happen to you too? You’re no better than I am!”

Wow….alrighty then!

I’m so thankful I’ve gained much needed healing in this area. I still don’t have all the answers but the pain isn’t as bad as it has been either. My beloved understands that on this day I’ll probably wanta go hang out in nature, or spend the day with him alone…if our son and his family were near it’d be with them…but no, I just don’t make a big deal out of Mother’s Day.

For many, most I hope, Mother’s Day is a day to honor your mother. For me and others like me, not so much!

I’d never wish harm to my mother but I sure have wished she’d been a lot nicer and healthier.

On the very day she died the Hospice nurse came to me and asked, “Did you know your mother had been diagnosed with at least 12 different personalities?”

Well, no I sure didn’t but that explained so very much.

I did know she’d experienced a lot of child abuse herself. Two of her abusers were also my own, her mother and a brother! She was walking out learned behavior. She choose to repeat a pattern which can be unlearned and replaced with healthy behavior but she didn’t choose to walk that path. I choose to break that pattern!

Some years back I offered to help her find a good therapist to help her overcome so much pain and loss but she refused saying, “I’m just fine. It’s everyone else that has a problem.” Well, no, not so much!

So, on Mother’s Day I will be thankful for my son who made me a mother! I am very proud of him! He made me a mom!

I will also mourn the two babies I was not allowed to give birth to, Mary Grace and James Andrew, as they were ripped from my body at my mother’s insistence.

And I will be grateful for another year to celebrate the fact that with all I went through, I remain fairly healthy and sane. Well that last part could be debatable at times! lol

I will also celebrate another wonderful year with my beloved who makes me feel like a princess! I am deeply loved, well cared for and spoiled by my love!

If I were to give any words of comfort to any one hurting today because of an unhealthy mother it would be to forgive, simply forgive.

Easy?

Nope! Not at all but oh, so necessary!

For that person?

Nope!

For you and your family!

I used to believe that if I forgave those who’d hurt me that meant they were getting away with the wrongs they’d done scot free! I was wrong! Forgiving him or her for the terrible things they’d done to me was for me! Holding a grudge and wishing them bad was like me drinking poison, hoping they’d be sick or die. Silly right?

Forgiveness was for my freedom!

Jesus died on the cross for my freedom.

God says He will gain vengeance so I don’t have to worry about it.

Forgive others!

Forgive yourself!

I’m realizing I’m pretty stinkin’ alright! Others may not think so but that’s no big deal! Jesus does! My beloved does! That’s pretty amazing to me!

Today if your mother hurt you in anyway I am praying for you! I know it’s hard to let go of all those memories but I encourage you to do so. At least begin the process by opening up your hands so you’re not gripping the memories so tightly. Allow yourself to breath deeply knowing you are a good person! And remember, you are not your mother! Nor are you the abuse that was heaped on you!

You are a beautiful individual.

If this day is challenging I urge you to do something fun just for you. Let this day be for your healing and hope in a better tomorrow. It is possible!

Until next time, I bless you!

Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

You are beautiful!

Just a simple shout out to each of you!

You are beautiful!!!

What makes you feel beautiful?

A new dress? Well, maybe pants for the guys?

A fresh salon appointment?

Time spent in nature?

Praying and meditating?

What makes you feel beautiful?