Tear Soup

By Molly Bice-Jackson - 12:01 PM

One of the best books given to me right after Lucy passed away is called "Tear Soup". Here is the synopsis given on the Tear Soup website:

Tear soup, a recipe for healing after loss, is a family story book that centers around an old and somewhat wise woman, Grandy. Grandy has just suffered a big loss in her life and so she is headed to the kitchen to make a special batch of Tear Soup. There she chooses the size pot that is right for her loss, and she puts on her apron because she knows it's going to be messy. And then Grandy starts to cry. At first she weeps, then she sobs, eventually she wails. Slowly the pot is filled with tears as the old woman steeps away. To season her soup Grandy adds memories, like the good times and the bad, the silly and the sad times. She does not want to forget even one precious memory of her loss.

I have been filling my pot of tear soup for almost 7 months now. Today it is getting an extra filling. I don't know why. Wait, I know why...it is the holidays. My sweet Lucy is not with me. It hurts. It hurts more than I can describe. I don't even know what to ask for as I pray. I don't know what to do. I don't know who to turn to. I don't know what I need. I'm just trying to breathe. I'm angry and sad and confused and in excruciating pain all at once. Sometimes you just want answers and they are no where to be found. Sometimes you just want comfort and can't find it. Sometimes you just want to stand in your kitchen over your gigantic pot of tear soup and cry until the pot overflows and pray that a friend will come over with their empty pot and let you fill it with more tears while they stand next to you and rub your back.

Her snow boots in her closet. her little shoes lined up nice and neat. Her favorite polka dot Mary Janes that she would fit into now.

Her winter coat. A littler girl was wearing the same coat on Temple square Friday night. WHERE IS MY LUCY??

Her scarf. The dress she was wearing the day she choked. I found it in a bag in her closet. The smell. The memories. The tears. The sobbing and wailing. The ache.

Lucy, Lucy, Lucy.

If your friend is the one making Tear Soup:

-Be mindful of birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries

-Be there for your friend, even when you don’t understand.

-Don’t assume that because your friend is having a good day that it means they are over their loss.

-Stick close to your friend and defend their right to grieve.

-Be a source of comfort by listening, laughing, and crying.

-Allow your friend to make mistakes…or at least to grieve differently from the way you would grieve.

-Send flowers. Send money, if you know this would help.

-Invite your friend to attend events together, as you normally would. Let them decide if they don’t want to attend.

-Send cards. The message doesn’t need to be long. Just let them know you haven’t forgotten them. Send one every few weeks for a while.

-Give your friend permission to grieve in front of you. Don’t change the subject or tell them not to cry or act uncomfortable when they do cry.

-Avoid offering easy answers and platitudes. This only invalidates the grief. Be patient. Don’t try to rush your friend through their grief.

-Try to anticipate what your friend may need. Bereaved persons sometimes don’t know what to ask for.

-Call your friend. Don’t worry about being a bother. Let your friend tell you if they don’t want to talk about their loss right now.

-Answering machines and e-mail are great ways to keep in touch, allowing the bereaved person to respond only when they feel up to it.


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32 Loving Lines

  1. Love you guys. Just keep breathing.

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  2. (((Molly)))
    I can only imagine the pain you are going through, especially at this holiday season. You are 1 day closer to your reunion with Lucy. I am sure somedays that is what will pull you through. On those other days, just know you are being thought of and prayed for. Hopefully the faith of many can pull you through on those dark days.

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  3. Molly, through my tears I just said a prayer for you. and then I said one for Vic. I wish I could do more. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you.

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  4. Miss Molly, How I wish there was something I could say that would take it away. All I can say is that I love you, truly I do, and I hardly even know you. Your heart is so pure and your grief is so fresh. I need your phone number so we can just chat. Lots and lots of love
    Michelle

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  5. Molls,
    I'm crying into all my big pots for you. I barely have any empty ones to spare to offer you. I know yours are overflowing. I haven't forgotten you or Vic or Lucy.

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  6. Oh Molly,
    I am so sorry for you loss and the pain you feel every minute of every day. I don't personally know you but I am the little sister of Vic's friend John Payne. I have shed many tears since the day John told me of the accident. I read your blog often, you have such a way with words. I pray for you & Vic and little Lucy almost daily. You have taught me to appreciate all that goes along with parenthood, even the challenging. Because I realize that in a short second, things could change. I am sorry you are hurting more today & wish I could help you through some of the pain. I have no idea how hard this must be for you & Vic. But I do pray for you. To make your days a little easier. Please tell Vic hello from John's annoying little sister. It has been so long I am not sure if he even remembers me. My sister & I were going through old pictures the other day and we found a handful of John & Vic back in the day. Back in the day..... like 90's style clothing. :) I hope you have a good week.
    Take care,
    Sandee (Payne) Prince
    princeposse@gmail.com

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  7. Molly,

    We give this book to birthmoms that place babies through our adoption agency. Such an amazing book!

    We are thinking about you often during this holiday season.

    Love you!

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  8. Dear Sweet Molly,

    I'm aching right along with you. The holidays are excruciatingly hard. I feel robbed of the warm, happy feelings of anticipation the holidays used to bring. Instead I avoid the shops, get truly annoyed by the music and feel as though I'm swimming in a fog as I witness the holiday unfold around me. But I can say it's easier than last year, and the year before that. I'm learning (as you are) to reinvent myself as a mother living with half a heart. We're survivors, but we're not alone. You're in my thoughts every day. Every time I miss Jenny I'm reminded that you're missing Lucy. I believe Jenny sometimes holds Lucy's hand and they send comforting thoughts to us together. Time may never heal, but it does create distance from the pain. Spring will be just around the corner my friend. Hang in there.

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  9. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of Lucy when I hug my little Sarah. You may have my pot to cry in...many times over.
    All my love

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  10. I've visited your site before; I hope you don't mind, but it really touches me and helps me to remember to make the most of everyday with my own children.

    God bless you & your family-

    Lynne in Illinois

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  11. Why did it take me so long to find your blog....I ache for you....I know you are trying to stand in the tide of this grief. It is so hard to stand....so very hard. I miss her too....so very much.

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  12. Oh Molly,

    Hang in there. I too love this book. It is such a good and honest help for those that grieve and those that stand by you. I think about you and your sweet angel Lucy nearly every day. I know how that first empty Christmas feels and I ache for you. If you ever want to chat (or cry) please call me...I would actually love your contact info...could you email it to me? Anyway thinking of and praying for you.

    Love,
    Cassi

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  13. Cyber (((hugs))) being sent your way. I wish I were closer to give them in person.
    I can ONLY imagine your pain.

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  14. I'm with you Mol, it's just a really hard time of year.
    I hope you can feel the light this Christmas.
    I loved your St. Lucia day celebrations. I think I'll make some sweet bread in honor of Lucy.
    Love you so much.
    You can do this.
    Tami

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  15. oh dear molly, just want you to know i still think of you often... i wish i were near you so i could bring over an empty pot for your tear soup today. love you.

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  16. About 18 years ago, I was enduring the most devastating ordeal of my entire life. Even worse, I wasn't getting the kind of help I expected to get from Heavenly Father. I felt alone, abandoned and hopeless, in spite of the faith I was clinging to for dear life. I couldn't understand why, through no fault of my own, I was experiencing such intense and prolonged suffering...so intense that I wondered if there would ever be any kind of healing at all. Like you, I didn't even know what to pray for, but I prayed constantly.

    It was in one of my worst moments, when I was filled with despair, that I came upon a portion of Philippians I had never noticed, the two verses just before the well known and oft-quoted 13th verse, "I can do all things though Christ, which strengtheneth me."

    Needless to say, this 13th verse holds great scriptural truth as well, but it was verses 11 and 12 of Paul's epistle that literally jumped off the page and spoke to me. These were the ones that struck my heart so strongly I wrote in the margin next to them: "my life's lesson." I'm not certain, but perhaps it is the prevailing lesson for all of us. I'd like to share them with you:

    11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
    12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
    13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

    These words came as personal revelation and answered my question at a core level. I was very much aware that "Men are that they might have joy," and I wanted my joy back. But the thing is, I already knew how to abound. In fact, I was wonderful at abounding. Now I was getting a chance to learn about the other side of the equation. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel that God inflicted the suffering upon me, not for a moment; rather, I think He allowed nature to take its course because He felt I would benefit in the long run from the opportunities for learning my suffering offered. Yes, life was meant to be joyful, but the pains ran as deep as the joys, and I needed to understand and experience both.

    Nearly 18 years later, I am still trying to be content in whatsoever state I am. I am still trying to submit my will to God's. I am still trying to understand the importance of experiencing the vast ranges of joy and sorrow that exist to help me learn what I came here to learn and become what I came here to become. I'm still not good at it, but I am learning to be hungry as well as full and to suffer need as well as abound. I am trying to trust that God has a better plan for me than the one I would fashion for myself. As I said, I am still not good at it. Fortunately, He is always there to carry me through.

    I can't tell you how sorry I am that your devastating crisis has to be the loss of your Lucy. I can think of nothing harder to bear, but I am convinced that you will somehow make a truce with it, in time. And the Lord will carry you and Vic through.

    It's good that you cry in your tear pot whenever you need to so you can keep your heart open. Laugh in it too, when you can. The joys will eventually outweigh the sorrows, and you'll be abounding again.

    Joyeux Noel...I loved your St. Lucia celebration, and I am keeping you and your growing family in my prayers.

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  17. I have never meet your family, but I feel like I know you all so well. I want to thank you for being so brave, and sharing your feeling with us, the Blogging Community. I will always remember your little Lucy. As time passes on more and more people will forget that you are still hurting, 1 year 2 years 5 years, The pain, although less, will still be there. But Know that there are some that will never forget. I will never forget. I pray for you often, and have even put your names in the Temple, more then once. It has been 11 years since my brother and sister were killed, and it still hurst from time to time. But I know now that losing a sibling is NOTHING compared to losing a child. The Lord does love you!!!

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  18. I love to see all the "You don't know me, but I found you through..." comments. You have touched so many hearts and lives.
    this was such a sweet post. My heart aches for you every day and you are in my prayers every day. I can't imagine the difficult task of going through a holiday season without seeing it through the eyes and wonderment of your sweet child.
    Thank you for all the tips to help people, too. There are so many times I feel so helpless. they are great suggestions.
    Love you.

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  19. I don't know you, nor you me but I think of you and your gorgeous girl so often.

    It's just not fair.

    x

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  20. Love you both. Just fill up those pots. What great catharthis. And I'm so glad you guys did the St Lucia bread thing. I'm sure it was wonderful. I wish we were up there and we would bring you our own bread in return.

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  21. I love that book and have been adding tears to my pots for 9 months now. It's so hard! I wish I could be there physically with you to add some tears to your pot as well. I think of you often. I look forward to meeting you someday--hopefully in January. This time of year is so much harder than I thought it would be. I'm so sorry any of us has to go through this. Know that I'm thinking and praying for you today.
    Love,
    andrea
    Wyatt's mommy

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  22. I just can't stop thinking about you guys. Even though I don't know you personally...your pain truly affects me, it is so REAL! May the Spirit of Christmas carry you through this Holiday Season. My little guy has a club foot, so we have been down to Primaries on a weekly basis for some time now. Every time I'm there I get this pit in my stomach, almost like I can visualize that day Lucy was brought there. It's Horrific. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Hang in there...you guys are rock solid!

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  23. I love that book and was also given it by a dear friend years ago. I hope you also realize how many tears have been added to the pot for you and for your beautiful family. My little girl is now the age of your sweet Lucy, and I often think that I wouldn't have the strength that you have shown. Thank you for your post and suggestions for others...often people/me just don't know what to do. Congrats on your little boy! Your family is loved!

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  24. Miss Molly, Lucy's mommy...you cry those tears. You fill those pots with tear soup. I pray for you and think of your little Lucy often. Your words inspire me when I visit your blog. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your precious Lucy with me.

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  25. Dear Molly,
    I remember the feelings you are describing, the pains are very real and physical. I know the feeling of kneeling and not knowing what to ask and sometimes wondering if I'm being heard. I remember the first Christmas came and went, and I thought it will never be the same again. But somewhere in all my grief I remembered why we have Christmas and Easter and why they mean more to me than ever before. This is all still very, very fresh for you. The picture of you at the cemetery touched my heart, especially seeing the fresh sod amid the rest of the grass that was knit together. Right now your heart feels like that broken up grass, and like the grass (gradually) it will grow back together and you will feel happy; and not just for fleeting moments. I hope you will find some joy this holiday season. I'll share my pot with you.

    with love from,
    Lesley

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  26. We've never met. I don't even remember how I found your blog....that I know read regularly. I lost my beloved younger brother 2 1/2 years ago. His death was sudden and unexpected. Reading your blog helps recenter me when my grief becomes large...and it helps me better understand the sorrow that fills my parents life...especially my mother's. I greatly appreciate your sharing your story...your grief.

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  27. Here's an empty pot, a back rub, and a hug from Montana. Just breathe.

    Molly, I just noticed that you served inthe Il Peoria mission--what years? My Grampy (AW Elrey)was the VC director at Nauvoo 1992-96 and I got to meet lots of fun sisters from your mish.

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  28. I really love that list! It is so important to know how to help others productively during difficult times and a reminder is always good. You are so good Molly!!! And you are so lucky to have Vic. I'm coming up to PC this week to see you and the Walkers...what day is best?

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  29. *clings*

    Oceans of love, millions of kisses dear sweet Miss Molly.
    I wish I could lend you both my shoulders... and my heart for you to lean on. I think I would hold you forever.

    I will pray harder for the Lord to give you strength.

    In love and faith,
    Djuna

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  30. I am thinking of you Molly and for that matter the whole family...I feel lost still after 5 years and I had dear sweet Aaron for 25 years the pain still comes and goes even after all this time..I have filled many pots with tears and will share mine with you..I send you my love and hugs too
    Love Aunt Linda

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  31. Sunday will be the one year anniversary of our sweet Jake's passing...I'm afraid my cup of tear soup is running over right now as well.

    Peace to you this season!

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