It was Mother’s Day weekend, and life was especially good. With our kids scattered across the country, the idea of traveling to Colorado to spend a couple days with our daughter, Amy, seemed like the perfect way to celebrate.

I stopped in an airport restaurant for breakfast and crossed paths with one of the friendliest waiters I’ve ever met. Lamar obviously loves people and loves his work. As he delivered my coffee and spinach omelet, we started to talk about Mother’s Day. Lamar’s face lit up as he described his amazing mom. He referred to himself unashamedly as a “mama’s boy.” His mom has a lot to be proud of in this fine young man.

A few minutes later, Lamar returned to my table and asked me about my mom. I casually responded, “She is in heaven.” There was no way to predict the crocodile tears that suddenly began to stream down my face with those four simple words. Mom has been gone fifteen years, and most of my tears now are tears of gratefulness to have had such an incredible and fun influence in my life. I remember wondering, shouldn’t there be a time limit on tsunamis of tears?

I could sense Lamar’s pain, thinking he had upset me. He sat down next to me, patted my back and gently assured me that it was OK to cry. I didn’t have the guts to tell him his words are quoted almost verbatim in my most recent book, Grief Survivor~ 28 Steps toward Hope and Healing. I didn’t have the heart to tell him, through the mascara dripping down my cheek, that I spend much of my life speaking and writing to help other people embrace life after loss. I doubt he would have believed me anyway!

Lamar’s compassion and kind words reminded me that it really is OK to cry; and it’s OK to laugh- no matter how long it’s been. I hope the Lord will place an angel like Lamar on your path right when you need him most.

Beth Marshall


Beth Marshall

Beth Marshall is a freelance journalist, speaker and author of two grief-related books. Grief Survivor, 28 Steps toward Hope and Healing; and A Time to Heal, a grief journal. After losing three close people in her life, Beth felt crushed and overwhelmed by the intense emotions of grief. As she began to write about her "uniquely awesome" family members, Marshall eventually began to smile again- and even laugh. Her hope is to help others discover joy-filled life after loss.

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