Identity “Crysis”

I want to scream…and cry.
I want to know how to rid myself of this lump in my throat and this ache in my heart.
I still want to know why I even have to deal with this identity crisis.
But I do.
I didn’t even consciously know this crisis existed until a specific moment this week, but now that I know, I have to do something… and that will be tough.

I had an epiphany. It was an eye-opening and heart-heavy experience, mixed with a whisper of freedom for my bondage. I could see it so clearly, and it hurt. And it embarrassed me. And it angered me.
But…worst of all, I knew “it” clearly identified me.

I used to be my own person. I used to know my identity. I was strong, I was creative, I was happy, I was “blessed”. I was a child of God.
I was Lorna Hering.

I lost her. Actually, she was abducted at 3:23 on December 28th, 2015 when Rhett died.
I don’t blame myself. I didn’t chose to lose myself.
The grief was all consuming. It ate me alive.
If you aren’t on this side of the “child loss equation”, you simply cannot understand.
It’s beyond your ability to comprehend the ripping and tearing of your DNA when your child dies.
And I have to admit… I used to be on the other side of that ugly equation too…and maybe I was a bit judgmental when people couldn’t move on after a loss or a tragedy. Maybe a bit too quick to think I had the answers. Maybe a bit too hasty to give up on a grief stricken soul. And, I was totally incapable of understanding the plight of parents who have had to live through such a deep identity crisis.

But I have had a shockingly-hard epiphany.
It breaks my heart and leaves me feeling lost.
I have totally forfeited my identity as anything other than Rhett’s momma. The dead kid’s mom. The lady who lost her boy in an ATV accident. The bereaved mother. The heartbroken shell of the ex-Lorna Hering.

I never did that intentionally. I just kept slipping and falling and grabbing on to Rhett. I did not and do not want to let him go. And to be honest, I don’t think I will ever successfully figure out how to really let him go as long as I am breathing.

But… I do have to give Rhett back to Rhett.
I have to let Rhett have his name and his identity back.
As much as I love being associated with that sweet boy of mine that died too soon, I hear God saying that I need to remember that I have my own identity…
I love that. I hate that.
It feels like freedom. It feels like heart break.
It feels like I’m abandoning my boy and letting go of his memory.
It feels like hope, like I’m letting go of heaviness.

Jesus says…
My real identity is that I belong to Him and share His DNA.
My real identity is that I am a child of God that has survived the unimaginable and am somehow now better equipped to help others.
My real identity is not “a bereaved mother” but “a beloved daughter” of the King.

I am Lorna Hering.
I have scars and bruises and rips.
But, I am still who He made me to be.
I am not just a product of the most devastating tragedy that my heart has ever known.
I am more.
I have to locate the real me again. I have to search for and reclaim my identity.
That does not mean that I am abandoning Rhett.
You must understand that I miss him and hurt the same as I did before this revelation.
It just means that I am ready to re-find ME.

And if you have sat with me during this “identity crysis”…thank you.
You have helped me reach the point of wanting to find myself again.
And I will need your help as I search for me.
And if you have been “offended” or put out by my identity crisis, please forgive me and maybe have a little extra grace for those like me…because this side of the “child loss equation” has been so hard on Rhett’s mom
…I mean me
…I mean Lorna Hering.

34 thoughts on “Identity “Crysis”

  1. Beautiful message daughter of mine. When you came by yesterday to see the girls, you looked especially beautiful…even glowing. Is that what I saw? I love you. grammy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this so much. I know it’s not at all the same, even though I don’t “know” as in by experience, but I feel I have somewhat of an understanding of that similar journey in finding my identity apart from infertility or the one amongst this group of 30 somethings who doesn’t have a child yet, or whatever. I have understanding of the hard yet beautiful of letting yourself step into that, while knowing all at the same time that what you are choosing to step out of is still reality, but yet somehow is not allowed to define you in the same way it once had. I hear that song “you make me brave,” HE makes us brave enough to step into HIS identity for us and HIS destiny for us, no matter what it looks like. I love you, and I pray for you all, and I look forward to one day when I am in town and we can actually work it out to grab a lunch or coffee or something and just be together ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. God bless you and help you. I can’t imagine. But we serve a mighty God. My grandson died for 25 min. I year ago. We’re lucky God sent him back. He does have brain damage. But we’re seeing God’s miracles every day. We are forever thankful and grateful for God allowing us to have our grandson Kylan.🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌. I just want you to know I will put you in my prayers. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock” Rev. 3:20 It is true. I stand at the door of your heart, day and night.
        Even when you are not listening, even when you doubt it could be Me, I am there–waiting to hold and comfort you, to smother you in MY LOVE.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Bless you, Lorna, as you step into this new identity, much stronger than you ever dreamed possible. The Lord has many great things in store for you.
    It has been my honor to follow your journey, to pray for you, to cry for your loss. Your broken heart has helped my heart to love more completely, just as your faith has helped my faith deepen. Never apologize for who you are. Your journey has brought glory to God.
    May the Lord bless you all the days of your life.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re turning an important corner in the grief process. The death of a child changes us in more ways than we can identify—but it doesn’t define us. We are still daughters of the King of Kings who have been equipped for His Kingdom work.

    For me, I simply grew weary of grieving—but it was also a conscious epiphany when I started living again, finding new ways to incorporate tragedy into my persona without using it as the filter for every thought and action.

    Blessings as you keep marching onward to Zion!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel that, Celeste. As I turn the corner, I’m still heart broken, but I’m hopeful for a better tomorrow. I am ever so thankful for strong, beautiful, Christian women like you who have paved this ugly road before me. Thank you!
      Love you much!


  6. It’s been 11 1/2 yrs for me since my son Chris was killed. I’m just now realizing how important it is to take care of myself. I’ve done many things in my sons memory over time. It was what I needed to do. Many times I let my depression and anxiety take over. I’m working really, really hard to be there for me, as Kat! My words for this year are “worthy” and “joy”. It’s such a tough road but I too am more than Chris’ mom, the son that was killed in Iraq and that’s very ok. Thank God for His goodness and the love and support of many.,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love you, sweet Lorna, mom of Ryan, Rhett and Mara, amazing teacher, and child of God. I hope you can learn to love your life again. You will still have many set backs I am sure, but you will do so with strength and grace as you always have.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dearest Lorna, I lost my son almost 22 years ago. I have never been able to express what that did to me. Thank you for saying it so well!! I am so sorry for your loss!!! Believe it or not, it will get easier. The hole in your heart will never go away but by God’s loving grace, it will get better!! Annie Raven

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I honestly don’t think you will have to search long. The Lorna Hering I have known and know, even now as a bereaved Mother, is a woman of strength and honor and has always been a BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER of the KING! You have walked these two years with tremendous grace! I have no doubt that is how you will continue to walk; helping others along the way! I pray as HE reminds you of who you are you will see yourself again as an original masterpiece that He has created!!! I love you dearly Precious One!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Foot Prints in the Sand. Jesus has carried you these last two years, he is now placing you on your feet and together one foot print at a time you will find your way, with Rhett tucked safely in your heart!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This so spoke to me. Thanks for blogging & helping in others. I am approaching 4 yrs. Since my son went ahead to Heaven and i feel so lost & stuck. Thanks for your encouragement, inspiration & insights. Praying for you and all on this journey. ❤💔💓


  12. I type through tears and marvel at your grace,bravery, resilience, eloquence and strength. Just know Lorna Hering, Rhett’s mom, child of God, (and the many other identities that make you “you”) that you inspire others. I continue to lift you up in prayer. Much love.


  13. Laura and I just were talking that we are beginning in the phase where you feel people thinking, “You should be over this.” And then, today, someone literally said it to Laura. I too, hope to refind my identity but we’ll always be different.


  14. Hello Lorna Hering. I’m Tammy Lillard. It’s nice to meet you. I live across the road. I love you as Ry, Rhett and Mara’s momma. I love you as “Audrey A’s” other momma. I love you as Paige’s teacher of all things word related and a person that sees her soul. I love you as Chase’s person. I love you in this “crysis.” I love you for wrong phone numbers. I love you as my friend. I just love you.. yesterday.. today.. tomorrow.. and always. That’s all. ❤️


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