Family Grief Life love

Pain of the Womb

Little pains me more than to know one of my children is distressed, and while seeing them suffer physically torments me, I’ve come to think their suffering in other ways may cause as much agony as does knowing they are in physical pain. My children are grown, two are grandparents themselves, so I am not speaking of small children who live rather straight-forward lives and who have no adult responsibilities or challenges. In what I believe was a thoughtful and caring way, I swatted the tushes of all four of mine, and while it was unpleasant to do so, even causing me to secretly cry a few times after so disciplining them, the pain I’m speaking of today extends beyond what I ever experienced with my little ones.

I note a flash of anguish, a cast of spirit, a hint of desolation, and my heart tears. Although I am careful not to pry into their business, and while they are cautious about burdening me with their problems, I am their mom, we are a family, so there are times when the edge, the shadow of a grappling is revealed. The hammer of this faltering economy has knocked a couple of them about, and I sense their defensiveness, their pride and their fear. I grieve. The shadowy awfulness of reality has hounded some when they dealt with children defiantly taking wrong direction, and so there was double heartbreak as my now grown child with agony smeared over his face stared at his little one, and I stared at the gnawing agony of my child …and we ached together.

Everything okay? I ask, and the shuffle, the averted eye, the evasion is telling. The contention may be such that I press to know and to help, or it may be that instinctively I turn to silence, and perhaps later I will hear, or perhaps never will I know, except for the shadowed manner, the blue beneath the eye, the hint of a twitch. It tears at me.

Pain of the womb is inevitable, for there are none closer and more dear than these who came from my body. That torment will overtake every being is certain. None escape, and because of this, because my children are part of me, ever tightly draws the bittersweet cord of life and of love. The inevitable result is pain.


Every careful writer when composing such a piece as this considers the feelings of his loved ones, and I am no exception. I have proceeded because I feel this strongly, and because I believe there may be others who read here who will relate to my thoughts. Perhaps such reading may assuage to some degree your pain, for it is helpful to know that everyone suffers. Everyone. There are no perfect people. There is no perfect family. We all struggle as we wend our way through life. Sometimes we make right decisions; other times we do not. Sometimes we glow with pleasure and pride at our children; other times we weep. Everyone. Every family.

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 81 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 64 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

11 replies on “Pain of the Womb”

Nita, it’s so good to hear from you, and you bring up a great point when you observe that when our loved ones go through difficult days, this can be a great time of building character and of learning to depend on God. How true this is.

In one of my books–can’t recall right now which one–I speak of a caterpillar, which is, as we all know, the larvae of a butterfly. There comes a time when the caterpillar has morphed into a butterfly and is ready to emerge from his tight cocoon, and one may observe the struggle–the movement as the butterfly tries to emerge. It is tempting to try to help, to reach to the cocoon and release the now developed butterfly. But if one, though well-intentioned, offers such aid, the butterfly will falter and will die. It takes the struggle for him to survive.

You have reminded us of this, Nita. A great lesson. Thank you.

Love you so much.


How wonderfully written. I believe you have put in words what every family feels at one time or another. We want to fix the hurts, ease the pain and make every thing all right. I try to remind myself that the hard times that our loved ones go through are building character and strength and a dependence on God.


BRENDA, there you are, and as usual, with such kind comments. I love you; you know that. I’m going to call you in a day or two.

KATRINA, I wish I could make it better. I truly wish I could. And although I feel helpless in the face of your pain, I remind you of something you already know; rejoice that you know our Jesus, try to relax in His presence, and count on His Word…which does not fail us. Life is sometimes cruel and always complex; impossible for us to quite fathom. Think about it, though. Your hurting child is blessed. He/She has a loving mother who has told the story of Jesus, and who is available to patch up the hurts if that can be done on this earth.

Please let me know how you are doing from time to time.


Sis. Buxton, I lay awake most of the night in pain over the pain that one of my children is going thru right now. It felt so heavy to me that I thought my heart would actually give out. Your post was most timely. It is so hard when you can no longer make things right for them and kiss the hurt away. Thank you for being willing to open your heart to ease mine.


Thank you for using your beautiful God given gift of writing to continue to be an inspiration to others. You make me smile and make me cry, but always touch my heart.


Leah, you are often in my heart and thoughts these days. I pray for you and love you. Thank you for visiting my site and for your sweet comments.

(Many of you may not know that within the last few weeks, Leah’s young husband died, leaving her with two young children, one of whom is challenged by Cerebral Palsy. She is the epitome of strength and faith. Please add Leah to your prayers.)


Good morning, Patricia. Thank you so much for visiting my site and for leaving a comment. I sense your angst and I believe you know I certainly relate to it. I can’t think there is a mother alive who has not traipsed through these very emotions…and sad to say (or happy to say, depending on how we look at it) to our grave we will bear these “joyful burdens.”

Your last sentence is our key: We must have God’s direction! Marvelous thought: He is eager to give it to us.

Hope you’re here and “talking” often.



Leah Buxton Doyle Beautifully written as usual Aunt Shirley. i love that you share your heart and your wisdom. You’ll never know how much I glean from each nugget you share. Thanks. I love you Leah

(Posted first on Facebook sjb)


Right on Shirley…

You said it wonderfully. I’d hope as the years fade I’d get better at handling such things. Now, I realize it’s not a problem. Just who God designed me to be a: nurturer, compassionate, and concerned for the well being of my children. It can help me to pray more completely. Even if my children never understand who I am, God knows the task He has put before me. I just need His wisdom in my interactions with my children.


Good morning, Becky. It’s true, isn’t it that while our children bring us the deepest joy, they may also bring us the deepest pain. I’m so blessed that all my children are serving God. Two of my sons are preachers, and Mike here in Lake Havasu is deeply involved in our church–teaches both our Christian Intervention classes. Our daughter goes to Brother Booker’s church in Rialto. But “life” still accosts them and their own, and when it happens, I ache for them…

It’s 5:30 as I write this. At 7:00 I’ll be going to the church for morning prayer. I’m going to be calling your name, Becky. Take courage. Be comforted. Lean on Jesus.


This came at just the right time for me, Shirley. Thank you for posting it. I can imagine what is in your heart because I know what it is mine, and it does help to know that I am not alone.


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