Tomorrow will be 5 weeks since my mom died. I honestly keep looking around and thinking, “how can my mom be gone?!” She was sick for so long, but we just never really thought she would actually die. Really. We joked about it (we’re just that kind of family). And even that last week of her life, when the doctors couldn’t stop the bleeding and I knew I needed to set up hospice for her, I did not think she was going to die. I was setting everything up so that she would be comfortable at home. Looking back, I know that God was helping us set up her passing, but at the time…I just…I still am in shock. I can’t stop the waves of emotion in which I look up from a perfectly normal moment and I want my mother so badly that it feels like my heart will explode. So, I sit and cry. And cry. And cry. I pray ridiculous things, like that I want her back. Nothing is impossible with God, right? 🙂 I. Want. Her. Back. I want to go back, and change everything. In my mind, I pretend that I had control over the situation, and that if we had made different decisions, she would still be here. I completely understand that none of this makes any sense, but now I also completely understand that grief is not sensible.
I will always be forever grateful for those last days with my mom. I got to spend some very precious, undistracted time with her and I will cherish those moments for the rest of my life. I had the extremely painful, beautiful, honor of being with her when her spirit left her body. The nurse came in seconds later and told us that she was still alive for another minute or so, but let me tell you my friends, I have no doubts about when my mom left us, or where she went.
I am also grateful to still have my daddy. Being able to talk to him is like being held. We are far away, and we know how we feel without even needing to talk, but I’m so glad we do. When I think about it, that’s how it was with Mom too. There was so much comfort in knowing her voice was so accessible, even if I couldn’t see her whenever I wanted to. I still listen to her voice, on days when I can bear it, and pretend she is not gone. Again, I didn’t say that grieving was sensible.
So when people tell me to “take time to grieve”, am I doing it? It is the weirdest advice. I know that one day I will look back and maybe see how it made sense, but to me, right now, this process does not seem like one I have any control over. I do have friends who have told me that they held it in. Some say they did not allow themselves to talk about their feelings or cry, and were left feeling angry, and sad for years to come. I think I understand how that could happen. So, I think my family and friends can attest to the fact (possibly in frustration!) that it is out there. I’m sad. I want want want to be done, but I am not.
These 5 weeks have definitely made me different. I’ve been able to talk with so many friends who have mourned the loss of children, and parents and found that these events change you. It reminds me of writing this blog, where I talked about things happening in life that are irrevocable. The realization that things jolt you to your core and you never really recover, you just become a new you, seems to be the crux of growing up. My perspective is much more eternal now; heavenward. I find myself annoyed that people can’t be bothered with this gospel truth that I have to share because ultimately, it will be ALL THAT MATTERS. Everything else will burn away. Whether or not you placed your faith in the one who loved you first, Jesus Christ, The Way, The Truth and The Life, will be everything when you meet him. Everything.
And so I beg you to take a moment to consider where Jesus fits into your life, if at all. I promise that I say this in absolute love for the people I…well, love. I don’t have the time or energy to worry anymore that I might be offending people. You will never be able to say that I didn’t share this with you. I’m reminded of the truth in James, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Life on earth is remarkably short. God made us to be with Him, but we have to choose Him to fulfill that destiny! In this past year, the crises of my life (infertility, adoption, surgery, pain, death), my relationship with Jesus has proven to be a very real thing. A living thing! Miraculous. Wonderous. Inexplicable. But if you ever want me to try to explain it to you, I can make your jaw drop when I tell you how real He has proven Himself to be.
“At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory God the Father.” Philippians 2:10&11