Oh, Mom would just love this!
Mom would be so excited!
Wouldn't this make Mom happy!
She'd get such a kick out of this!
It's been almost nine months since she entered heaven, yet Mom is still very much present.
Speaking her name and drawing her right into anything worth celebrating has kept her spirit alive and well in my heart.
It didn't start on purpose. But it's ended up being natural. And it's turned my mourning into gratitude.
These days, when people, places, or things she enjoyed pop up, I invite her right into the conversation. Delicious food. The ocean's majesty. House projects. Lovely flowers or beautiful music. Habitat for Humanity.
And anything that revolves around her family's antics, adventures, and accomplishments. Nothing that mattered to any of us was too insignificant for her focused attention and enthusiastic response.
Unbelievable!! she'd declare with a big smile.
She never drew attention to herself. Never complained. And found comfort and hope in her deeply personal relationship with Christ. It was always about Him ... and everyone else who crossed her path.
Sure, there's still moments of intense sadness. I want to send her snapshots of the great-grandkids and fill her in on all the latest happenings. I feel my stomach jolt when we drive by the Quaker Meeting House Road exit or as I push the cart through the supermarket and spot the Belvita or Taster's Choice or Depends. A big hug from one of her friends makes me ache with longing. And some worship songs lead me into a puddle of grief that leaves me drained for the rest of the day.
Yet because His mercies are new every morning, the daily bounty of good and lovely and excellent and praiseworthy gifts of grace come surging in again, filling my heart with gratitude. I'm compelled by Mom's life of extraordinary faith to focus on living in ways that honor Christ and would bring her a quiet satisfaction.
Grieving well is enabling me to release the trauma of that awful, endless, final season of her life. The pain is fading slowly but surely into the background even as peace and joy are taking center stage right where they belong.
What's helped you in your grief journey? What's hindered it?
3:19-26, 31-33, 55-58
Nine months isn't a very long time between big losses, my friend, so you've had a year of hard jolts. Praying for healing, but you are wise not to rush the process. So glad you are letting yourself feel all the feelings and cry all the tears. Your dear ones are worth it.ReplyDelete
Gosh, it's such exhausting work to 'feel all the feelings and cry all the tears' as you so well put it, Michele. But I've experienced what happens when everything gets pushed down inside over and over and over again. The anxiety, depression, imploding is not something I'm interested in repeating again.Delete
A couple of friends told me, while smiling, that whenever they're together, they cry. They've become safe for each other. And all I could say is, 'YES! That's what keeps us healthy and sane.'
Let the tears flow. The joy comes sooner than we think.
Memories are funny things aren't they? They can take us to the highest high or the lowest low. Knowing your mom was a Christ-follower makes it a bit easier to accept but doesn't take all the pain away. Taking comfort in those little things/memories is so important. Thanks for leading the way Linda.ReplyDelete
It truly is one day at a time, isn't it. I guess when you love hard you grieve hard, too. And that's the way God's shaped us.Delete
I don't think the triggers ever cease, Linda. Things that remind me of Mom happen when I least expect them. Yes, the rawness of the emotions seems to decrease with time, but the emotions are there nonetheless. Grief is just a part and parcel of this journey called life.ReplyDelete
Blessings, my friend!
I hear you, friend. These things pop up at the oddest times and can knock us right over with their intensity. Thanks for the hopeful reminder that the rawness eases. But oh yes, the emotions let us know that we are indeed alive. And we're all in good company. Thanks for being here.Delete
I know 9 months isn't a long time, but it doesn't seem like it's already been 9 months. It's nice that you have found ways to keep her Spirit alive and that is has helped with the grieving process. I have not lost either parent to death, so I can't say I know exactly what you are going through. Plus, we don't live close to each other, or see each other regularly, so it wouldn't be the same.ReplyDelete
Cindy, you're right. There's nothing that can prepare us for this kind of loss. I shy away when people try to give grief a 1-2-3 label or make up a step-by-step guide. Thankfully, God knows. And He's not going to abandon us in the middle of our sorrow. I'm so grateful. Thanks for reaching out.Delete
My precious Mama left here for her eternal home 16 years ago this April. I understand the grieving process and each of us handle it differently. Even though 16 years have passed, I still miss her every day. How I would love to call her or drop in as I did almost daily for a cup of coffee and always freshly prepared dessert. I keep a photo of her on a kitchen counter to remind me that her happy place was preparing food for all of her family and for anyone that needed cheering!ReplyDelete
Pam, just you sharing your story makes me feel like my heart's been heard. I remember the last dessert my Mom made us ... it took most of one whole day for her to pull together, a true labor of love. And yes, as soon as the dust settles and the paint dries, I'm going to dig around for a photo of her from back in the day and put it in the kitchen.Delete
Maybe it'll motivate me to cook more?!
Thank you for sharing your grief journey, Linda. Remembering our loved ones with joy does bring healing to our aching hearts. I agree with what others have said, that we always remember, but the rawness eases over time. May the Lord continue to give you grace in the grief journey and comfort your heart.ReplyDelete
Lisa, thanks for your encouraging presence here ...Delete
Sharing your grief process is so important, Linda. For us, and I'm sure for you. That is what helps me most. Loving family and friends who allow me to express what I miss...and the tender feeling. I've also benefitted from learning grief isn't reserved for loss of death. It permits much of my life and often in comforting ways. - DebbyReplyDelete
For sure, the loss of relationships, jobs, locations, churches, health, finances, all really impact who we are and how we define ourselves. The list goes on, doesn't it, Debby.Delete
Thanks for expanding the subject. When we love well, the hurt of loss runs deep.
What a timely email for me. My mom transitioned on Monday. God always knows what we need, doesn't He? Thanks, Linda.ReplyDelete
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Oh I'm so sorry, friend ... I'm praying for your family even as we speak.Delete
Speaking my father’s name and remembering his genuine and all-encompassing love for my children have helped me to grieve well. When the pain of missing him overwhelms me, I go someplace quiet and allow the tears to fall. The year after my dad died, my husband had a sign made for me. It contains a quote from a dream he had, where he encountered my Dad in a park. Knowing how sad I was, my husband asked my father in the dream, “What message can I give Jen from you?” His response: “Take a little piece of the Gospel and make it part of you every day.” The sign hangs in our bedroom, where I see it every day. ❤️ReplyDelete
Oh dear Jennifer, your story has touched me deeply. The love from your dad, your husband, and your Heavenly Father is so real and vibrant. Yes, God still speaks to us in our dreams and ministers to our broken hearts in the ways He deems best. I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciated your visit here with us today. For sure, I know that other readers will be moved by what you've shared.Delete
Please come back soon, ok?!
Thank you, Linda. Praying for you and your family.ReplyDelete
Victor, thanks ...Delete
Speak her name with trembled voice,ReplyDelete
speak her name with fragile smile,
speak her name, for it's your choice,
speak her name though pain's a trial.
Tell us of the things she loved,
the things she gathered on the shelf,
for in this you will not have shoved
the grief away from your true self.
Look back to her memory,
and honour her within your soul,
know that she will always be
by your side to keep you whole
until your path here is complete,
and full of tears, hearts once more meet.
Oh my, Andrew ... you've outdone yourself today. Thank you for weaving this beautiful ode. You have honored my Mom so well and I pray that God will bless you for this loveliest of gifts.Delete
WOW--this poem. What a beautiful gift of words.Delete
I think it's one of Andrew's finest. Ever.Delete
What a lovely idea. My mother comes to me almost as a breeze of thought throughout my daily living. As she passes by, I pause for a bit - sometimes sad, sometimes astonished by the similarities between us, always and always lonely for her. Thank you for reminding me to celebrate in my grief as well.ReplyDelete
Oh, 'a breeze of thought.' Yes, yes, that's so very true ... and so poignantly said, friend. Like a touch of angel's wings. I love this calming, personal image you've painted.Delete
I've worked with many grieving people and all the things you have shared are all the things we would talk about. Incorporating that person into your daily life is so important. It eases the grief in a beautiful way. Sending love your way as your journey continues.ReplyDelete
Jeanie, oh yes to 'incorporating that person into our daily life.' It makes me sad when it's forbidden or unwelcome to speak of someone who has died, like they didn't exist or the memories are too painful. We honor the lives of those we love by talking about the sweet times, the lessons learned, the legacy given. Even if we might have to search a bit to find a bit of hidden treasure.Delete
Thanks for giving a kind permission to those who might find this kind of remembrance difficult.
My dad passed away last year. It was around the time you were sharing your journey with your mom during the last days of her life. It really helped me cope with my own final journey with my dad.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Linda.
Hugs and blessings.
Oh Veronica, I am so sorry for your deep loss. I'm grateful we could somehow walk through this hard time together. God is good.Delete
This is beautiful! Today we are celebrating what would have been our son’s 34th birthday. I cannot let my mind wander back to all he had to go through with Leukemia. Focusing on the great times we had with him and talking about him is so helpful! Thank you for sharing your heart!ReplyDelete
Susan, I am struck by the timing of our paths crossing today. And I am touched that you are celebrating your son's legacy, the great times you had with him. You're so right, talking about him is helpful and gives him the honor that is due him. Thank you for inviting us into where you find yourself today.Delete
beautiful tender reflection - thank you for sharingReplyDelete
Thank you, gentle friend ...Delete
Those tears. They sometimes have a mind of their own. But I'm grateful for the cleansing they bring with them. I know you'll always miss your mom, Linda. She was a special mother, and you, a special daughter. Love you friend!ReplyDelete
Your words are reminding me of Michael W. Smith's old song, Healing RainDelete
Thanks, Lisa, for this loving acknowledgement this afternoon.
Oh Linda, I've been thinking about these words of yours since they first appeared in my inbox. You know I can relate to nearly every sentence. What a gift to be able to talk freely about those dear ones who loved us all our lives. In person and here in your comment section. Your mom's first Easter in heaven is coming up ... can you even imagine?ReplyDelete
You know I hadn't even thought about Easter. I still have her birthday in my mind ...Delete
Oh, Linda. . . what a poignant post. I'm so glad you're able to grieve this loss. When we stifle our feelings they end up coming out sideways, as I learned when my mom died many years ago. Bless you as you continue the journey.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I'm featuring you this week!
Richella, thank you for sharing this at your place. If just one of your readers discovers again that she is not alone, may God be praised.Delete
Linda, thank you for sharing your grief story with us. I agree certain things and smells bring back memories for me too. Sometimes I'll find myself saying mom or dad would have liked this or that.ReplyDelete
I so appreciate you sharing this special post with Sweet Tea & Friends this month my friend.
It's almost like a benediction, a prayer of blessing, to be able to say that someone we love would be happy over something that gives us joy or satisfaction.Delete