Probably the worst part of missing my mother, initially, was no longer hearing her moving through our house. I hadn’t realized how accustomed to it I’d grown and how comforted I was by those familiar sounds.
Ma was the consummate housewife and mother. She loved caring for her family, including keeping flower and vegetable gardens, maintaining a grape harbor, and canning her own crabapple jelly. I kid you not. This, in addition to raising four children and two grandchildren in the nurture and admonition of God even though all but my nephew and I rejected her guidance.
Through the VERY intense process of grieving, the Lord held me. He didn’t only hold my hand, He held me – all of my body and being – because I desperately needed it. My mother passed over on May 30 and, for me that year, there was no June. I’d been frozen to that date in my emotions; I wrote every check as that month, well into July. In a way, the trauma toyed with my sanity. At one point I literally felt myself slipping away, so I prayed. I urgently needed encouragement and threw myself on God’s mercy from an upstairs room in our home. I spoke to Him out of that desperation and dire need (as I was raised to do) and asked Him to rescue and help me. The stress of burying Ma, keeping “undesirables” away from her funeral, and trying to arrange for Medicare coverage of a $10,000.00 hospital bill weighed heavily upon my grieving heart. Indeed, sanity levels were at an all-time low.
Dawns were good, but nights without her were hard; probably because, to me, they symbolized “endings”, and I’d had enough of endings at that time.
Still, the Lord held me while I cried. I balled up tearfully on a couch at night, and went through work days in a mournful haze, knowing I had nothing to greet me at home but funeral arrangements, condolences, and bills. In between all that was only more grieving. I grieved until my griever was sore. I let it take its course – you have to, you know.
“To everything there is a season – a time for every purpose under Heaven. A time to be born and a time to die; … a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…” (Eccl. 3:1-2a, 4)
Grief seeks its level, my friends, and suppressing it never works. Its horrific waves must be allowed to crash the shores of our emotions for a timeframe specified by God. Otherwise, it will manifest itself in unholy and unhealthy ways.
So, I cried out to God for 30 days like there was no tomorrow because, without Ma, I felt there truly was none. I also grieved for her considerably beyond that time but, again, our God – our omnipotent, merciful Father – never left me. He moved me into just the place needed for Him to show Himself strongest to me.
God willing, more next week.
[Note to Readers: If you are grieving and need a prayer partner or a listening ear, please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I’d be blessed to pray for you and share God’s heart of wisdom with you.]