I’ve tried to write this first post after Mom’s death at least a dozen times. I usually get through the first sentence, then I get so mad I start yelling and then I end up in tears. We’ll see how far I make it on this one.
It’s been nearly 8 months since she passed on April 18th. Will I ever forget that date? Is it really as important as a birth date? A death date? Maybe it’s just one of those things that sticks, even though you never made a point to remember it. It’s just there. Death is a strange thing. I thought I understood it all. People live, and then they die. No one makes it out of here alive. And yet, sometimes I think, ‘How?’ Her heart was beating, and then it just stopped? She was breathing, not very well, and not without the help of that d*** machine, but still, her chest filled and deflated, and filled then deflated, just like it’s supposed to. Then it stopped. Ok, it was a more dramatic than that, but basically, in a matter of seconds, it was all working and then it wasn’t. Logically, it was death. Emotionally, it was this traumatic event that I couldn’t (and still sometimes can’t) get my head around. I don’t understand how it can all just shut down. You don’t know the power of denial until you are looking at a dead body and be absolutely positive their chest is still moving.
It’s true what they say, you know, about grieving. Those five stages don’t go in order. Grief washes over you like a wave, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. There’s no right way to grieve. Denial is a B****. Anger is sadness’ bodyguard.
It’s a ‘new normal’ (that’s what they say). This whole experience, living without Mom, has catapulted me into a deeper relationship with the Lord. Where I’ve been looking to mom and others to meet my needs and fulfill me emotionally, I am learning to look to the Lord. Some of it is out of necessity, (Mom isn’t here so where else can I go?); but some is out of learning that He is faithful. Once I started going to Him for things that I looked to mom for, I learned that He really can fulfill me. Then I’ve started learning that I can do that with friendships too. This allows me to not suck the life out of other people to get what I need from them. I could go on and on about this and since I am pretty late to the game on this, you’re probably thinking, ‘This is basic stuff. When did she come to know the Lord?’ I know, I’m a late-bloomer. Either way, I’m blown away by His love and faithfulness to me.
I was reminded today that the Christmas season is truly about ‘God With Us’. We celebrate God’s coming to earth, taking on flesh to be with us. He came to meet our needs; He sacrificed His body in order that we would be totally fulfilled and satisfied in Him. So while I am missing my mother and grieving her presence in my life, I can still be completely satisfied. I don’t have to walk around with an open wound for the rest of my life. God is here, He can bind up this broken heart and I can have a full life because of Him.
Yeah, I’ll miss her till the day I die. Yes, there’s a stain on my shirt that I have no earthly idea how to get out. Yes, her laugh was the sound of angels and I wish every day I could hear it again. Her hugs were the safest place on earth. She knew me better than I knew myself. I’m starting to even miss the phrase, “Emily, may I make a suggestion?” No, never mind, I still don’t miss that a bit. But you get the point. There is a wound, a missing piece of me, but because He is here with me, I can still have a fulfilled life where I miss my mom, but I can face tomorrow.
Look at that, I did it! Only a few tears shed, and I didn’t get angry! It’s the little things, folks. Get on my level.