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Archive for November, 2013

A year ago

Today, one year ago, my mom went to Heaven. November 26th, 2012 at 11:50 am. Dad was holding one hand and I was holding the other.  We prayed out loud together as she passed.  Beautiful and Terrible.

Looking back on this roller-coaster of a year, there have been a few things that have helped me through…

THE KNOWLEDGE THAT:

1) Heaven is real.  I have believed in heaven since I was 8 years old, but it became much more real to me on November 26th.  Through out this past year I have often pictured my mom there.   And if you are wondering if she was sitting on a cloud and playing a harp… the answer is a resounding NO!  She never would have enjoyed that.  Right now, as I type this, she is probably cracking jokes with Moses or dancing through the wildflowers while singing a Bob Dylan song (hey- he has some Christian songs).  She loved researching our genealogy, so maybe she is catching up with our ancestors from centuries ago or maybe she is sitting at the feet of Jesus just gazing up at Him in awe.

2) This world is not our home.    Our time here is just a whisper.  My mom was on this earth just over 67 years.  Taken to Heaven too soon? YES! But despite my sorrow, she is where she belongs.  The first few months after she died, I cringed every time someone said, “Well, at least you know she is in Heaven.”  At that time, that thought did not comfort my pain and my loss; however as time passed and I traveled through the grief process I began to find comfort in that thought.  This earth was not mom’s home.  She is home now.  And home is a place with no migraines, no cancer, no pain and no fear.  

3)  Good memories float, bad memories sink.    Our family had a typical life in the sense that there were a ton of good memories, but our fair share of bad memories also.  That is what makes up a life.  What I did not expect, from the very beginning, was that the good memories floated to the top of my mind and the bad memories sunk to the bottom.  Of course, I still remember the bad moments, but they have grown dim in the bright light of our laughter and our fun.  I remember dressing up like hippies with my parents to go to a birthday party of someone we were close to. (pictured below)  I remember going shopping and redecorating my bedroom with hearts, rainbows and glitter when I outgrew Holly Hobbie.  I remember finding many (many) stray cats at our front door and calling them our “extra special blessings”.  Tonight, my father and brother will come over to our house to remember together the good memories.  May they all float up to the top.

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4)  Friends and family are crucial for healing.  Grief is a crazy, unforgiving process that hits everyone so differently.   The waves of sorrow that hit unexpectedly in the first year, the odd, random memories that occur at the strangest times, and the pain that becomes almost physical when you ache from missing your loved one are too much to handle on your own.   My family and friends have been an incredible support to me.  And I have to add that my husband, David, has helped me so very much these past two years.  I can’t imagine what it would have been like without him by my side for all of it.

dsc_6824 Photo Sep 21, 2 07 01 PM

5) And most importantly, God is always faithful!  It sometimes sounds like a cliché or some kind of quick “Christianese” answer to someone’s struggle, but it is so much more than that.  I have felt the truth of this statement in its rawest form over the past two years.  God is always faithful. Period. The End. He is never NOT faithful.  He held me close this year, He comforted me in a way that can only come from a Heavenly Father who loves me, and He fulfilled His promises to me.     “You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” Psa 139:5  My mom and I clung to this verse towards the end.   We felt His loving arms “hemming” us in.  Even just a few days before she passed, lying in a bed at Hospice, mostly unresponsive, a miracle happened.  The music therapist came to her room with her guitar and binder of song options.  We asked her to play a few hymns. My mom, not only became responsive, but sang along with me, my dad, and this lady for two songs.  Every word. Praising God. She was declaring God’s goodness even at the very end of her life.  Every time I hear the song 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman I think of that time.  It says:

“And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore”

Don’t get me wrong,  there is not one single day that has gone by that something has not reminded me of her.   But I am looking forward to that day that we can embrace again and laugh and sing and dance together.

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