A Life Loved Well
As I laid my head on the pillow, I whispered to my husband, “my heart hurts. I miss her so much.” The tears flowing freely, I didn’t even try to hold them back as I wept from the deepest, most painful part of my being. Those tears gave way to heart wrenching sobs, and eventually full body shakes, as I completely gave in to the pain deep within. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t talk, I could barely let the sobs out. My chest hurt and lord knows the mess of snot hindering any attempt at breathing.
I remember hurting more than I’d ever hurt before, when I lost my Daddy. But this? The loss of my Mother, beckoned a hurt so deep within, it felt as if part of me was literally dying inside. All I could think about was how from the moment of conception, my heart had beat right alongside my Mothers. Every single heartbeat and every breath I took, was right alongside her own for forty-one years. Now, for the very first time, my heart was beating alone.
I recall standing in the middle of my walk-in closet, staring at my clothes, trying to decide what to pack, when my husband walked in. I started crying and leaned into his arms saying, “I don’t know how in the world I’m going to live without my Mom!” It was, March 9, 2019, the day she reached out to him asking to fly me out immediately to be with her, as she had just received her cancer diagnosis.
Yet here I am, alone without her, grieving and wishing with all that I am, she hadn’t been called Home yet. I have her photo on my locked phone screen, as well as countless photos of us together over the years, sitting throughout the house; they’re part of our home decor because she was such a huge part of my life. She was my person and always will be my person. She’s the one who gave me life and poured her life into me from the moment she found out she was pregnant with me. She never stopped loving, caring, worrying or praying for me.
Today, I am faced with the glaringly obvious choice of either wallowing in what my Daddy called the “mullygrubs” or embracing this new season without my Mom and choosing joy! I’m choosing JOY. This doesn’t mean I’m done grieving; on the contrary, I’ve just begun! It doesn’t mean I won’t cry or be sad; a part of me will always grieve that my Mom is no longer with me. Choosing JOY looks different for all of us, so there’s no magic formula I can share that promises to work. However, for me, choosing JOY means I’m embracing the grief one moment at a time. I’m crying when I need to, then stepping back into the current moment and choosing to focus on God’s blessings in my life-including my beloved Mother and best friend.
I am learning that true grief is actually a beautiful thing, because without it, it would mean there was no love. When we love someone deeply, we face the inevitably difficult moment of letting go and being forced to say, “until next time”.
In closing, I’d like to add that I know I’m not actually alone. I’m loved by the most amazing man on the planet, and get to call him my husband. I’m surrounded by incredibly supportive family and friends who willingly drop anything to listen, love and support me. However, without my Mom, I most assuredly, am feeling very much alone. #butGod designed it to be this way, and so I choose to embrace this next season with grit and grace and trust God to lead me through it, bringing glory to Him.
I’d like to share a worship song as well as a few scriptures that are carrying me through this time, in hopes of encouraging you should you too be in a similarly difficult season of life.
“Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,
and my bones grow weak.”
“When Jesus saw her weeping…
he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.”
“I know the Lord is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
My body rests in safety.
“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for your, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
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