Today is her heavenly birthday.
Happy Birthday, Mama!
When she passed years ago, just one month after Daddy, I thought I might adjust to life without them. Then I saw your Facebook posts and heard your words, spoken as you hugged me at the visitations, written on your cards of sympathy:
“It’s been ten years, and I miss her every day.”
“My dad’s been gone 18 years and I still cry.”
Suddenly I knew. The pain would never go away. It was frightening, overwhelming, to think of living with this dire grief for the rest of my life. I could not go through it alone.
“Jesus wept.” I knew He was weeping for me – with me. I not only accepted the compassion of this Savior, but I pleaded with the Father for it.
Then I started digging. Old photos. Memories. Aprons. Dishes. Walking sticks. Blankets. The sight of his binoculars caused a swelling in my throat; the smell of her Ponds Cold Cream drew flooding memories down my cheeks. How can I ever get past this?
I shared my grief with others. They understood. I was not alone.
Many had grieved. Like me. Looking at them from the outside, I hadn’t realized that their insides had once been heavy and weighted. Like mine. Would I ever appear normal on the outside again, like they did?
I did not find comfort in those common feelings of grief. But I did find comfort in knowing that I grieved much because I had loved much. I had years of memories to carry with me on the lonely, painful path ahead, the path I’m still traveling today. Are the memories worth the pain? Is the pain worth the memories?
I’ve stopped trying to figure it out. I’ve stopped trying to distinguish grief and sorrow from mourning. I’ve stopped trying to figure out what stage of grief I’m passing through. And I’ve stopped feeling guilty or shameful that I’m still grieving after all these years – that others have more reason to grieve than I.
It is what it is. A broken world full of suffering and full of grieving people. Not by God’s design but because of the sin of the first created.
It is what it is. A beautiful life, speckled with pain and grief.
But He is what He is. A beautiful Savior who weeps with us and says, “It won’t be long. I’ll gather you. Let me comfort you until then.”
Until then, Mama, ride your beautiful Buckskin mare down the lanes of the farm. And have a Happy Heavenly Birthday, Mama.
If you haven’t yet, please read my book, When Life Roars, Jesus Whispers. To order, message me through this site or on my FaceBook Writer’s page https://www.facebook.com/KathiWaligoraAuthorSpeaker/