If you are new to One Degree and unfamiliar with my mother’s story, I encourage you to read “My Mother is a Miracle” before continuing on.
I wanted to write a “this is what I’ve learned and felt over the past year since my mother passed away” type of post. However, the outline for this post is not falling into place. The 3 bullet points that experts tell me to include in my writing are simply not happening. I cannot remember a powerful anecdote or an appropriate verse as I reflect over the past year either.
I am going to write what is fresh on my heart
I will not edit it.
What follows may not make sense.
But THIS, this is the essence of grief. Grief cannot be outlined or organized onto a Microsoft Word document. Grief cannot be summarized into 3 bullet points. Grief should not be edited, smoothed over, or stuffed deep inside. It is to be experienced but not worshipped.
Grief is individual. Grief is messy. It is real and it is hard.
We all experience grief and loss. And all of it hurts.
Last week was another “first” for me. My mother always called early in the morning to sing to me on my birthday. This year my phone remained silent. Her signature and her legendary smiley face were missing from my birthday card. My heart felt like it would explode.
But it didn’t.
And it won’t.
While my mother is gone, I have gained something else this year. I have discovered another side to grief. It is a side that sees beauty behind the cheesy words found in sympathy cards. A side that finds strength and comfort in a book of stamps and a bright, yellow pair of flip flops. A side that sees the necessity of being silent and letting my tears fall into countless, crumpled tissues as my Heavenly Father watches.
A side that compels me to let go of expectations, hug longer, and laugh harder because life is really,
A side that compels me to hug strangers on an airplane.
Jesus is the other side of grief.
Jesus is the way, the Truth, and the life. (John 14:6)
Jesus is the resurrection and the life.
Those who believe in Him will continue to live though their earthly body dies. (John 11:25-26)
The words that Jesus spoke in the verses above mean something different to me now.
He is who He says He is. He is close to the brokenhearted. There is beauty, healing, strength, and comfort in the shadow of His wings…
I wonder what I would be like today had God healed my mother of breast cancer back in 2001. I bet I wouldn’t be writing the following statements or hugging a weeping woman on an airplane.
I love God more now than when I bent over my dying mother and whispered “it’s okay to go now” one year ago. I have no clue how this is possible. I only know that my tears fall with hope because Jesus is THE resurrection and THE life.
Tomorrow is a new day. I am a wife, a mother, a friend, a writer, an aunt, a neighbor, a speaker, a daughter, a sister, a not so good cook, and a sinner saved by the grace of God. I will continue to miss my mother. I will continue to love my Savior.
All of us grieve over the loss of something or someone. Grief is painful and messy. It cannot be summarized into 3 bullet points- so stop trying to do so. Seek the other side of grief where Jesus is instead.
This side of grief is a beautiful blessing from an indescribable God.