I am so thankful for friends who have taken the time to give me helpful hints as I travel the road of “grief” over the loss of my mother. One of the best nuggets of advice I have been given is this……”You cannot predict when the sadness will show up!” I have now lived this…I want to elaborate simply to spread the word in hopes it will help someone else as it has truly helped me. So here goes……..
Mother’s Day is just now behind us……I dreaded that day…..Strangely enough I got up extra early on Mother’s Day…I was at my parents’ house staying with my dad. I fully expected to have a heavy heart and cry a lot…..but I did not! I was not unusually sad…I was sad….don’t get me wrong…….but I didn’t feel like crying. I found myself especially thankful to be a mom myself. I did have all three kids and Bill with me. We went to church with my sister and her family. I thought for sure when I saw my sister that I would burst into tears. But I didn’t????
As I sat down in church….gratitude swept over my spirit again…gratitude that I had in fact had a sister. Just a few people over from where we were sitting was a dear sweet girl. I adore her. Seeing her made me even more grateful because I know she buried her mom at a very young age. Her mom wasn’t there when she entered college. Reflecting on my own college experience with my mom, and now that our daughter Collins is at UGA…I can’t imagine my college experience without my mom. I can’t imagine having my kids and raising them without my mom having been around. Seeing Megan…gave me a heart of gratitude…for all that I had… I didn’t feel sad. I knew I Thessalonians 4 verses 13 and 14 were indeed true, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.”
But on the other hand……..just a few days later, the unpredictable happened. I was in Charlotte with our daughter Collins. I had driven there for a meeting with the publisher to talk about the second book I have written. I had lunch with two of my dearest friends in the world from college, Joan and Sheryl….we laughed a ton!! Then Collins and I drove to the mall for just a short shopping fix…the perfect ending to a perfect day so I thought……As we were about to park the car at South Park…..I felt a pit in my stomach….tears welled up in my eyes…..and I had a lump in my throat like a cantaloupe! I was overwhelmingly sad….It came upon me. I was blind-sided. I didn’t see it coming….I kept quiet for a while…Finally, when I felt like I wasn’t going to sob, I shared with Collins how sad I was.
The point here is this….I had so many people remember me on this Mother’s Day. I so appreciated the prayers, the texts, the emails, the Facebook posts, inboxes, flowers and gifts…..but the very day I thought I would be on the floor crying….I was fine…actually smiling and happy…Not what I expected after just losing my mom! I will say buying Bill’s Mother’s Day gift was hard. I had him pick out the card. I couldn’t go read all the cards in the stores…..not this year for sure…
I would have never predicted the sadness and grief that I had on that Tuesday in Charlotte. God is teaching me so much in the loss and pain from losing my mom. He has used so many people to encourage me and I am sure the prayers gave me “that heart of gratitude” on Mother’s Day! So the thought I want to leave you with is this…..
Grief is normal.
It is a part of life that no one avoids.
It is unpredictable.
Time means nothing really other than, if you are still living, God wants you to live… your loved one who has passed would want you to live too. God and the prayers of others is what truly will sustain you…It was His presence that comforted me when I found myself at South Park Mall…..with a broken heart….
It was HIM who met my need at the unpredictable moment…….My hope is to enlighten you on the great advice that was given to me, “It is unpredictable!” I am finding once again that God is an ever present help in a time of need, no matter where you find yourself.
Ecclesiastes, 3:1-2, 4, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die;…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;”