When the dust settles

After a tragic loss, after the initial waves of pain and grief, when the dust settles, our vision clears, fresh and solid. The stuff of life that consumed so much time or energy or angst shrinks into pebbles beneath our feet. We wonder why it drove so much of our days. With arms wide open, we embrace the new day, the next breath, the ones still given to us to love.

And so it has been in the wake of my mother’s death. We celebrated her life with a marvelous assembly of family and love. We cried with I Can Only Imagine. We held each other, embraced by the cocoon of church family and our own caring. We remembered. With pictures and voices, we collected the stories, the history of our dear one who, at the end, had lost those memories.

Now, we bear them into our futures.

Not just the memories. We carry the love. Her legacy. A love imperfect, but wonderfully poured out.

After all of that, after my dear ones have gone home to their complicated lives, after a good night’s sleep, I look at the glow in the sunrise cloud and feel eternity.

As I walk through these days, I straddle here and there, earth and heaven.

The very best of my mother is close at hand, because heaven itself is not some distant galaxy, far away.

The Eternal kisses here and now with every flower bud that opens, every chrysalis that yields a butterfly, with every rosy-cheeked baby who giggles with delight as her daddy holds her high above her world. Every hug from a friend. Each glance from my sweet husband that says, “I know how you feel. I know the mixture of pain and relief. And I’m here for you.”

When I lift my voice to worship my Lord, as I picture his wonderful face, I see Mom, close by, glowing with love fulfilled. And I know what matters.

When the dust settles, love matters.

The rest is all fill.

Johnny and Mom
Johnny and Mom

(If you don’t see the picture and videos above, click on the title to view this on the webpage.)

What tragedy has given you clear vision? What have you seen when the dust settles?

8 thoughts on “When the dust settles

  1. This is a quote from Ken Boa’s Conformed to His Image. That last sentence has been so true for me in the loss of my mom.
    “Whenever I hear about the passing of someone I knew and loved, a flood of memories surges into my consciousness. Images of the person’s life multiply, flashing across the screen of my mind in such a way that I can see all the years of my relationship with the person simultaneously. In times like this, the mind seems to search for and collect all the treasures and troubles and display them in a vivid array that forces one to realize the impact of the others life as though for the first time.

    And I discover not only how much I was shaped by that impact but also the truth that this person took a part of me away with him or her, for there were certain responses and facets of my personality that only this person could be elicit.”


  2. Hello Janie….  I joined Stony Point Presbyterian last Sunday. It was Aunt Jane’s consistent Christian walk and unconditional love, I witnessed over the years ,that was instrumental in turning this prodigal around. I know I will be forever her ‘ lil’ Daniel Boone.’  Just wanted you to know I am sorry for the loss and how much I loved her.  Dan Mehan                   


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