Grief is a strange bedfellow. One moment I’m hugging a family member and celebrating the knowledge that my mother is now free from the prison of her mind and failing body. The next, I’m struck with longing for one more chance to spend an afternoon with her, even with her dementia-tortured mind.
It’s the little things that tear me up.
I pass the ice cream shop where I took her the last time we went out, my grandson grinning across the table as they smacked their lips over sundaes. She loved being with family, and was crazy about ice cream. Why didn’t I take her more often?
I leave an appointment and cringe at the “right turn only” sign at the end of the parking lot, the road leading to Mom’s place. Instead, I head the other way, aching over the number of times I turned that way, when I could have gone to see her.
There was so much more I could have done to make her last year better.
But I didn’t know it was her last year, her last month, my last chance to love on her.
So what do I do with my tears? The heavy weight of “if only” and “I wish I had…”?
My brain says she is happy now, so much better off with Jesus.
But I am here and cannot stretch to heaven.
My heart sleeps with grief, walks with loss, and aches with the hole torn asunder by her death.
So I cry.
And even before I blot those tears, my brother calls. Love soothes through the air waves, tender encouragement, and even chuckles when he says, if she could, Mom would scold me for feeling badly. He says I did enough. Time to let go.
To recall the last time we were alone, hugging her and praying with her and singing, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.”
It was fairly easy this past month, surrounded by loved ones. We are family. We share relationship and the thread woven through our lives by that unforgettable lady.
Now that we’ve gone home, “back to normal” life, I limp along, alone.
But not alone. That’s pity-party stuff.
My husband’s hug, my brother’s call, a sweet text from my daughter, a blog post from a dear cyber sister, Healing, like grief, comes in waves remind me that we are meant to connect, to share our hearts, and to reach out.
Hell is isolation, going it alone.
I believe God created us to need each other, to live connected.
To reach out to each other when we need a hand, to offer a hand, and when the moment arises, to share a taste of heaven.
But when I come to the end of it all, there is only one place for my soul to find rest.
This side of the curtain, I taste a bit of heaven when I splay my soul before my Lord in worship.
Since music touches me where thoughts don’t walk, I love many songs. But this is without a doubt my favorite modern one. I leave myself, my “should-a , would-a, could-a” self behind, and listen to the angels cry, His Glory Appears.
I’m sure my Mom is singing that now.
And because of the faith she shared with me, I sing, and I look forward to the day when we’ll sing it together, with all the angels and archangels and all the company of heaven.
We are all wonderfully unique. When you are down, what do you seek?
Where do you go for a touch of heaven?