The shadow silhouette passing over my door frame, not passing but pausing. Words, mumbles, a breath in and tears out. The slanted shoulders, no strength beneath them. A jerk of the head, lifeless turn of the back and the shadow is gone. I look. I see the white, the light, the place the shadow was and is no longer. Something has happened. Something terrible. Irreversible. Finite. Something inside breaks, shatters, grinds and melts. I’m stiff, unable to move, wanting to run….or collapse, wanting to do something but knowing that nothing can be done. Not by me. It’s over. The struggle is silenced. Pain will turn to praise. For her, not me. Not Yet.
I stir, I sting, I step, another and another down to the spot. Down to the grave, down to where the breathing stopped. The next breath full of heavenly grace. More words, a touch from palms, eyes blink towards me, they close, opening from the flood of tears. They ask, what will you say? I stop. What will I say? What can I say? When my world has just disappeared? Where do you begin? How do I begin when all I want to do is go back, stay back, turn back…to the time before, the time no more. I stand, shiver and quake. Inside my body the grief rattles among the empty spaces. Among the places that are not whole.
O Lord, I call to you; come quickly to me. Hear my voice when I call to you. (Psalm 141:1) My eyes fail, looking for your promise; I say, “When will you comfort me?” (Psalms 119:82)
As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you…. (Isaiah 66:13)
May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. (psalms 119:76) My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life (psalms 119:50) I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.(Psalms 4)
Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. (Jeremiah 31:13)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Chris, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
I’m comforted in knowing that through my horrible pain & grief, the Lord stood near, holding my frail pieces together as everything around me fell apart. God’s grace has been sufficient, though every day I wish I had never suffered the loss of my Mom…still, the God that was faithful to my Mom has continued in His faithfulness to me and for that I praise. He chose to heal my Mother, but unfortunately for us here He chose to heal her in heaven. He will heal me too, us too, He has and will continue, working in those places, those spaces where the things seem to be ripping apart at the seams. My mother was the best woman. She was “satin & steel”. She had spunk and a character that endlessly craved adventure. My mom loved people. She loved the unlovable and unloved. She was strong, persistent, stubborn & patient. Very patient. She made learning an adventure, not a chore. She encouraged creativity and taught us to enjoy the small moments in our days. She was a fighter, a warrior, a rock.
As I sit here remembering, I’m crying again. I miss her more than all the words these letters can form. Nothing can replace her, no one can replace her. Tears won’t wash away the pain, but do balm the wound that still feels fresh.