Mother’s Day Memories

Grief possesses a timing and logic all its own. It lurks in shadows and skulks around corners, appearing at the most unexpected of times.

Mother’s Day reminded me of this phenomenon anew.

My mother died four years ago in the midst of our move to Lawrenceville. A massive stroke eventually led to her death. I spent a frantic week rushing from Cartersville to Kennestone Hospital to Lawrenceville and back and back and back again.

I preached my first Sunday at First United Methodist Church of Lawrenceville on Sunday. She died 36 hours later on Monday night.

People grieve in different ways. In some ways, the busyness of serving a new congregation eased the pain. In other ways, I put grief on a layaway program, paying installments over time.

Four years later I still find myself surprised by grief. During December, I saw a gift and thought, “Mom would like that for Christmas.” This March I almost called to wish my parents a Happy Anniversary. Perusing Mother’s Day cards last week, I saw one she would have loved.

Grief possesses a timing and logic all its own. It lurks in shadows and skulks around corners, appearing at the most unexpected times

However, sorrow is nothing more than the long shadow cast by love. If we did not love, then we would not grieve. If we did not possess, then we could not lose.

In a poem entitled In Memoriam A. H. H., Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote:

  • I hold it true, whate’er befall;
  • I feel it when I sorrow most;
  • ‘Tis better to have loved and lost
  • Than never to have loved at all.

In times of grief, Christians claim what we proclaim: believers who have loved and lost never really lose their loved ones at all. Grief lasts but a moment, and joy endures forever.

6 thoughts on “Mother’s Day Memories

  1. You have so aptly expressed what so many of us feel, even decades after a great loss. I agree–grief is a long, dark shadow, but the shadow cannot appear without the light. Loss creates a hole in our hearts that God eventually fills, but He leaves behind a scar to remind us of His healing. I know that your 4 years at our church has been a difficult period in your life. I hope that it has been a time of reflection, nurturing, and stretching as you prepare for life in the bigger city! Our prayers go with you and your grief.

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  2. Thanks for sharing. Your words “If we did not love, then we would not grieve. If we did not possess, then we could not lose.” are so very true. I will now accept them as my own in order to make my grieving less painful. May God go with you and your family and give you PEACE.

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  3. Beautiful Bill. I lost my mother only a few months before you lost yours and relate to so many of the things you are saying. Thank you.

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  4. You spoke to my heart, Bill. It has been two years now, and while the pain has lessened, my eyes can fill and my heart can pound at certain thoughts and memories of my sweet Mama. Brenda and I love you and have for a very long time!

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