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 reminds me of this phenomenon anew.
My mother died nine years ago in the midst of my family moving to a new church. 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 morning. 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 plan, paying installments with interest over time.
Nine 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, 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
I recognize that sorrow is a 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 a moment, but joy endures forever.
All of this is so true. Thank you for sharing – I remember how devastating it was for you in the midst of all the change going on in your life as a pastor. I lost my mom in 2014 and she would have turned 100 yesterday (May 10). Still miss her (and daddy) but looking forward to the joy of the reunion.
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Thank you for sharing these thoughts. Praying for comfort for you.
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I remember praying for your strength to endure such a time! We talk in GriefShare about how we can embrace grief as a part of our lives, rather than trying to dodge it or hurry through it. Grief does come because of a disconnection in relationship, and it affects our brains as a trauma. The more we understand it, the better we can live with it. So glad you still “select” a Mother’s Day card for your mom.
As long as they remain in our memory, in some mysterious way it is as if they still were alive. My Mother died at what I think was a young age–54– over 40 years ago– but I still think of her often, thinking about what she would think or say or do.