Not one day goes by that I don't think about my Mom and miss her but I rest in God's promise that we will see each other again. It's that promise that carries me—and I see that promise reflected every Spring as his world comes back to life.
Spring has always felt like a renewal to me – just as the earth is coming back to life after the long winter and blooming anew, my soul also starts to feel renewed hope and optimism. However, the spring of 1992 felt anything but hopeful as our family said goodbye quite suddenly to my Mom, who passed away from a brain tumor that May. It would be many years before I would feel that hopeful spring optimism again.
I reflected on that time in my life recently when I was asked what advice I would give to a young girl in the first year after losing her Mom. I thought of myself at 16, heartbroken and grieving, scared, and living in a world that suddenly no longer made sense. Looking back in hindsight, I see myself trying to fit into the mold of what grief was “supposed to look like.” Trying to move through the stages of grief and not question God, even as my heart cried out to him, trying to understand his ways. Having been raised in the church, I knew that God has a plan for every part of our lives.
I was so young and just wanted someone – ANYONE – to come alongside and tell me how to navigate this new world. What would I have wanted to hear at that age? Could I have handled hearing what I now know to be the truth? That it would, indeed get better … then worse … then, finally better again. That my grief would continue to come in waves. That amazingly, one day way in the future, when it no longer hurt as much, I would wish I could go back to that first year because I felt so much closer to her then. I would have told myself to write down every memory I had of her while it was still fresh in my mind so that I wouldn’t lose any of them. Mostly, I would have said to be gentle with myself. Cry when I needed to, laugh over funny memories, shout out the anger, cry out to the Lord with all my questions because he loved me more than anyone else possibly could and would understand every emotion I was feeling. Finally, I would tell her that there are NO rules in grief – our journey is ours alone and every single one looks different.
Not one day goes by that I don’t think about my Mom and miss her but I rest in God’s promise that we will see each other again. It’s that promise that carries me – and I see that promise reflected every Spring as his world comes back to life. “…for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.”
– Song of Solomon 2:11-12
Kristen is the Clinical Receptionist at Cornerstone of Hope Cleveland.