A Long Story

“Grief is a long story.”

These words were in my devotional the other day. I’m reading through “Good Enough” by Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie, appreciating their realistic take on life and lack of fluff.

This five words stopped me short as I sat in the truth of them – grief really is a long story. In fact, I’m not sure it ever ends. Our lives are consistently filled with grief of one flavour or another. It might be grieving a lost opportunity or a job that didn’t turn out like we thought it would. The loss of a relationship, whether a friendship or a marriage. The loss of dreams, for yourself or for your kids. Our lives here on earth are a series of losses.

But some grief lingers longer than others, signifying the depth of the loss. It has been almost a year since my mom passed away. It’s been an entire year since I talked with her, since our last conversation where she couldn’t really talk anymore, but mostly just stroked my cheek as I cried.

An entire year – seems like forever, seems like just yesterday. An entire year with Easter and Thanksgiving and Christmas and birthdays without her. My boys both graduated from college. Katie & Eric announced their pregnancy, a little boy whose arrival we are eagerly awaiting any day now. A lot has happened in that year. An entire year already, yet there’s still so many times that I think, “Oh, I should call Mom and tell her…”.

I’m not sure what I expected, where I thought I would be at by now. I guess I thought by now I would have a bit better handle on things, but I don’t. I still tear up whenever I think of Mom. Any reference to death or heaven, I’m crying. I’m still somewhat stunned at the idea that I will never see her again. There are days that the joy I feel about becoming a grandmother is almost overwhelmed by the grief that Mom will never know that my Katie is going to be a mom. It’s still just all too much.

Grief is a long story…I guess I never really understood just how long. This week is full of all the feels – remembering all the lasts, all while eagerly awaiting the phone call that this little boy who is already so loved has arrived. Joy and sorrow, all mixed in together.

A year later, and I still can’t really imagine how to live life without my mom. But as time continues on, I’ve learned how to talk through tears, to be ok with crying randomly.

I miss my mom and I always will – that’s just how it is.

A Blessing in The Wake of Loss, At The Beginning of Something New
– Kate Bowler

Blessed are you, after the fall. In this new and unrecognizable landscape. At the still point between what was and what’s to come. Time has stretched itself, and there seems to be a future somewhere for some people and things, but it touches you only lightly.

Blessed are you, right here, in between. At the end that comes before the beginning. That grief is a long story, and maybe, somehow, you are still in it. Growing straight down in the dark where sorrow breathes best. Where roots find their secret springs in crevices that are well-hidden. Where God’s great magic act of love begins.

Blessed are you, starting to sense that maybe sunlight can reach you, even here. And you reach out, finding yourself in a fierce embrace. And God’s voice saying: You are not the bad thing. You are not ruined. You are not broken, nor over, nor a failure, nor learning a lesson. You are my suffering one, and you are loved, you are loved, you are loved.

Blessed are you, maybe ready for the turn. Straight up.

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