Peace and Pain

If I were to tell the truth, it might be sadder than you imagined. If I were to be open, honest, and raw it might surprise you. If I revealed these past few months have been the most grievous of my life you might think I’m being dramatic.

If I were to share how I feel (which I’ve avoided doing here), it would go a little something like this…

Losing my mom has taken a far greater toll on me than I had anticipated. I miss her. I miss her more than I imagined possible. I’m struggling with her absence, the weight of my grief, and the vastness of the void. For nearly 5 years, I worried about her dying every day. Every day. I anticipated dealing with her death almost breezily. I knew it would be difficult but I severely underestimated how difficult. When you live in a state of waiting for someone you love to die, you are naively grateful for the advanced notice. There is an assumption you can prepare for grief; that your grief will be less harsh if you know it’s coming. It isn’t. Anticipated grief is as cruel and all encompassing as any other kind of grief.

 One of the most valuable pieces of wisdom I’ve gleaned recently is that [death] grief is more profound, and paralyzing than you imagine it will be. As Christians, are we not expected to have such a deeply rooted faith in God, so as to not be rocked by life’s circumstances; death especially? That’s what I expected. Because of this expectation, I thought my moms death would hit me in a softer, gentler way. How wrong I was. Her death has rocked me. My faith hasn’t been shaken or corrupted, but, my heart is overwhelmed with grief on a daily basis.

I know over time the grief will lessen; that the pain will never fully dissipate but it will soften. There is peace because of my faith, however, peace doesn’t diminish pain, entirely. I am human, after all. I have joy and sorrow. I have peace and pain. I’m still in the process of coming to terms with her absence; giving myself copious amounts of grace as I navigate the enormity of this loss. I’m thankful she’s free from her life’s burdens, but I’ll miss her forever.

If she were still here, I’d be less sad, but she would be even more ill. I’d find joy in her presence, and devastation in her suffering. If she were still here, I’d get to tell her about my day, but I’d be inevitably frustrated to know her day primarily consisted of aches, and loneliness. I’d find peace and pain in being with her, if she were still here.

If she were still here she wouldn’t be basking in God’s glory. She wouldn’t be healed and restored.

But, she isn’t still here.

She is at peace. She is healed. She is restored. I can live with that.

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2004

Hot air ballooning around Oregon with my momma; a dream for both of us!

5 thoughts

  1. Hi, Sweet Girl,

    Even after 15 years – I STILL miss my mom, every single day. I wish I could tell you it goes away. It never will – there is a piece of her that will live in your spirit every day you are on this earth.

    The hope I can offer is that the pain will lessen, the grieving will melt – slowly. That huge rock in your gut will progressively turn into a grain of sand.

    Like you, I had a momma that was larger than life in her graciousness, beauty and spiritual prowess. Her death and the accompanying grief propelled me into the BEST season of my life! The pain shook my very foundation, showed me where I had cracks and drove me into a decade and a half of discovering Truth in my destiny.

    E. Stanley Jones said, “He who has learned the secret to using pain is now safe, for he can stand anything that can happen to him. He snatches the club from the hand of circumstances which would smash his head and turns it into a baton with which to lead the music that breaks forth from within. Like the lily that transforms into beauty the muck and mire from which it grows, so he transforms hate into hallelujah and misery into melody. This possibility throws open to man an utterly victorious way of life.” (from his book, The Christ of the Mount: A Working Philosophy of Life)

    I love you so much and feel so privileged to be on the same journey with you – just a little ahead – fully empathizing with your pain and yet so full of excitement for the joy that lies ahead you.

    kt

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  2. Oh, Resh, this speaks volumes about what kind of woman your momma was. I cannot imagine the grief you are experiencing, but your beautiful expression gives us a window into your deep sorrow. I send my hugs to you and your family.

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  3. This is beautiful Resh–and perfect in it’s timing whenever the time comes for you to open, to write, to share. I cannot imagine your grief, but am also in a grief lesson currently and it is tough one to put words of feeling to because it is somehow beyond all of that. So much love to you through this first holiday season. I think it will get easier. Keep feeling the terrible feelings when you can stand it–and keep reminding yourself the pieces of what it would look like if your mom was still here when you can’t. You’re doing great–keep it up.

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  4. This is beautifully written Reshma. I am so sorry for the grief you are experiencing. Grief changes us, and our relationship with Jesus. It stretches tightened faith muscles and allows us to collapse into the loving arms of our savior. We are safe there in the mist of our sorrow, pain, and confusion. You are in my prayers!

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