Friday, May 8, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

I read this the other day: A Mother's Day Letter to Grieving Moms

Wishing Mother's Day didn't exist? Yep, I definitely did wish that the first three years of this grief journey. This year, I no longer wish it, though I’m still not overly excited about it. Mother’s Day now carries grief, an “in your face” confirmation, if you will, that not ALL of my children are here with me on this day. This day is not supposed to be hard. It’s not supposed to incorporate grief. It’s supposed to be joyful, and only joyful. But it’s not, not for women who long for babies (but don’t have them) and not for women who have lost babies (no matter the age).

The loss of a child forever changes Mother’s Day. The author of the article was spot on when she wrote: "You are extraordinarily grateful that your surviving children breathe and wake up every morning yet live in constant fear that they too will be taken too soon."

We (bereaved parents) battle fear daily because our worse fears HAVE come true. Yet, because they have come true, we are also no longer under any pretense that we have any control. It is a balancing existence we find ourselves in. It also reminds me of the Apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 1: “But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.”

I couldn’t enjoy Mother’s Day the last several years because the grief was too great. (Still is.) But I can “enjoy” it this year because I am stronger, the grief having been absorbed, as Gerald Sittser said, “like decaying matter, until it became a part of who I am.” (A Grace Disguised: How the Soul GrowsThrough Loss) I can enjoy it because I have cultivated thankfulness. And joy is the byproduct of a thankful heart. I have joy and grief this Mother’s Day. (And will for all the remaining Mother’s Days to come.)

Mother's Day isn't what it's supposed to be. But that's o.k., because God promises us that this isn't all there is. There is more than joy. There is more than grief. There is grace. There is peace. There is hope. May Mother's Day remind you of the great love God has for you, an eternal love that lasts far beyond Mother's Day.

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