When a daughter loses a mom the world changes. You realize that no one will ever love you like that again. I always knew that no matter what I did, good or bad, she loved me anyway. Not to say that my husband or son’s love isn’t great, but it’s not the same as the love of a mother.
A mother’s love isn’t judgmental. It’s kind and forgiving yet bold and endearing. It’s the love written about in I Corinthians 13. And when you can’t see or hold that love anymore the world is different.
The early morning I got the call that my mom was ill I pleaded with God and prayed all the way to the hospital…”God, please don’t let my mom die today.” Over and over the same prayer. My request was not to be. I didn’t even get to tell her goodbye. It was her time to go.
A year ago today I lost a chunk of my heart. Today is the last first. Her first birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Easter, my birthday, etc. has passed. Today is bittersweet. On one hand I know I’ve made it through some of the really tough days so I know I will survive. But after a year, I still feel “okay, that’s enough time to wake up not from this terrible dream.”
I don’t think a daughter can be prepared for the passing of her mother. I thought I was. I’m an educated, intelligent, successful woman. I read plenty of books on death, dying and grief. I spent years in full time ministry. I thought I was ready to face it. My mom and I spoke tenderly about my life without her. She was a devout Christian and ready to go. But I wasn’t ready to lose her. Oh how I wanted more time.
Sitting with her for an hour after she passed, I called my husband and my son who was an intern in DC. Walking out of her room for the last time felt so surreal. Kissing her forehead. Covering her with a blanket. I actually felt weird leaving her alone.
My son Matthew was home sleeping when I woke him to share the news. The day was filled with calls to my siblings and other family members who lived out of town. In a blur I went to the funeral home to make arrangements. I chose the dress she wore to my wedding. I chose her lipstick. I planned her after funeral luncheon. I wrote her eulogy. It only took me 10 minutes but I believe God gave me the perfect words.
The memories of August 2, 2018 will stay in my heart forever. So here I am one year later. I don’t feel like I have crossed a finish line on achieving any type of closure. I don’t feel healed. I still have my grief with me. It is a part of me now. The past year has allowed me to find a way to accommodate my grief, like a sudden and permanent limp that doesn’t stop you completely but will forever alter the way you move through the world.