Living through the seasons of grief.
I spent a whole bunch of time today scrolling through yesterday’s Mothers’ Day posts on my Facebook feed. I was glad to share in the joy on the faces of mothers with sons, mothers with daughters, mothers with babies, mothers and families and other various combinations. I was blessed this year to celebrate the day with all four generations that come down from my own living mother.
Yet I also knew some of the silent stories behind the smiles: grandmothers fighting cancer in hope of another year to love their children and grandchildren, young women battling infertility, and mothers who have an empty place in their hearts for a child who has died from cancer, suicide, accident or illness. I also saw sons and daughters post their laments for the absence of their deceased mothers. They may have been children, teens or adults when the death occurred, and their hearts still miss what they don’t have today.
What we didn’t read on Facebook, were the accounts of women mourning the consequences of a youthful abortion, the longing of an infertile woman’s heart, the dull ache of an unmet dream to marry and have children, the agony of a stillborn, the disappointment of a failed adoption or the silent pain of miscarriage. For you, I stop to cry with you. May I hold your hand and comfort you? Could I turn your heart to the One who loves you most and encourage you to fall into the Arms of Eternal Love, Comfort, Hope and Healing?
I don’t know if it is the kind of work I do, the age I am becoming, or just a sudden awareness that for many, Mother’s Day can be one of the most painful holidays we recognize as a culture. So to my hurting friends, I want to let you know I care, it matters to me, I come alongside and sit with you in your pain and suffering. I have shared the lament of the first excruciating Mother’s Day without my sweet son’s arms to wrap around my neck and love me. And now, 30+ years later, it doesn’t need to be a Mother’s Day it can be any day that I miss his presence.
If it were not for the healing embrace of Divine Love, I would find it too difficult to go on. But thankfully, that Love is more real, more deep, and more healing than all my suffering and pain. And so I go on. I live in the hope of the resurrection. I live in the joy of the goodness of life that still exists on this planet. I live by the grace of a renewed heart that can embrace the challenges of pain and find the strength to reach out to others by comforting and listening. I live by my choice to love to the utmost those who do share my life. And I take seriously that our lives are a precious and temporary gift. So while we may mourn for what we do not have, let us be fully gratified by working to make our existing relationships beautiful and close.
©Karen Nicola, May 2016