I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009



I have written so much about it since December of 2007. To you, that may seem so long ago. Almost two years. So much has happened since then. My lil' baby was only three years old. The future looked so bright to me then. It seems so far away because the time since then has been so hard without her, yet at times it seems so close, because I remember her so well. I remember having just let go of the burden of worrying about My Momma. For those of you who don't know, she had dealt with cancer, and recovered fully from having a kidney removed a couple of years before. I had worried so much about that coming back, and just a couple months before that December, she had another surgery that ended successfully. I had finally, FINALLY gotten to a point that I literally told God, "Thank you. I feel like I don't have to worry about her anymore. Thank you for taking care of her. Thank you for keeping her here and healthy." That was actually my prayer at around 7:50 that evening, just as I rocked Dylan to sleep.

Minutes later was when we got the phone call.

Trust me, there have been moments that I was so ANGRY at God. There still are. There are so many questions. Why her? Why now? Why couldn't my son, who loved her more than any child I've ever seen with his Grandmother, get to know her for many years to come? Why won't she be able to be here when we have the rest of our children? WHY?.......

She ended up giving her final breath on the day of one of my best friend's birthdays. In the middle of December, right in the midst of the Christmas season.

Darkness has hung around my family many moons since then. I cringe thinking of my Daddy being here without her. They had been together since they were about fifteen years old. I think of my sister.....dealing with this as My Momma and Daddy's firstborn. I think of her grandchildren who adored her. I think of my husband, who was very close to her.

I'm no expert on grief, not by a long shot. I have learned that we DO need to grieve. I have learned that we can't pretend it doesn't exist. I have learned to be there for others in their grief, and NOT tell them to "get over it". I have learned to remember her life. I have learned that grief hurts. I have learned that when one doesn't deal with grief, it makes them bitter and angry, and often full of hate. I have learned that our Heavenly Father grieves alongside us. I have learned that grief NEVER goes away. It is carried, forever. I have learned that My Momma is grieved for not only by my Daddy, Sister, myself, but all of our family, and many, many more family members and friends. I have learned that the grief is SO BIG because the love shared was, and is, SO BIG.

This Thanksgiving season I am giving thanks for something a bit odd.
I am thanking GOD for GRIEF.
It hurts, it hurts to the core of my being. There are days that I remember everything all over again. There are days when Dylan is asking constantly, "When can I see my Nana?!!". There are nights when I just cry for no reason other than the fact that I can't call her on the phone. Because I need her, I need My Momma. I'm not even thirty years old yet. I have a five year old. I need HER. There are days when my husband wants to fix everything, but all he can do is hold me and say nothing. There are days I want to just scream because I still can't understand the reality of death. Death is not what we were meant for.....I think we Christians forget that sometimes. We try to mask our grief by calling it a beautiful thing. It's beautiful in God's eyes, yes...the death of His saints. THEY are reunited. BUT.....it's not pretty on our side. We were NOT meant to die. It's not supposed to be a beautiful thing to see our loved ones die. It is beautiful for THEM.....but it's not supposed to be this happy event on our part. It will be fixed one day...But that's a whole other subject, for another time.

I am thanking God for grief this year, and I will continue to do so. Because you see, in those dark moments of despair, in the deep grieving of my soul, I remember My Momma. I remember WHY I am hurting. I remember why there's a big emptiness in our family year round. I remember why there are odd silences when her name is mentioned. I remember why there's even more of an aching during birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. It's because I love her. She was and is loved by our family. It's because life is THAT GOOD. Life was that GOOD with her here. Her laugh. Her smile. Her telling me, "Everything will be alright". God was in those moments. God is in the business of giving life. And GOD IS IN THE GRIEF.
And even in my grief, I thank Him. Because without the grief to remember every moment I had with her, I'd forget.
And I don't want to forget her.
I want to remember.

Grief is what I'm thankful for this year.

Thank you, Lord. Thank you for the grief.