I John 3:18

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

Friday, December 13, 2013

Grief, Reworked.

Nothing can quite explain the feels that come along with dreaming about our loved ones who are gone.  Last night, my Momma was with me in a dream.  It was a weird dream, but nonetheless...she was there.  Very much there, it seemed so real.  

Tomorrow, it will be six years.

How can six years feel like five minutes, feel like eternity, feel like hell all at once?  I'm not sure, but it can.  
Christmastime, with all the color, all the hopes, all the sentiment.......drums up all the Christmases we had with her.  Makes me wish all the more that she were here to celebrate with us, and lovingly spoil her grandkids, as she always did.

We have had a sad month.  My last Grandma, a great woman, breathed her last only a handful of days ago.  It was heartbreaking to see my Daddy have to bury his Momma.  She is missed, dearly.  By hundreds, (no really, hundreds,) of family members who will live out our days with fond memories of her.
The only comfort we had was in knowing she had lived a long life, and she had hinted that she was ready.  Though that doesn't make it easier, it eases the burden a bit.

She was surrounded by family.  She was surrounded by those who love her, by those she brought into this world.  She now has no more pain.  May she rest well.

Through the busy-ness, the road trips, the winter ice storms, the tears, through all of this, I keep thinking...

That is how it should be.  Though death is not how it was meant to be, we know we have to deal with it in this life.  But that, that's the "picture" most of us have in our heads of how it will happen.  Our loved ones live a long life, and they end their days surrounded by their loved ones.  Then, we learn to live with the grief that will take part in the rest of our days.  For so many, they have that chance.  They are able to have that experience.  It does not make it easy, it does not make us happy, but that is how many of us picture the end, even for ourselves.

Then there are others of us who don't get to see such an end.  There are those of us who are hit with tragedies unspeakable.  There are those of us bombarded with sudden, horrible events that rip our loved ones away.  There are those of us jolted into grief, without a warning, without a chance to come to terms with what is happening. It adds another aspect to the grief we will already have to live with.  

Death is not convenient.

We were standing there, minutes after my Grandma's funeral.  The crowds were leaving, the winter storm was on the way.  My husband, our son, my Daddy, my sister, her family.  We walked a few feet over where my Momma's headstone rests.  All the emotions welling up inside, with no way of describing the pain that throbs in my chest.  Our sweet boy looks up at me, as if all of a sudden, it makes sense.  He's read and re-read the tombstone.  He gets a serious look on his face, looks up at me and says, "But Momma, what about Nana??  She didn't get to be old like Mimi Flores.  She was young. What happened?".......

I will never forget that moment.  

What DID happen?  A tragedy.  She should still be here.  What happened?  I don't really know, sweet boy.  I just know it should not have happened.  I know we want her here.  I know she wasn't ready to go, not at all.  

Grief is like that.  We go on, we have memories.  We cry.  We hurt.  We age.  We pass new milestones.  We think of more questions to ask.  Just as our son is working it all out...we, too, continue to rework this grief we carry.  

If you're like me, I still reach for the phone to call my Momma at least weekly.  I used to think it was a habit.  I don't think that anymore.  I reach out to call her because she's my Momma.  Aside from my husband, she's who I want to talk to when something big, little, sad, happy, whatever happens.    

I miss her.  Every moment. So many of us miss her.

Six years tomorrow.  It could have just happened yesterday, it could have happened a hundred years ago. 

I just miss my Momma.  There won't ever be a time in my life when that sentence isn't true. 

*The holidays can be rough for those of us missing our loved ones.  You are not alone in your grief.  Let the tears flow, let the laughter roll.  Do what needs to be done, and know that there is a legion of us who also live with this grief.

"As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you..."
Isaiah 66:13

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Gift of Grief and Love.

"How long has it been?"

I get asked that question numerous times by many people, and it's usually from people who genuinely care.  It is such a hard question.  Because honestly, the answer is always, "Too long...".  Has it been over five years?  Yes.  Does it feel like an eternity without her?  Yes.  Does it feel like it happened moments ago?  Yes.

I recently turned another year older.  My husband and son threw an amazing party for me, it was all a surprise.  He conspired with some friends who also took me away for a night.  It was full of surprises, and fun, and love.  I loved it.  I'm so grateful for a husband who loves me like he does.  I had a blast.  They went overboard, they did entirely too much for me.  I didn't deserve any of it.  It was precious.

I was born at 1:11 a.m.  I couldn't sleep much the night before, so I was up near the actual time I was born.  Thirty-three years ago, my Momma was giving birth to me.  How could I NOT be thinking of her? My birth is because of her...well, and my Daddy.  : )  

I remember during the Deep Sadness, in the midst of the waiting, the endless fog.....how it felt like a nightmare.  It was too harsh, too brutal, too sad to be real.  How could it be?  I remember having thoughts like that repeatedly.  How could this all be happening?  Surely, surely it wouldn't end this way.  This is hell on earth.  This is the absolute worst thing to have to endure.  This can't be it.  Not with my Momma, this can't be the end.

It was.

Grief is so rough.  Rough, in the sense that it just can't be described.  We can't box it in, present a paper on it, and clearly define it.  We can't come alongside someone and slip them a note on how to conquer grief.

It isn't to be conquered, it is to be lived with.

It is messy.  Part of the reason I write so much about it is because quite honestly, I CAN'T talk much about it.  Unless someone is willing to sit beside me with eighty-seven thousand boxes of tissues, listening to me pause to cry repeatedly, I can't talk much about it.  I will cry.  Every time.  Because grief does that.  When I think about my Momma, I wish it weren't because of her absence.  I wish it were because we were all about to see her.  Or, even to argue with her.  I'd take that, too.

So, how long has it been?  It doesn't matter.  It's been a second, it's been twenty years, it's all just been time without my Momma.  It's been moments without her.  It's been celebrating my marriage, our son, new homes, new jobs.......it's been going on without her.  And it's not easy.  I realize I was young, I realize I am still young.  And it is a chilling thought when I think of how short a time I had with her.  It wasn't supposed to be this way.  How long has it been?
Well, it has just *been*.  It's been life without her, which is the ugliness of grief.  It's the absence of ones we love so dearly.

Yet it is this way.  And that's the vulnerability of grief.  It just IS.  It is the gut-wrenching feeling when I want to call her, and remember I can't.  It is the tear that comes involuntarily as I remember a moment with her.  All I have now is the memories.  It's the heartache that presses in my chest as I acknowledge that we won't be able to make more memories with her.  They'll all be made in her absence.

It is extremely difficult to talk about grief because it is extremely difficult to LIVE with grief.  Yet, that is what many of us have to do.  We go on.  No, it isn't easier today than it was December of 2007. No, the pain isn't lighter.  No, I'm not some strong person who has answers about grief.  I have just gone on.  Day by day, moment by moment.  Some days have been as dark as the blackest night, and some days have been a bit brighter.

I am thankful for a husband who loves me, and who carries this grief with me daily.  I am thankful that when I look at our sweet offspring, I see glimpses of his Nana, my Momma.  I am thankful that grief is not meant to be carried alone...it can't be.

Yet I relish in the moments of tears.  Some nights I just need to sit and cry.  Some days I need to remember her, certain moments, her face, her laugh, her hug.

I'll take remembering the heartache over remembering nothing.

Because I'll tell you one thing, my Momma was the best Momma there ever was.  I have big shoes to fill, and I don't take that lightly.  She was a good wife, mom, and when I was older, she was my best friend.  I am striving to be just like her.

Why do I love SO fiercely?  Because I can't help it.  I was this way when Momma was here.  I love this man, this husband, this other part of me in a way that can't be squelched.  I adore this sweet boy of ours, and spoil him with so much love.  I love my family, all of them, because they are a gift.  I love the people in my life because I am one of "those" people who believes we are all intertwined for reasons we can't explain.

I refuse to be fickle in love, I refuse to take for granted the days we are given together.  As I continue to go on, missing her, wishing she were here, wishing I could talk to my Momma.....I'll keep on going.

I'll keep making memories with my Loves, because love is a gift.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Autumn Makes Me Want My Mommy/This Post Will Probably Bring Tears

Okay, I want her everyday, but there's something about Autumn...

This month, our baby turns nine.
This month, the air will begin to turn cool...bringing with it crispy, colorful leaves that will blanket the ground.
This month, we'll plan another big ol' shindig to celebrate the life of our sweet Offspring.
This month, I'm on the edge of another birthday.
This month, I want my Momma.

There have been many moments over the last several days when the tears have just fallen out, regardless of how I tried to hold back.  I accidentally came across an old journal of mine, opened it up and read, "Today is the first Sunday I've gone to church since losing Momma..." SNAP.  I immediately shut it.  We had company coming over, and it was one of those times that either I'd need to dive in and have a good moment, crying my eyeballs out...or put it away for a different time.  For then...it had to wait.

I was thinking about how much our Babylove is obsessed with all things water, fish, Bass Pro, boats, etc.  And then I remembered how precious it was that my Momma always called him her little "Loveboat".  Sigh.
This morning in church, oh my.  One of the sweetest couples we know had their grandchildren with them.  As I watched those two little girls wriggle all over the pew, I absolutely adored their Grandma just looking at them the only way a grandma can.  With that sparkle, that twinkle, that joy, that whatever it is.....that look.  I remember that look.  I remember the way my Momma's beautiful blue eyes would light up at our sweet boy, and my sister's kiddos.  It's a look that's indescribable.

Our church service was nearly ending.  They hand me the plate, hand me the cup.  I give the bread to our sweet little boy.  We partake of this Eucharist together.

I felt the tears come again.  I wasn't sure why.  Why now, why was I about to cry??

I am still not sure.

The Eucharist is such a beautiful, indescribable, wonderful thing to take part in.  The Pastor, My Love, reminds us that it is the one place we always come to, where every single individual is invited....where we leave our differences.  We are united.  Everybody.

In that moment, I'm still not sure why the tears flowed.  Maybe I'm frustrated that I can't put it into words?  I tried to describe it to My Love.  Was it a reminder of the comfort He gives us?  Was it my hormones?  Was it sharing in this with our sweet boy?  Was it how holding his hand reminded me of her holding mine...and how I have her hands?

I write about remembering her.  I write about the importance of grief, how we *need* to talk about it, because some of us have to live with it forever.  And if we don't, we know someone who does.

I am passing on a piece of my Momma, regardless of what I say or do.

I am passing on a piece of my Momma to our firstborn, her second grandson...

I am passing on a piece of her simply because I wear the skin she carried in her very body...

I can't help but echo her, I'm part of her.

Death separates, but it doesn't kill the Love that will always be.

Life will bring so many valleys, and many times they enter in regardless of our choices.  For the life of me, I don't understand why we waste time adding to the scars.  For the life of me, I do not understand why we don't spend more time LOVING.
Call me naive, I don't care.

When the cold chill of death becomes a reality, separation from someone we love so much...I am reminded that every. single. moment. is a GIFT.  The years go so quickly, time can be so brutal, and memories of our loved ones can haunt us in a way that causes tears to flow, regardless of whether we want them to, or not.

LOVE one another.
That is the one thing I'm quite sure won't cause regret.

*Go ahead, get'yer tissue now.  : )

Friday, August 23, 2013

So Many Hats.

Some days, I'm just spent.  Okay.......honestly, everyday.

But truth be told, it's a good kind of spent.  I don't take what I do lightly.  My sweet husband is a Minister, so of course I'm always helping with that.  I have the gift of being able to work here, in our home.  Also, I have the gift of homeschooling our sweet son.  I'm not sure what the word is, some may say a "calling", but I'm pretty burnt out on "christianese".  I'm strongly pulled, my heart is drawn, and my mind is constantly immersed in these things.  My heart adores all that I get to do.  These people I live with, the things I'm doing...they pull me in.

I am so much in love with these boys, they are a gift to me.  So....maybe it is a calling.

Moving on...

I have wanted to write about our homeschooling journey in detail for many years.  I guess part of me wonders if anybody would even care to know.  Because Lord knows, I'm no expert. Is anybody, really? The more we study a thing, we all realize how much MORE we have to learn.

However, I know in all my nine years of research on homeschooling, the zillion ways to do it, and then actually doing it.....I wish I'd had someone to help me through.  It's been great for our family, and our son loves it.  But in a sense, I always felt as though I was having to "break new ground", so to speak.  Seeing as how this is our sixth year of homeschooling, I thought I'd go ahead and attempt writing about it.  So, whether you care to know, or know somebody who does, here is my new blog!!

I reiterate.......I'm no expert!!  But for our family, it has worked, and is still working so well.  I know it is a gift. I consider it, as everything else I do day in and day out, as something  s a c r e d.

Since this is my personal blog, full of posts about my family, and living with grief... I thought starting a new blog  would be a better idea.  If you read, enjoy!  If not, enjoy!  : )

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Space, and Haunting Thoughts.

I guess it's a little presumptuous to assume others will even care to know about my ongoing journey through grief.  Still, I write.

I can't get so many memories of Momma out of my head.  (And no, I do NOT think I need to.) There are days that are filled with happy memories that make me smile, days that I think of her laughter, days that I have a wonderful memory of her spending time with me. A couple of them that I think of often are when she'd grab my arm, laugh, and say, "I just want a little love bite!"...and she'd pretend to bite my arm.  And sometimes, she would actually (jokingly) bite me!  I'd laugh. She'd laugh.  (Yes, I do the same thing with our little Babylove!)  Another memory is of her pretending to bite my feet.  I know I had to have been a very young age, which is odd to me.  Because I don't have much of a memory of being a little girl.  But those moments have stuck with me.  (What's with all the biting, Momma?  I guess I'm just sweet.)  ; )

And then there are other memories.

Memories of the Deep Sadness, of her last days.
Memories of me looking forward to the future.....of having her be around to help me raise our sweet son, of having her around to answer questions I have about her childhood, about my childhood...of having her to share in the joy of mine and my husband's marriage.  She always loved to celebrate those things.  She always sent cards and flowers on our anniversaries.  I had so many dreams of doing fun things with all of us together, of being a wife and momma WITH my Momma.

These Haunting Thoughts happen often, so many things can trigger them.  And still, it can be nothing that triggers them.....they just float in and take up space in my mind.  Would I want to forget them?  No, never. Still, sometimes the pain is so deep.......all I can do is write about it, get through the moments, and keep going.

One of the Haunting Thoughts that I can't stop thinking about lately happened during sometime of her last year with us.  She was always so proud of my sister and me, and naturally, the grandbabies.  She was one of those "dote all she can, brag about them constantly, spend every second she could with them, show you every picture she has" kind of Nanas.  When my husband and I were visiting my parents one weekend, I remember her looking at our Babylove.  She was enjoying every second of him being there, watching him intently, and smiling.  She was soaking every second up.
She looked at me and said, "I sure hope I'm around to see them grow up, and to be a Great Nana!"...

It stings my soul to even type those words, because I don't think I've ever told anyone about that moment.  It was always so much of an intense thing for me to think of after losing her, and something I never could have even said without bursting into tears.  Because I burst into tears just now....and that was just typing it out.

I've learned to make space for these haunting thoughts.  I've learned that they will always be here.  Memory is such a beautiful gift, and often it is so full of pain.

I miss her everyday.
I picked up the phone to call her yesterday morning, I was itching to share all my excitement about our new homeschooling year.  Nevermind that she breathed her last in December of 2007, my very soul still wants to share in every joy I have with her.  When I'm sad, I want to talk to her.  She's my Momma.  It's more than instinct, my sister and I had a Momma that loved us, and we knew it.  We know it.

It's hard.
Some days are just hard.
A sweet friend of mine was asking about my Momma the other day.  I had a lump in my throat the entire time.  I was telling her my story, about losing Momma.  And then it hit me how long I've been going along.......without her.  Our sweet boy had just turned three when it happened.......he's now inching towards nine years old.  We've been given a raw deal.  She should still be here.  But she's not.

Life continues to happen, I'll age, we'll all keep going.  And one day I'll look back, and it'll be twenty years, and you know what?.......

I'll still have a lump in my throat, I'll still shed tears, I'll still need my husband to hug me, I'll still want her here.......and I'll still have space in my brain and my heart full of haunting thoughts.

And that is one of the ways of grief.

You sweet people who carry grief, you are not alone.  And if you don't carry it.......comfort someone you know and love, because I'm sure you know someone living with haunting thoughts.  Help be that person who creates a space for them to grieve.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

June 28th, Decade-iversary!

Happy 10th Anniversary, My Love!

We've been married for a decade, together for longer.  I adore you, I adore us.  You make life sweeter, you encourage me, you're my best friend, you give me hope, we give me hope.  I love you.

I LOVE US!!!!!!!  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

All it Takes is a Moment.

“To: Mom  Happy Mother’s Day 1993”

That’s what I’d written on the back of a piece of pottery when I was twelve years old.  I vaguely remember making it.  I’d seen it on the top of a bin as I’d been vigorously unpacking over the past couple of days.  I just didn’t want to move it yet.  When I finally got to that bin, I was fine.  Then I picked it up, turned it around…and read those words.  It wasn’t one of those fall apart moments this time, although one can never tell when those will happen.  However, I felt as if my breath had been knocked out of my chest.  The absence of our loved ones is ongoing…so why do people talk about grief like it’s a passing thing? 

We had just returned from our trip to Texas when we noticed the baby robins in a nest on our porch.  I’d been telling our sweet son to watch for that momma who was coming in to feed those babies every few hours.  It was such a special thing to see.  A day later while mowing the lawn, My Love told me one of the baby robins was flittering about in the backyard.  With our dog.  I immediately said, “Please go get it out!”.  Our dog is a cairn terrier, and he likes birds, squirrels, and anything else that breathes near the ground.  Not a moment later, Gus had picked that little baby bird up in his mouth.  As I watched my sweet husband coax Gus into dropping the baby bird, I felt some sort of hope for it.  He set the little sweet bird near me, and I stayed by it to see what I could do…….as if I had any idea what to do.  Immediately, I noticed it’s leg was broken.  I kept thinking of how I should get a box quickly, and start nursing it back to health….however I could figure out.  Or take it to a shelter.  Or anything else, my mind was racing for a fix.  As I watched, it kept pecking for a twig hear and there, and I just figured it’d be okay.  I stayed there, about to go get a box, and I saw that tiny little bird take a few longer breaths, and that sweet little head dropped.  Instead of getting a box to nurse it back to health, I found a smaller one and buried it in our yard.  This all happened under five minutes, but it seemed like a very long time to me.  I kept wondering why I was hyper-emotional about this, why I was standing there crying in our yard as I was digging a little spot for this brand new bird. 

My next thought.......that even in the midst of Spring, death enters in.

Not even hours later, we received news that a dear, sweet, wonderful man in our church had passed away.  We’ve only been here for under a year, but that is plenty of time to get attached to these wonderful people.  I kept thinking of all the times I’ve made coffee on Sunday mornings in our fellowship hall, and he was one of the first ones there so often.  That doesn’t hold a candle to the memories I know his loved ones will always have of him.  One thing I know for sure about him, when he spoke, all ears around listened.  He was a very special man, and I know his family and friends will miss him greatly.  May he find rest.

Grief goes with us.

Throughout my life, I have written. It has always been therapeutic for me.  Since The Deep Sadness of 2007, I have kept writing.  Sometimes it has been out of frustration, others out of dark sadness, other times because it was the only way to describe what was happening inside my heart.  I can only speak of my own grief, I can only speak of my experience.  I realize it is hard, I’ve said that countless times.  It is a tough thing to read about.  Let me tell you, it’s an even tougher thing to live with.  I will continue sharing these pieces of myself, hoping it helps others to  know they are not alone. 

I’m not an expert, but one thing I know about grief is that it refuses to be categorized, summed up, or put into “stages”.   Like many grand things in this life....love, God, marriage, children, tears, and laughter.....grief spills over out of the descriptive boxes we create.

Grief is a new way to live.

Friday, May 31, 2013


When I was a tender little girl, I was known in my hometown for my smiles and laughter.  I smiled, my big smile....I laughed, my VERY loud laugh....all the time.  I remember hearing how much people loved it.  I also remember being told to be quiet...my laughter was too loud.  That I needed to calm down, I was getting too excited.

Fast forward to now. 

I've poured my heart into writing over the past several years, especially after losing Momma.  I've shared my grief with whomever chooses to read, because I believe it is SO very important to share our stories.  I've shared my tears, my pain, the emptiness that enters in after losing a loved one.  I've been super transparent, many times more than I even cared to be.  I've been told I "grieve" too much, that I need to get over it.  I've been told that I dwell on it too much.  I've been told to move on. I've been told that my tears are too loud.  That I need to calm down, I'm getting too extreme.

I am thankful for a God who boldly disagrees with the mindset that I'm "feeling" too much.  I am thankful God gave us laughter, smiles, frowns, and tears.

I am thankful God created us to feel.

Because of feeling, we love.  We learn what is good, we learn what is bad.  We learn to identify those rare and precious moments, when we see pieces of Heaven.  We also learn to identify when pieces of hell are in our midst.

Because of feeling, we learn how to love.  We love our parents.  We love our siblings.  We "fall in love" with our spouses, and then experience love in ways we never expected.  We watch it grow.  We cling to our spouses, become even closer to them year after year.  We love them more.  We feel more.  

I am fascinated with how much our culture puts so much meaning into "moving on", "letting go", "getting over" the many things that life throws our way.

I don't know if I'm just a slow learner, or what.....but I always see God in the times that I'm living IN the moments.  When I'm really feeling the goodnesss, silliness, crazy love that happens in our family, with my husband and son, I see God.  When I'm laughing among friends, I see God.  When we partake in the Eucharist, I see God.  When we're sharing a table with loved ones, when I'm singing our sweet offspring to sleep, when my husband bends down to hold me, kiss me, tell me he loves me, I see God.  
When I'm hugging a friend who is mourning a loved one, I see God.  When I'm feeling the grief of someone else's loss, I see God.  When our son is crying, hurting, I see God.  When I see a person/group of people being oppressed and cast out, looking for a place to belong, I see God.  When I'm clinging to a memory of my Momma late at night, tears flowing heavily...I see God.  

When I read the Gospels, when I read the Bible, I get the idea that maybe we ARE supposed to feel.  I get the idea that being created in His image is a good thing.  I get the idea that our humanity, our compassion, our grief, our love for one another.....our FEELING is something that points towards God.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Voice and an Empty Space.

He looks up at me countless times throughout the day-  “Mommy, do you think that’s true?  Momma, guess what!?!  Momma, look at what I made!!!  Whoa, did you see what I did??!” 

 He’s always excited about life.  Whether it’s another fact he learns about the many animals he’s obsessed with, or another piece of history, or something else so gross it’s sure to make me squeal…..he lights up.  And his very next reaction is to seek out my opinion about what he is saying or doing.  Even when he’s pushing the boundaries, having a bad day and just trying to see how far he can get, his eyes will fix on me, awaiting my response. 

It scares me sometimes.

Because I get it.  He wants to be affirmed.  He wants to be acknowledged.  He wants to know he’s doing something good.  Or, he just wants to get into trouble….because sometimes even negative attention will do.  It’s so natural.  We crave that guidance, that affirmation, acknowledgement, from the ones we love the most.  It can come from anyone, but what means the most is when it comes from the ones we are closest to.  In this big, scary, uncertain world….we just want to know we have a voice…that our loved ones hear-really hear-us.

And here I am, a grown woman who still wonders if anyone hears me, yet I now have the privilege of giving this sweet boy of ours his own voice in this world.  Dear, Sweet, God…help me not to hinder the voice that comes out of this little one’s being.

Quite naturally, it reminds me of my Momma.  I am so very thankful she heard me.  (No, she wasn’t perfect.  Nobody is.  And when we try to strip our departed loved ones of their flaws, we do a disservice to all of us involved.  It strips them of the divine gift of their humanity.  She was created to be her, even in her flaws.)  But thankfully, so thankfully, she was an amazing Momma to my sister and me.  It’s because of that very fact that we miss her fiercely, bitterly, wholeheartedly.  She was our Momma.  She gave me my voice.  She pushed me to be me, and nobody else. 

I can’t speak for others, but one of the most difficult things in living with the grief of her being gone is that I often feel as if I need to apologize for my grief.  Whether it’s not convenient to someone else’s day to hear about it, or it has been “long enough”, or it’s me….I often make myself feel that way.  That needs to stop.  That is the complete opposite of love….to shut up the hurts of those around us.  How dare we do that! 
Today, our offspring had to write a paragraph about somebody very special to him.  He wrote about me.  It was the most adorable thing ever.  Yes, my eyes were teary.  What has been etched into my heart is the last sentence he wrote, “But what makes her special is that she’s my mom.”  That is one of the most fabulous sentences I’ve ever read.  Because what makes our relationship with our son so fantastic is just that-----he is our son.  We are his parents.  What a sacred, special, wonderful thing. 

And she, though now gone, was my Momma.  I am her daughter.  When I talk about missing her, when I talk about being angry that she isn’t here, that I am so very jealous of other young daughters who still have their mothers around, when I think of how she'll never meet the rest of the children my husband and I have, when I just want to curl up in a ball because I can’t find the words to express the deep, dark, gaping, empty space that now exists due to her absence…..that is what I mean.  Exactly what our sweet boy thinks of me, which means the world to me.  I am so thankful she gave me a voice.  I am so thankful I am her daughter.  I am so thankful I am a momma, just as she was.  I am so thankful I will see her again one day.  I am so thankful we had a bond that nobody else will ever replicate. 

But when it comes to her absence, it will always hurt like hell.  I can never apologize for that.

 “…What makes her special is that she’s my mom…”

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rough Seasons and Hard Cries

"For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me."
"So I am allotted months of vanity, and nights of trouble are appointed me."
"Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul."
"I loathe my own life; I will give full vent to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul."
"If I speak, my pain is not lessened, and if I hold back, what has left me?"
"My eye has also grown dim because of grief, and all my members are as a shadow."
"My days are past, my plans are torn apart, even the wishes of my heart."
"It is God who has made my heart faint, and the Almighty who has dismayed me, but I am not silenced by the darkness, nor deep gloom which covers me."
"I cry out to You for help, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You turn Your attention against me."
"When I expected good, then evil came;  when I waited for light, then darkness came. I am seething within and cannot relax; days of affliction confront me. I go about mourning without comfort; I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help."
"Therefore my harp is turned to mourning, and my flute to the sound of those who weep."
"Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my groaning.  Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray.
"Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am pining away; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are dismayed.  And my soul is greatly dismayed; but You, O LORD--how long? Return, O LORD, rescue my soul, save me because of Your lovingkindness."
"I am weary with sighing; every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears.  My eye has wasted away with grief; it has become old because of my adversaries."
"The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble"
"He does not forget the cry of the afflicted"
For the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever."
"How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day?"
"Hear a just cause, O LORD, give heed to my cry; Give ear to my prayer, which is not from deceitful lips."
"In my distress, I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears."
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; and by night, but I have no rest."
"Be not far from me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help."
"I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within me."
"But You, O LORD, be not far off; O You my help, hasten to my assistance."
"Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice, and be gracious to me and answer me."
"Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary."
"Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You.  My heart throbs, my strength fails me; and the light of my eyes, even that has gone from me."
"For I am ready to fall, and my sorrow is continually before me."
"Since I am afflicted and needy, let the Lord be mindful of me."
"How blessed is he who considers the helpless; the LORD will deliver him in a day of trouble."
"Give heed to me and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted."
"Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, and He will hear my voice."
"You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle.  Are they not in Your book?"
"Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by."
"Hear my cry, O God; give heed to my prayer.  From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I."
"For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net; You laid an oppressive burden upon our loins."
"Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the God who is our salvation. Selah."
"Save me, O God, for the waters have threatened my life.  I have sunk in deep mire, and there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and a flood overflows me.  I am weary with crying; my throat is parched; my eyes fail while I wait for my God."
"And do not hide Your face from Your servant, for I am in distress; answer my quickly."
"But I am afflicted and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay."
"You who have shown me many troubles and distresses will revive me again, and will bring me up again from the depths of the earth."
"Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us, and the years we have seen evil."
"My heart has been smitten like grass and has withered away, indeed, I forget to eat my bread.  Because of the loudness of my groaning my bones cling to my flesh."
"I lie awake, I have become like a lonely bird on a housetop."
"For I am afflicted and needy, and my heart is wounded within me."
"My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Your word."
"I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me."
"My eyes fail with longing for Your word, while I say, 'When will You comfort me?'"
"I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words."
"Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.  He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him."
"I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him."
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
"The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
"Sorrow is better than laughter, for when a face is sad a heart may be happy."
"My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day long, 'Where is your god?'"
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ."
"For if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness."
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
"Jesus wept."

There are times in life when all we have to offer is sadness, grief, and a broken heart.
For the mother who has lost a child.
For the family who won't have food to give their child dinner tonight.
To the couple longing for a child, struggling with infertility.
For the spouse grieving over the infidelity of their lover.
For the person who continues to be met with burden after burden, regardless of how hard they try.
To the lonely heart.
For the daughter who misses her Mother.
For the wife mourning her husband's death.
For the family left homeless, believing they have nowhere to turn.
To the child mourning her Father.
For the person living with a terminal illness.

You are not alone.

Be kind to those you know who are in pain, even yourself.

Instead of telling someone how they ought to be glad, ought to stop thinking about the pain, ought to be content or thankful, ought to get over it...having the humanity and compassion to be there for them could be life changing.

Who knows, feeling someone else's grief may help us deal with our own.