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

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