I John 3:18

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

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Wish for the Maternal.

My Love often does this thing.  He'll set his Bible down across the room, walk away from it and say, "Shhhhhh....let's all be quiet, and let the Bible speak.  It is going to tell us all something."  And we sit in silence......because we all know that will not happen.  It can often be an uncomfortable silence.

I think we could do the same thing with God....let's all be quiet, and let God talk to us.  Let God come fix all these wrongs.   Let God heal our grief.  Let God bring back our loved ones to us. Let God undo the painful memories of the tragic events our eyes have endured.  Let's all sit and wait, okay?  Ready, go.......
Let's do nothing, and keep saying, "God can fix your broken heart, mend your wounds, etc.  OR...let's step in, bring the bandages and the wine, sit down and weep with one another.  Maybe we could just sit with one another for a while in these earthy places...and then we can be closer to God. 

There's a look I get often. The "again, Jessica?" look.  The "are you still talking about your grief?" look.  The "are you ever going to learn to just stop talking about it, we are tired of hearing about it!" look.  I know it well.  And sadly, sometimes I let that look win.  And I am so sorry for the times I have.  Deeply.
The irony we, as people carrying grief know, is that there are some days the pain is so fresh again...there are some days the hurt is so heavy....that we DO wish we could stop feeling it all, so we could stop talking about it!!!  Just as one can choose to not listen to it anymore, some days we wish we could choose to not feel it anymore.
But we do feel it.  And tomorrow will come, and life will happen, and years will pass...and we will still miss our loved ones.  Because we will still feel it.

When I do get those looks, or even words like that from others, I am reminded of something our Little Bean said once, "Momma, dogs are never rude. They never judge you when you do something wrong. They're always right there!"  Absolutely, agreed.  May we learn to be more like our dogs!

Want to know why we talk so much about missing our loved ones?  It's the "could've beens".  It's the "should've beens".  It's because we only have memory to go on, so we cling to it, because my Momma should still be here!!!  She should still be here planning out every Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday party, etc., with my sister and me.  She should.  But she isn't.  And we go on without her, not because we want to, because she died too early.....and the timing was NOT perfect....and there isn't some "holy" reason or lesson in it.  Hell happened for us in that, here on earth.  And now, we are still going on, as best as we know how.  But we still wish she were here. 

Hope Edelman speaks on this a bit in her book "Motherless Daughters".  She writes, "Of course we idealize.  Of course.  And we romanticize, too."  She goes on later to say, "Giving mothers this kind of posthumous power allows us to remain their daughters.  It gives us, in some small way, the kind of mother-daughter relationship we long for."

I bet you can count on one hand the times someone has said something to you that echoed down into the depths of your heart, and touched a place so tender, that it brought you to tears or laughter. I bet you wish those moments happened more often. They can, and they should.  It starts with us.  We can do better, we can be better, and we can say things better than we have before.  True, we were given two ears and one mouth.  ***But our mouths are closer to our hearts.  What echoes out of our lips speaks more about us than we know.***
The thing about our words is that they can hurt.  They can hurt so deeply that they can break a soul down.  They can hurt so deeply that they can be responsible for a person's downfall.  But...they can help so deeply that they can build a soul up.  They can help so deeply that they can be responsible for a person's well-being.  If only we can remember that before we speak.
And of course, sometimes in life there are just no words to describe the love, the romance, the joy, the pain, the anger, or the grief.  And that is okay. 
But we don't often want to take the time to feel with other people...we are busy.  Or better yet, we look at all the ways we can "fix" their lives.  "If only they'd listen to me, I could fix their life if they'd just come around to my way of thinking." 
***Sometimes we get so wrapped up in cramming our ideas and theology down someone else's throat, we don't notice they are full. 

Better yet, we don't notice they may have something better to offer us, if we could just stop talking and listen.***

If we believe God is a God of love, and we will absolutely see our loved ones again, (which I do), then can we just all agree to let those around speak about their loved ones?  Because as you are able to experience your Mom helping you raise your child, I'm watching.  Sometimes, absolutely jealous that Momma isn't here.  Sometimes, wishing I had that same help and encouragement.  Sometimes, wondering if you have any idea how lucky you are to have the hand of the maternal reaching out to you, because some of us reach out, and we know there is not a Momma to reach back.  So we do the best we can.  And kind words, encouragement, and the beautiful thing called LOVE is so very much needed, instead of a wish that we'd stop talking and feeling and wishing and loving....and writing.

Heaven help us when those wishing to quiet our sorrow win.  Heaven help us when we stop speaking on this grief, which only exists because of love.

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