I John 3:18

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

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Lean In.

We spoke with some dear friends recently who were sharing stories of their loved ones who recently passed away.  It is always such an honour to hear stories like these.  Their precious loved ones were given the gift of many years here.  Still, that doesn't make it easier.

Since then I can't shake the thought of my Momma as an old woman.  We will never get to see her grow old, I know that.  That thought stings so bitterly sometimes.  I tried to picture her as an old woman.....I tried so hard. I tried to imagine her with wrinkles, old and frail.  And I just couldn't.  Because as much as I wish to imagine her old...she will never be gifted those golden years.
What a loss to the universe.

She would still be here spoiling her grandkids.
She would have been spending this time getting ready for all of us to get together...cooking, cleaning, busy with the excitement of my sister's family, and my family, arriving ready to spend some time together.

She would be doing all of that.
She would be 63.
She would be here...only if.

The other day our sweet boy told me he heard another little kid in the store calling out to his Nana.  He said, "Momma, I looked over at her, and she looked exactly like Nana!!!"
Even he feels her absence, even he remembers her.  That warms me more than I can say.
Imagining her here is all we have now.  And that is okay. 

But she is not here. The reality we live with is that something tragic happened, and she was gone well before she should have been. 

She will always be 55 in our memories. 

The holiday season can be full of difficult moments for so many.  As it should be, our loved ones are gone.  There are spaces in our lives that are empty, there are birthday cards never sent, there are phone calls never made, there are celebrations never celebrated.

*There are empty seats at our tables...and empty spaces in our hearts.*

May we never ignore the emptiness.

My husband often talks about how he's okay with "leaning into the awkwardness, the silences", etc.  I can't get that language out of my head.  I have been thinking about the necessity of leaning into the grief we carry. It is no secret that our hearts hurt, it is no secret that we miss our loved ones, it is no secret that we think of them so often...yet sometimes feel as if we will be annoying others if we mention them "again." May it never be.

May we learn to lean into the deep grief we carry, may we never lean away.
By leaning in, we get to learn more about love...which goes beyond every grave.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my stories about my Momma. That is a beautiful thing. She is missed, so very much.

While I enter into those days, those days that are anniversaries of the last days we had with her...even though yes, it's been so many years...I will lean.

I will lean, I will lean into the grief that is only here because of love.
Perhaps when I lean, I will be met with arms to embrace me.  Perhaps I will be met with tears that understand.  Perhaps I will be met with someone leaning alongside me.