I’ve read a lot of books about grief. Well, not about grief per say, but about characters who are grieving. I knew that people experiencing grief all experience it differently – some cry, some are stoic, some are angry. I knew that the grief could show up where you least expected it. I knew all of these things.
Knowing, however, is quite different than living it.
Each day feels a little like a roller coaster.
This morning, we started our day by going to the cemetery to ask for more thank you notes. I didn’t expect that to be a very big deal, but as we pulled into the parking lot, I almost felt sick. If thank you note writing hadn’t been ingrained in me from birth, I’m not sure I would have walked in there and asked for them.
After that, we celebrated my aunt’s birthday downtown with lunch and a few spontaneous-buy cupcakes. Lunch was delicious and everyone enjoyed a few Macy antics and Selah squeals.
Of course, we were all reminded that my mother was missing from the celebration.
Back in the car, it was such a beautiful day that I hated to just drive straight home. We hit a park, enjoyed the sunshine, and then decided to take Macy to the library. I’m embarrassed to say that it was Macy’s first remembered time with me in a library. Things have been so hectic since we’ve been back, I’d forgotten how much I wanted to take her.
She walked right in, picked out three books and immediately began reading them – propping them up on a step stool. It made me smile to see her so in her element. I love how wide her interests are.
We left the library with her brand new library card, ten checked out books, and a promise to be back soon. Definitely a high in my day.
Later that evening, my dad told me that the cancer center where my mom was a patient had called. The woman was calling to ask why my mother hadn’t shown up for her last few appointments.
I do understand – it’s a huge hospital – and news may not travel quite as fast as one would hope from department to department. But I hated that my dad had yet another reminder.
It’s the same way I feel when my mom gets mail. Or when I find a note in her handwriting.
And so life goes on. I’m still changing diapers, wiping snot, kissing boo-boos. But I sometimes feel as though I should be wearing a name tag. I’m Amy. I just lost my mother. I’m still grieving.
I miss her every day. Every hour. I watch my girls grow up and think how sad I am that she isn’t there to see it. Selah is talking more (duck! quack! this! that!) and getting oh-so-ready to take her first step. Macy is counting to one hundred (by herself!) and writing her name (at least the M and the A) and I think before I know it she’ll be in kindergarten. Mom would have loved to see that. She would have baked her cookies after school and served them hot while asking her about her day.
So I’m learning that grief takes time. And it’s not easy. But I’m thankful that I have hope. And that a great God is ultimately in control.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
Psalms 147: 3-5