Grief took me by surprise . . .

“My heart is filled with overwhelming thoughts and feelings this morning, Abba, thoughts of love and thoughts of sadness . . . I need you desperately, yet I know I won’t do what you tell me to do . . . I don’t know, LORD, I feel so angry, so pissed off . . . this house, I think it was the right house, but I miss the other house so much—in a way I feel like I’ve left my mother behind . . . you better pull me out of this funk . . . I can’t do it . . . when all is said and done, I’d like to say ‘I trust you,’ I’m just not sure I do . . .”

During a more lucid moment hours before her death my mother said, “I wish we could all go together.” The three of us had done so many things together over the years, from many memorable vacations and cross-country trips to day in day out living—just the three of us living life together. So, of course, she would want us to die together.

I thought at first this was her desire because she would miss us.

Finally, here at the end of her life, she was thinking about herself. She very rarely ever thought of her own wants and desires; she was and still is the least selfish person I have ever known, always putting my father’s and mine wishes and necessities before her own. No form of conditioning made her this way. This selflessness came purely from a heart full of gratitude for all that God had given her.

I was wrong.

Dad and I were still first in her thoughts. Her final wish for us to go together was because she knew how deeply we would miss her and it was her greatest yearning to save us from this staggering pain.

“How can you be so sure?”

Because prior to and until her final breath, she begged and pleaded repeatedly with “Mary” saying over and over again, “why; why not; why can’t they?” I just know!

Almost three years have passed since she moved on and the magnitude of the grief returned almost full force these last couple of weeks. Why?

Two life changes very close together . . . retirement and moving. One of my very wise daughter’s-in-love said that moving would make her death seem more permanent.

She was right and yet just knowing that makes my mother’s aliveness more real and available.

Grief is like a kaleidoscope. The pain fractures Light into unimaginable patterns of deep hope, profound awareness, and intense insights.

As far as not being sure I could trust God . . . I trusted Him with my doubts and that’s all He needed.