Eight years are the words in my mind today. Eight full years since we lost mum. It is hard to believe that time has gone by so fast – at the time it seemed like the world stood still. Yet we have continued, and on the whole we have done well and grown stronger. Most of the times thinking of her does not make me sad, in fact as a family we mostly share happy memories, yet at the time words like ‘suicide’ and ‘mental illness’ seemed unbearable and insurmountable.
As time passes grief changes, yet it does not fully pass away. Each new phase of live brings a new grief of things she missed out on. Wedding dresses picked out without her, newlyweds not getting motherly advice, recipes unshared and now motherhood. The thought that she will not get to hold my baby girl when she is born is a fresh grief as raw as the first grief eight years ago.
Yet as time moves on and grief changes its face I am still reminded and rely on the fact that although we grieve we are not without hope. Mum loved the Lord so I know that our separation is temporary, I know that in heaven she is completely healed and restored and I know that Jesus is still in the business of transforming my grief into something beautiful that will bring glory to Him.
Isaiah 61:1-4 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.
In His hands my grief does not lead to despair. So although I may be sad sometimes about what Mum has missed and about what I have lost in not having her with me I choose to hand over my grief to the One who is acquainted with sorrow and to the One who can transform it into something of splendour, something that rebuilds and restores. I choose not to hold tightly to my grief but to entrust into the hands of the One who loves me enough to give me the costly gift of His Son.