A Brand-New Mother’s Day
A Brand-New Mother’s Day
My mom went home to be with Jesus two months ago. The last thing she told me was that she was going to be alright and she repeatedly told me that everything was going to be brand new. Brand new.
The hard times without mom.
I had one voicemail that I had not listened to from my mom because I was on my way to her when she left it. When I came to her distress, there was no time to listen to that voicemail as I was calling 911, speaking with nurses, calling my brothers, doing all the things you do for a loved one who is not well. Then, we were planning her funeral. So, it took me over a week to listen to the voicemail. When I heard her voice, “Sweety, will you come home, I’m not feeling well,” I lost it. The big ugly cry that bellows unbearably from the depths of your being. But it was not grief that caused this, it was love. I loved that my mom called me, Sweety and that she called me to make her feel better. I loved coming home and my mom being there as she lived with me for about 10 years.
I would like to share what I have experienced with you, in the hope that it might bring you comfort and hope. Here is what I have experienced:
What do I do now that I have lost my mom?
This grief I’m experiencing encapsulates the end of a time I don’t want to end, but it also represents new chapters; the one where my mom, in all of her glorious, new, healed-self resides with the King of Kings, and I continue my life without her here. She and I are experiencing all things new. I have found myself crying out to God asking, “How do I start a new chapter when I’m grieving?”
One of the first things I did was to make counseling appointments. I felt so, not okay, I made an appointment with a bereavement counselor and a psychologist. I was experiencing waves of sorrow and I just knew I wasn’t okay and that I needed help.
I walked away with priceless advice, that it was okay to be sad. That losing someone is tragic. I walked away with the comfort of knowing that grieving was okay. That I will feel my heartbreak and feel the peace of God. That I will feel my heartbreak and the joys of life. That the one certainty of living is death, everyone experiences loss, and it is sad—and it’s okay to feel sad. I also walked away with phone numbers, people I could reach out to if I needed to.
I learned that grief isn’t a moment to get over. I read grief explained like this, “grief happens to be triggered by external reminders because grief is an emotion that sends a vague alert to help you to remember, rather than to forget.” (Lamia)
Understanding that my body was sending these signals, although painful, so I didn’t forget a woman that I loved so dearly, somehow made me feel better. It’s God’s goodness, He designed us to not forget our loved ones.
God gave me a verse to stand on. 1 Corinthians 13:7-8 makes a bold statement about love, “It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” I never looked at this verse through the grief perspective, but I have come to terms that the love for my mom will never end, and that means my grief may not either.
3. Be loved.
Although I don’t understand why things happen. I do understand that God loves me so much, that He sent His son to save me from my sins. He loves me so much, He gave me the last ten years with my mom. These ten years were redemptive, joy-filled, love-soaked years. I saw my mom give up drinking and drugs, recommit her life to Christ, love on her grandchildren, and I got so many beautiful memories. Only a God that loves me, would make all of this happen.
And only a God that loved my mom, would rescue her from her sicknesses the way He did. My mom had been ill the entire time she lived with me, and well before then. The night she died, I just felt like He sent an angel army to come and rescue her. She was so happy and smiley on her last day on earth. I think she was getting excited to see the King, and I think He gave her a preview of Heaven, because she repeated, “It will be brand new. Everything will be brand new.” How much God loved my mom to give her this peace and joy while she was dying. How much He loved me to allow me to be a part of it. How much He loves us. Our God has good gifts and plans for us, let Him love you. Give Him your time in prayer, listen to God-inspired music, read the Bible. Let Him love you.
4. Remember to celebrate.
This is my first Mother’s Day since my mom died. At first, I experienced waves of grief and, to be honest, I felt like canceling the day altogether. Now, I think we are going to take the day to honor my mom.
My sweet son came in the bathroom this morning while I was showering, and said, “Mom, I need a new grandma to give me chocolate and to call my corndogs “meow-meow dogs.” This was a joke between the two of them. He was missing his grandma. My five-year-old inspired me to have a day filled with all the things my mom liked, including “meow-meow dogs” because we need to continue to love her, even if she isn’t here anymore. So, this Sunday, we will be eating slightly unhealthy food and laughing. We will be visiting her grave and will bring apples instead of flowers, to bring the deer to her, as she used to love to watch the deer in our back yard.
If you are celebrating Mother’s Day without your mom, I encourage you to find a way to celebrate her. I have a feeling the celebration will lead to joy, and a few tears, and a lot of love.
Lamia, Mary. “Grief Isn’t Something to Get Over.” May 01, 2011, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/intense-emotions-and-strong-feelings/201105/grief-isnt-something-get-over.