(*I started writing this the morning of June 19th)
It’s all surreal, carpet burns on my knees as I position myself to be helpful to my Mom, rubbing her back while playing worship songs in her ears, reading Scripture over her, telling her how very grateful I am that she would call me her own, wishing I could have her here longer, whole and healed, and wishing I could hurry her to the other side, knowing it’s not my timing call but His and the two of them will work through this labor of love through death on their own…I’ve tried to be a helpful daughter, all three of us have been in our own ways.
Vigils look many different ways. Death is something we all will experience personally, but it’s not something any of us should go at alone.
If it is essential to live in community then we should also die in community. No one should die lonely.
Yes, each one of us has personal, deep down ways of expressing grief, sadness, disappointment, heartache, and many of them are so raw, we protect them as if they are unique, solely our own. Yet anytime I talk about death on my blog or in person, people reach out to me and thank me for sharing so openly, question how I can be so strong, and are grateful I shared, because it resonates…because we will all walk through this with someone we love and preparation is important. We are grieving what we see but when we trust in an unseen God, the grief is different, hopeful rather.
It’s a shared experience, though parts of it so very private. I don’t share EVERYTHING, but I’ve been so very close to death, watched the process, touched the cold it leaves behind, and felt my heart gulp for breath and hope, knowing the part about being physically in God’s presence is more real to me as the days go by than this stretchy, burned skin on my knees.
It would be awesome to be in amazing health and then one day get my glass of water, head to my room, brush my teeth and wash my face, read a bit, pull the light chain, settle into my pillow and somewhere between a dream and the dawn, meet my Savior face to face…but that doesn’t always happen and with the loved ones I’ve sat by as they have neared the Throne, it hasn’t looked like this at all, except my sweet boy…his was quiet and tender and quick, yet not if you include a lifetime in a hospital.
We have to talk about death and debunk the fear of it. We must talk about it, not because we’ll understand it, but because it’s a shared human experience and so it levels the field for all of us. It also demands our attention. Not to live life in fear of death but to live a life with purpose and passion, wherever we are, in whatever circles of life we’ve been called to, being found “doing” what He told us to do.
“Life is short” isn’t a cliché, it’s actually true in the measurement of time and the vastness of the Universe.
Who we are and what we do with these brief lives matters. We all have stories and God desires us to live them out faithfully each and every day, in the day to day.
As we have thanked our Mom for giving of her life to our Dad and to us over the years, she has said, “It was easy for me, it’s how I was made. I enjoyed being your Mom…raising you girls has been a joy for me,” and it leads me to believe she is onto something…
I’ll leave you with this video with Bebe’s final commission to us, as it sums up everything…everything!