My number one love language is time…and I think that’s why this grief is so incredibly profound.
My Mom was too young to be as old as she was when she died. She wasn’t an “old” soul. She was wise and discerning beyond her years, basically with enough God-discernment to qualify for a lifetime, but as far as spirited, she was young and vibrant…
Did you know that just 8 weeks ago the docs said if nothing else worked our Mom had about a year to 18-months left? We planned a family trip to Glen Lake, Michigan, and Traverse City, to attend the Cherry Festival and take in lots of Lake Michigan sunsets, our family tradition while growing up that we hadn’t done in over 20 years. Did you know that just 3 weeks ago they told us 4-6 weeks, at best?
What THE HELL? #$%^&*
I’m no mathematician, and I’m also not one to listen to one human dole out a life and death time-frame to another human, but the numbers just don’t add up and I’m grieving TIME!
IT’S GONE. TIME WITH MY MOM IS GONE. And she was one who spending time with was priceless…a gift, worth every minute…
Yes, I get that she was “diagnosed” with cancer just shy of 3 years ago, but she was a Mother of the Faith, a Superhero, a Spiritual Force to be reckoned with in the earth…she wasn’t solely the love of our Dad’s life and our Mom and friend to many of you, she was a friend of God and the thought of her dying never occurred to me…because apparently I’m slow or, maybe, rather, I chose not to “go there” so I could be present in each moment, one day at a time.
My grief runs deep because her love ran even deeper…and time was cut short.
There. I said it. I’m not a fan of God’s timing or answer. Sure I have peace that my Mom is dancing her heart out with the Lover of her soul, seeing family and friends, meeting people who have been family all along…she is in the presence of Almighty God, her Creator and the Love of her life, but I miss her and this can’t be “real.”
I have gone back to the mortuary twice now to pray for my Mom to be raised from the dead. This whole “great commission” thing from Matthew 10 is difficult to follow, the part about “healing the sick and raising the dead,” when the dead person is enjoying the presence of God so much that the very thought of returning to earth life isn’t even an option…Was it so bad here? Hey, a bit of cooperation would be amazing…
Come on, Mom! I get it! God’s presence is awesome! Clearly! But you have eternity to hang out there…come back here so we can love people as a family and share God’s love with everyone we meet…let’s go! The world is lost and wallowing, they need to know God’s unconditional love…
To visually see our Mom age at an exponential rate over the last few months was a bit Benjamin-Button-esque. It was unreal and surreal and I could curse chemo and cancer for all of it, but nothing, nothing, nothing is outside of God. Nothing. My Mom prayed before, during, through, and after EVERY SINGLE step of this disease, treatment, etc, and confirmed to my heart, NO MEDICINE, NO CLEAN EATING ROUTINE, NO NATURAL OR TRADITIONAL MEDICINE OR TREATMENT WOULD EVER RECEIVE THE GLORY FOR HER HEALING OR DEATH, but God alone would be her Healer, whether it was with us here on earth or with Him in His presence…and this is what I trust. God really does know the number of our days. He showed my Mom while she was struggling to breathe that it wasn’t the Pharisees or the Devil who finally took His life on the Cross, but God alone said when it was finished…
He holds time in His hand, says life is “but a breath” that it’s a “wisp”, short, and that He is coming back soon, yet my limited earth-mind is here, steeped in earth life and earth perspective and though the hope of heaven is that much richer with more treasure there than just days ago, eternity’s time and my interpretation and physical experience with it aren’t quite lining up, and as a result, the loss of time aches like a mother…
I have sat quietly and read every post, marveled at the strength and convictions of you, your family and beautiful mother.
As I read your words, I connected with your pain. I lost my mother 7 years ago to cancer. She was too young and I still had more time that I needed with her. I questioned, as you have, was it so bad here, with us, her family? I don’t always understand why things happen, but I find comfort in knowing that I’m not alone in my anger about the time I am missing with my mother.
I wish that I had some comforting words, but they would seem very small. I hope you can find comfort and know that your story, your Mother’s story, your families story, touched my heart and helped me, even years after losing my mother. I will pray for you and your family and sincerely appreciate your honest and heartfelt words during this difficult time.
One again, you’ve summed this up far better than I ever could. And not just because Bebe is your mom. In the last few days of your mother’s life on earth, I spoke with at least 3 different people who said they believed that if she died she would return back to earth because it was not her time to leave. Not just because they loved her, or out of selfishness, or because of her youthfulness and vitality, but because of their inner conviction that it was not her time to leave. I find myself dazed by the whole event. My salvation is secure, my Redeemer lives and He’s inside of me. I know my eternal home. But I am quietly questioning a lot of what I have been taught in church circles – popular charismatic doctrine that I’ve held onto – and I suspect that changes will occur in how I view many things. Maybe I won’t understand important life events this side of heaven and I’m uncomfortable with that (especially given my nature). Or perhaps a greater personal and spiritual maturity is just around the corner. My heart aches for you, your sisters and your dad. This goes beyond just grieving the loss of Bebe’s presence, it upends my theology and dogma… which might be a gift for me. Right now it doesn’t feel like it. Learning from life by looking in a rearview mirror isn’t easy or the preferred method of discernment. Is there a choice? Aside from my deep sadness for your family, right now I can only say that upon awaking each morning I am aware of the shortness of this life and trying to instill within myself the reminder that: These. Are. Great. Days. Make the most of what is right in front of you. While you can, for as long as you can. xo
Wow, very humble and insightful. I’m sorry for your heartache as you miss your dear friend, Barbara.
Thank you, Erin. Very kind of you!
Thank you for sharing, Barbara, and for loving her as you did. Jesus told us to “raise the dead” and heal the sick. I trust Him that we are to still pray these literal prayers, which is what I did even at the mortuary, with my son and my Mom. I was obedient to pray those kinds of prayers. And then, I waited, and trusted, and was specific, like, “Okay Lord, I trust You…if You are calling my Mom to dwell with You, so be it…if she is to return to us, we’ll take her back gladly, nevertheless Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.” But I also will continue to pray these prayers symbolically, for the spiritual realm, where my eyes are unable to see…that “dead” are “raised” and sick, healed.
As far as the “undoing” of our earthly theology, I’m learning it is a beautiful necessary thing, and nothing to fear, though uncomfortable and awkward…it simply reminds me of Jesus’ charge to have faith like a child…and all the “American-ized” faith “theology” has only mucked up something so simple as unconditional, timeless love. It’s when we are “educated” that God and the way He “should” work no longer fit into the miraculous. How preposterous I have been to box God into anything other than a category of “limitless”…and that includes death, at least the death we perceive here on earth. Kids just believe. There is a wholehearted trust He was referring to, unlike our conditional, measured, strings-attached trust…
Much love you to, and healing in your heart as you grieve, and as you make the most of what is in front of you…”Keep asking Him what you are supposed to do and then be found doing it.” xoxox
I’m so sorry, my friend. I hate to think of you hurting but I know it’s only natural and God will tend to your broken heart. How sweet of your mom to leave a note for you in your Bible. I love that.
See you soon. xo
I am so sorry for you loss!
I hear your heart here.
I know your confidence is in Abba. But oh the heartache that must be lived through! How deep and burning and aching! That’s the part I most feel sorry for now- the grief you must walk through. Yet I’m confident you will come through refined and beautiful and carrying your mom’s passion! I will see her in you Adrienne. I already do. I’m not her birthed child – but can I rise and call her blessed with you?
I love you. .. Jesus be near.
Thanks, Heidi Jo! Of course you may…she loved all the girls 🙂