This lady was the sunshine in my life. I can see so deep into those beautiful round eyes of hers, remembering every crazy thing she did and every passionate thought she shared. She was the life of the party and she so filled up a room that there really did not need to be anyone else there.
I had to ask for directions to my Mom’s grave today. She died 17 years ago and I think I went to the cemetery one time 16 years ago with my brother and my Dad just so they wouldn’t think I was so bad. Today I thought maybe I had healed enough to make it for a few minutes by her headstone. And I did make it. It was very quiet and for a fleeting moment I thought, “Hmm, this would be a great place to write one day.”
A lot has changed over the last three years. With the healing of my heart has come a gradual dealing with her death and the horrible offshoots it caused in my life. As I have learned to actually stare pain in the face, I have had an increased desire to find beauty inside the hard. To me, to find beauty inside of pain is true redemption. It is taking pain and heartache and telling them, “There, there...I know it hurts so much but I promise God is there even though you can’t see Him...and He is a good God and He will absolutely use this pain in your life to draw you to himself.”
He has used my pain. He has burdened me to help others find beauty in their hard places. He has called me to give Hope to the hurting by sharing my story and offering a hand to hold while you share yours. I want to be a great “grief giver” to those suffering around me. My story, like yours is complicated and ugly and beautiful all at the same time. And like any story, it starts from the day I was born and weaves around the years like an intricate pile of spaghetti. The more I tell bits and pieces, the more I realize that every piece is important. The more we tell our stories, the more we realize why we are the people we are today. They make us who we are.
Our stories, if you will, reveal our story. As I began to talk about the death of my Mom and all of the issues it caused, I realized that my story is so much more than that one loss. My story is what shaped the way I dealt with death and the way I handled my relationships.
The biggest events in our lives are often only a small part of a much bigger story.
Soon, I want to share a little part of my story with you. “Grief Giver” is the story of my Mom’s death and the wave of destruction it caused in my life. I have struggled with putting this out there as it really does not feel like “me” anymore. My gut is to rewrite it in my current language and sprinkle some more Hope and Jesus onto it but at the very same time I want to keep what was real to me three years ago. It may be just where you today in your grief. And maybe, in its vast difference from where I am today and the message I currently give, you will see your Hope just waiting to be found. I want to warn you: It is raw. I struggle to edit this piece because I cannot get all the way through it without crumbling in tears and starting over again and again. But because it is where I was, it is still a part of my story.
Sometimes, in order to see how far we have come, we must look back at where we have been.
And as I sat on a cold, marble headstone today, I realized just how far I have come.
Hope will come my hurting friend. Hope will come.