Autumn is coming. Summer doesn't like letting go of Austin, and we still have days in the upper 90s with humidity in upper-ridiculous. But the way the sunlight slants in the afternoon and the subtle shift in the air tells us that summer is slowly losing its grip. Soon my daughter will turn eleven. In October, I get to turn thirty-seven. Then November 9 brings the anniversary of my Mother's death.
After a lull of not saying much about it, family and friends are once again reminiscing. We're more comfortable talking about her now that nearly two years have passed. It still hurts to miss her, but the pain isn't nearly as keen as it once was.
Perhaps it's just that enough time has passed. Perhaps it's being back in the Episcopal Church with the hymns and prayers of my childhood, the very same hymns and prayers that I turned to for comfort as I mourned for my mother. For whatever the reasons the time has come to tell the stories of my Mother's death.
C. S. Lewis brings out in A Horse and His Boy that we all have our own stories. Our stories criss-cross and intertwine, but we each have our story with its own perspective, lessons, turning points, and end points.
The stories I'm going to publish on this blog are my stories from my perspective, and they have been edited. I don't mind being transparent, but it is not my place to tell the stories of others. So if you are among those who traveled this journey of grieving with me, you may find I left out bits. If you have been through a funeral of your own and compare this to your story, you may wonder that things went so smoothly. Although edited in this way, the stories are true.
When my son was in the hospital, the nurse practicioner being concerned that I had lost my mother suddenly just two months prior to almost losing my son, explained that there is no crisis more stressful for any age, gender, or social status than dealing with the sudden death of someone close. Grief brings out the most noble and the most base in each of us. It holds a mirror up to your character and faith. It humbles you. That said, there was an abundance of love and grace that surrounded my mother's death and funeral. There was kindness and even humor.
My point in telling about my mother's death is not to point out every failing and stumbling, but to bring honor to her, to those who travailed on this path with us, and to the Lord who never leaves or forsakes us.
I plan to space out the stories over the following weeks. Often when I publish something about Mom on this blog, I get an e-mail or phone call--people making sure I'm okay. Given the gravity of the subject, I want everyone to know I'm doing well! I won't pretend that it's been a breeze writing these stories down. However please don't mistake the telling of these tales for a depression or dark cloud hanging over my life. We're healthy and happy with things going in a decidedly good direction, praise be to God!
I am not a counselor, a minister, or a theologian. I am not the most well-read, and my college degree isn't anything special. I am simply a stay-at-home Christian mom in middle class America. I share this with you as a friend might share a story over tea.
My prayer is that if you are in mourning that you will find comfort. Above all I hope you see that in Christ Jesus, death does not have the final word.
©2009-2015 Emily Woodham