Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Process

Grief is a process. That's what I told Amber today as she watched me cry and cry over missing my mom. A friend of mine who lost her mom nearly 20 years ago, said she cries a bit every day. For me, the tears come in waves. Not predictable and never calculated. I may shed a tear or two (almost every Sunday in church) or the floodgates might open wide, like this afternoon. I wish there were a simple formula to follow regarding grieving. Do this, do that and then you are healed. Step one, step two and then no more tears. But it isn't that simple. And do I really want it to be? When my brother died three years ago, it was the most precious time in my life with the Lord. I never felt more close to Jesus than that day and that week when Steve died. Had I followed a simple formula for grief, I would have missed that sweet time with Jesus. And so here I am in the process again and again. Some moments I can hardly breathe, other times I am "okay." Almost every day, though, I want to call my mom and ask her about a recipe or a craft I'm doing or--when Autumn is driving me crazy--ask her "Was I like that when I was 5 years old?" Then it hits me all over again. Mom is gone.

My dad moved into a studio apartment yesterday. It was a win-win situation for him in that he qualifies to live in a Veteran's Administration retirement home for about $200 a month. Three meals a day in the dining hall is a nice bonus, too, since my dad never cooked for himself a day in his life. My parents had a precious, "old-fashioned" marriage. My dad went to work every day. My mom stayed home and cooked and cleaned, even long after the kids moved out.

My dad would have had to move eventually anyway, since the owner of the house my parents were renting recently put the home up for a short sale. It wasn't the home I grew up in, but it was the home my girls remember as "Nana & Papa's house." So it does sting a bit to think that we will not be visiting "home" next time we go to Arizona. Meanwhile, I've been on the phone daily with my dad as he packs up the house and gets ready for his estate sale next Saturday. There's just too much stuff for him to fit into his tiny apartment. He's set aside all kinds of sentimental things that he plans on mailing to me in a huge box. Each day I remember something else that is just too precious to sell, and he adds it to my box. Photo albums, of course, framed pictures, jewelry, anything the girls made my mom and--yes--even that 1970s orange Tupperware measuring cup and spoon set! Every time we use it, I will think of the days when I watched my mom make culinary delights for the family.

Good memories.

6 comments:

Ruth said...

mourning and crying with you....and yet happy that she is in the presence of Jesus...
so glad your dad is going to be in a new more reasonable situation for him financially. I've been worrying about that.
Love to you
Ruth

Michele said...

Praying for you, and yes, there is no formula, there is no right and wrong, it is your grief and God will be there every step to help you through it. That is what I am praying, that you will feel His presence and love surrounding you in whatever way He chooses to accomplish it.

I love the thought of you using the orange measuring cups, it's always the little things isn't it? :-)

Ruth said...

Yes...your mom loved to cook and to share. ;-) Its good that you are sharing this grieving process with others and with your girls. There is no real way to do than to just go through it.

Love to you
R

Unknown said...

So sorry for your grief, and yes, it is personal and different for each person. That's why we can never say, "I know what you're going through..."

Also glad that your dad is moving to a place where he is better off financially and meal-wise. I also understand, though, why it is painful to know you won't be visiting in their most recent home.

I too wish I could ask my mom and dad certain things that I didn't get around to asking before they went to be wish the Lord.

I know the Lord and His family will continue to comfort you as you move through the process.

Love you,
Dawn

Debbie said...

Wow Christine-I have been experiencing some of the same things: thinking of something with recipes or something and making a mental note to tell or ask my mom and then remembering I can't. And totally about asking her things related to being a mom. There was always a comfort in her reassurance that I was on the right track as a mother. Especially now with Mischa in school I wish I could ask her what she thinks about so many things. At the same time I am super grateful that we had the time we did and that my kids got to know her. When I pray, I ask Jesus to tell her I lover her.

Cindy Allen said...

I was browsing through blogs & I wanted to ask you how you got your background. I looked through the backgrounds on here & I'm confused how to set up a more personalized page. I noticed that you mother passed away & I want to say how sorry I am for you but I know that if she knew the Lord, she is rejoicing in His presence now!