Dealing with the death of a loved one.
How Time Heals All Wounds…
It has been almost 36 years ago since I lost my mom in a car accident. The pain of losing her was so intense I thought I would never be the same again. How could this ever be? You always believe your parents will be there forever. It's hard to consider one stops existing and are no longer there for you.
The accident that resulted in my mother's death occurred when I was barely 22 with two young children, ages 2 and 5. It changed my life immensely. At first, I just coped with everyday life. I kept on reminding myself that I have two small sons, and they needed me. I was having issues with losing her. I would look at my sons and think they will never know her, will never hear her voice, never feel her touch or her embrace.
The tears would pour down my cheeks, never seeming to cease. I spoke to my mom every week, just like clockwork. We took turns, so each other's phone bills weren't so high. Now, that they ceased to exist was heartbreaking, and the thought of never hearing her voice again was so unbearable.
Then all the questions come to mind. Why did God take her away from me? She was too young and beautiful. Why, Lord, did you take her? She had one of the most generous and kindest of hearts I knew. For the longest time, my questions came, unanswered.
As I watched my sons grow into handsome men, I would feel her presence as if she was there celebrating their birthdays, graduations, weddings, and the birth of her great-grandchildren.
I would picture her standing over their cribs singing to them as she did with me. I imagined her touching their little feet and hands counting every single finger and toe, just as did with my sons and standing there in awe, looking at her offspring. I could hear her say, "They're so beautiful, Baby girl. You did good!"
Sometimes, I look back on how she held me while fixing up my owies and wiping away my tears. I remember how it felt to have her comforting me as I sat there and choked back those tears of pain. I can imagine the sound of her voice, the scent of her Ivory soap and shampoo she'd used that day.
As she scooped me up into her arms, my nose buried into her hair. She'd say, "Now that's my big girl. You wanna help me cook dinner?" Of course, I would. I always loved helping her.
It's the birthdays and holidays that are the hardest. People used to tell me time would heal all wounds. Some days you wonder if that was ever going to happen. When do you begin to forget? When do you stop asking why? When do you realize the hurt has gone, or will you ever stop hurting? Everyone's different. We all heal in our time frame. I remember her telling me when her Daddy passed away. One day, it will start to hurt less and less. Then time will make you forget the hurt, then the pain, and, eventually, you will only have the memories.
You know, those memories that creep out when you least expect them. When something jogs, that mind loses out of your memory core. You think, where did that come from, you ask yourself? You know, like a smell, reminding you of her perfume that she let you borrow on your very first date. A movie that the two of you use to love to watch together and eat popcorn and drink cherry Kool-Aid. The food that she cooked was so amazing, and then you have the flashbacks of her putting the cake in the oven. Oh, how, I loved her lemon cakes!
I miss most of all is her laugh, her touch, her holding me, and, most of all, her advice—those long conversations on the phone, 2 to 3 hours at a time. You know, that mother wisdom that they have. Yes, you forget over time some of these things. I guess that's what truly hurts the most is the forgetting. But thank God for memories and for the things that trigger them—knowing that I do have the reassurance that we will be together once again when it is my time. The knowledge of this helps me understand why! I learned through the years, there is always a reason behind God's plans, and time does heal all wounds.
Merry Christmas to everyone and especially the ones who have lost and know the pain of loss, remember to grab those memories and hold them tight. Love those around you for tomorrow is never promised.