When you don't know what to say to a grieving person, try this: "There are no words." And then follow it with a big silent hug. Don't break the beauty of this with a single word.
I was doubled over in tears simply because I found a packet of seeds from Mom's garden. The seeds were in a wrinkled white envelope stuffed in the back of a kitchen cabinet, carefully labeled "Cleome flowers" in her lovely handwriting. I will plant those seeds in the spring. Most likely, those seeds will be watered with tears. The loss of a parent is not as hard? That depends...
Our bond with our Mom was beautifully tight, and now the plywood has been pried apart.
Oh I am very sure that God hears me when I cry. Grief brings a different sound to crying. It's a siren-type of wailing that is unrecognizable. There are some days when I'm not even sure I can face the to-do list, but then God provides supernatural strength and before I know it, I'm moving through another day. God gives courage mingled with strength, but we have to remember to receive these free gifts from Him. After all, we are not without hope, even though some days it feels deceptively like that. "Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." (Psalm 31:24) When my courage is almost gone, I flee to the Word. And then a soothing sigh escapes my body, and I go on.
It's been over five months now since Mom's passing, and her absence from us represents her presence with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). We are fully aware that we'll see her again someday, but we are here and Mom is "There." And "There" cannot be accessed by a phone call. Imagine if we could pick up a phone and call Heaven! But we cannot, so our faith has to rest in the knowing that we'll see her and our other loved ones again, and even more; we'll see Jesus.
I wonder if Jesus feels forgotten sometimes when we're grieving? The tendency is to focus so much on the loved one that has passed away, and the Lord is often pressed into the background. Lord, please forgive me. You are worthy of the foreground, and you are the Comforter.
Is Mom resting in Jesus' bosom right now? Has God provided a tiny window from Heaven that He opens now and then so that Mom can see us? Does she know that we're struggling but that we'll be all right because God is with us?