It was different with mom than it was with dad. The loss of Dad was a continuous ache, a persistent feeling that something was missing. With mom, it was all about the “firsts”.
Every “first” drove a spike into a new place in my soul.
Obviously, that includes holidays, birthdays and anniversaries, but also the birth of my youngest child, my ordination, graduations, now an upcoming wedding – all the things that I know would be meaningful to her. It’s like they aren’t quite complete, because they can’t be shared with her.
I read on a church sign awhile back, “A sorrow shared is halved. A joy shared is doubled.” I think that is especially true with my mom. It was a joy to see her enjoyment/pride/love in whatever the celebration. There was no “doubling”. It was like a 2-liter of soda opened yesterday. It was good – just a little flat.
I’ve been through all my “first” Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Mother’s Day, birthdays (mine and hers), etc. eleven times over now. There can be an occasional twinge, but they are rare. But every now and then, there is a new first. Those can sting a little.
It’s probably a little weird to think of Chicago’s “Hard Habit to Break” when you are talking about your mom, but a couple of phrases really say it well:
You don’t know what you’ve got
Until it’s gone
And I found out a little too late . . . Now being without you takes a lot of getting used to
I should learn to live with it
But I don’t want to . . .
A little farther on we get, “Instead of getting any easier, it’s the hardest thing to take.” That part’s not true (probably wasn’t true of the romantic interest being sung about either for that matter). As time goes on, the Sorrow diminishes. The painful moments are not as painful and begin to be further apart. It does take some getting used to and we learn to live with it whether we want to or not.
I’m glad that I don’t have to mourn as those who have not hope (1 Thes 4:13-18). I’m also glad that when Jesus began His ministry, He declared His fulfillment of Isaiah 61. That he came that broken hearts could be bound up and the favorable year of the Lord proclaimed is a great comfort to me. Especially when I realize that His ministry continues even to this day!
If we decide that there will always be a hole in our soul, then there will be. Or we can choose healing. I choose to heal.
Mom would like that.