Joy and grief are opposites for most people. But for me they go hand in hand.
My mother passed away last Monday. It left a huge hole in my heart.
Mom lived with my husband and me for the past nineteen months because it was no longer safe for her to live by herself in the farmhouse where I grew up. Mom was becoming frailer due to back pain and other health problems. However, her mind was good and she insisted on living life to its fullest—sometimes much to our chagrin.
The last two weeks have been tough, but God has blessed us in so many ways—excellent medical care, expressions of love from friends and relatives, and my out-of-state nieces and their children were able to see mom four days before she passed. Even though my grief is often expressed through tears running down my cheeks at odd moments when memories emerge, the joy is just as strong for these reasons.
- No long-term suffering: Mom, in no uncertain terms, told my brother and me that she did not want to lie around in bed for months before she died. (I do not know why she thought we could control her medical condition!) Mom had her first attack as we were driving to a restaurant where my brother was meeting us after Sunday morning services. Eight days later she died peacefully with my brother and me at her side.
- Mother’s positive influence in this world: Mother touched many people in both secular and church settings. She loved helping young people gain skills that would contribute to them becoming productive adults. Her greatest joy was when a child came to saving faith in Jesus Christ.
- Expressions of love: I have been overwhelmed by the many cards, messages, texts, and calls. I knew I had an amazing mother, but to have others tell me how she affected their lives produced a gratifying joy.
- Heaven is home: Mother is singing praises to God with my daddy, my brother, and my nephew.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6