Today is Sunday. Mom died last Thursday. Her memorial service is tomorrow and on Tuesday we will lay her to rest at a nearby cemetery. I am still staying at their house, sleeping in her bed. And still, after the past four days of living with the knowledge that I will never again see her alive until I go to be in Heaven with her, I still keep having experiences like the following:
--To dad as he put mom's medications into a bag to be disposed of: "Don't throw that away! Mom will need it when she comes home!"
--I just woke up and used the bathroom in the master bedroom where I am staying....and I dropped my crutch and it made a loud noise and I was so mad at myself...I knew mom would be mad if I woke her up. I finished in the bathroom and came out into the bedroom. I looked at the bed..."well if I'm here, where s mom sleeping?" ....and then I remembered: MOM IS GONE. And I was crushed all over again.
It seems like she is in the hospital again, as she was so many times in the past five years. (This year she was in more than she was out) and will be coming home, or is only a phone call away. My dad is struggling with this too...even more than I am. It is just incomprehensible that she is gone.
Today my brother and his ex wife and dad and I are going to their church for Sunday service. It is going to be really hard to face all of her friends and her faith family who loved her... I expect I'll be crying a lot so am not planning on wearing makeup.
Tomorrow is the second blow as we attend the memorial service. I am supposed to read a bio and some memories that I've written down...I actually didn't include too many memories. My memories don't want to be shared....they are my private pocket of pain that will have to be excised at some point....but the service is not the place and time for that.
And the third blow---and the worst yet--will be when we lay her in the ground; a planting to be harvested at the Resurrection of the Dead when Jesus returns to reclaim his children and they will then receive their new bodies; bodies that do not hurt, or get tired or sick. Bodies that exist apart from the natural laws of earth (such as gravity and being bound by Time, and aging).
But to turn our backs; get into our cars, and drive away leaving her in that cold ground soon to be covered in snow. My God, how can you expect anyone to survive pain like this?
The last two early mornings...before my dad gets up, I've sat in her recliner here, where she spent all of her time...I've sat here and cried. Hot, impotent tears. Crappy, slow tears, leaking from my heart and trickling slowly down my cheeks.
I'm mad as heck at this sin-filled, mortally bound earth...Mankind was not designed for death...it is unnatural. It is way more painful than any other experience when we have loved ones torn from our world and plunged into a Reality far from our own. True: it is one better than the one we are stuck with here and we have to just have faith in that. Mom IS NOT LYING IN THAT CASKET. SHE WILL NOT BE LYING IN THAT COLD GROUND. She is hand in hand with Jesus. I'm sure she is watching us from heaven and wishing she could comfort us. Sure that she wants to tell us how inexpressibly happy she is now....How she no longer suffers pain or exhaustion or the debilitating weakness she was plagued with. And best of all she is with the Lord. And nothing NOTHING Earth offers can compete with that.
Heaven just has to be real. It is the only possible reality that God can grant us that will make up for the agony of death and loss that we experience here. My heart aches for those who have lost loved ones and who do not have the comfort of the positive assurance that their beloved ones are in heaven awaiting a reunion with us when we too discard this broken down physical shell. That is a pain incomprehensible to me. When you lose a parent a spouse, or a child---and you have no certainty that they are well and happy and waiting the Resurrection---how do you survive pain like that? I do not know. Just pray, my friends and share with all you know about the Hope that you have inside you and where it comes from. Bring your loved ones with you when you enter the Kingdom. It hurts too much to leave them in the ground.