It may seem odd that my faith has increased exponentially since my mother's death on March 11. It seems odd to me, at least! I have considered myself a woman of strong, deep, abiding faith. The truth is,though, my faith had never been tested as mightily as it has in the past 8 1/2 months, since the diagnosis of mom's cancer and in her passing.
I've had spells of anger, fear, sadness, and grief at the anticipated/probable impending loss we were told was coming. Of course, death is inevitable, and Mom was 81 years old. But I wasn't ready. Can one ever be? I have a great deal to share, but still need time and distance to process and "translate" it all.
So how has my faith grown? Through the serendipity of events in the two short weeks since her passing. I'll share more of that later too. But this much I do want to say: Mom's body was dead but her spirit, her joining of the eternal, infinite life force that I believe is God has been stunningly magical, mysterious and, yes, magnificent! We have all felt her at random times, in odd moments--certain that it could only have been her spirit! We are sure she has frequently swooped back down to earth - not yet ready to leave us alone - knowing we still need her. That's so like Mom though - turning back from heaven to finish the care-taking we still crave - gently ushering us into the next stage of our own lives here on earth without her.
I believe now, first hand, up close and personally, that we live in our bodies as a temporary state, housing our souls for a few decades, or more if we are fortunate. But what comes after is unspeakable! I know Mom has been anxious to get to heaven. (My son is pretty certain she actually had a hand in the selection of our current pope. If you knew my mom, you'd be pretty sure he is right!) What comes next is so marvelous, so spectacular, so transcendent of anything we can imagine that I know she is just blown away! I'm blown away by my own brushes with the ethereal in the past 2 weeks!
God is so good! I am sad beyond expression. I miss my mom more than I could ever explain. But He has allowed me glimpes into His soul, to observe the intricate interweavings of all life, all existence. He has granted me a peace that has not yet begun to smooth out the rough edges of my grief, but that I trust and believe will sustain me until I join Mom in heaven.
Eternity might just be long enough for the woman who never met a stranger to find out where everyone there in heaven came from! I'm pretty sure the feasting and celebrating there has reached a crescendo that will last for centuries. I know without question that Jesus is the first person she saw and that she looped her arm around his, patted his hand and told him, "Thank you honey, for hanging on the Cross for me. You didn't have to do that! It was very nice of you. I would have loved you anyway"
There is no shortcut through the grief. But I am grateful that there has been so much laughter intermingled with the tears. I am so blessed to have my family - husband, children, father, siblings, nieces and nephews, uncles, aunts and cousins - numbering in the hundreds. We are a force to be reckoned with in this life - and I can't wait to see what all of us, joining with those who await us now, can do.
I love you, Mom. I miss you. But it's good. . . it's good. No . . . it magical, mysterious, and yes, magnificent!
Blessings on your journey,