August 28, 2015

The Roughest Road, In the Deepest Valley, on the Darkest Night

Dear Mom,

I've been wanting to come to this space and write about your journey home, but it's almost impossible to come up with words to describe what life is like now without you.  I can feel, and I often become overwrought with emotion, but words escape me.  Words have never escaped me when I sit down at a keyboard or with pen and paper.

You're gone.  It's not plain, and it's not simple. It's the roughest road, in the deepest valley, on the darkest night, that I have ever walked.  I thought I knew what grief was, but now I know I had no idea.  I have no doubt that losing you and Dad just three months apart makes my grief significantly more difficult, but it's my reality.  You've been gone for 61 days, and Dad has been gone for 159. It's been a long night, and daylight isn't in the foreseeable future, but the beautiful thing is that God is lighting this path just like He has lit all the other dark paths I've traveled in my life.  He promised He would, and He has.  If it weren't for Him, I'd be wandering around in the bramble bushes.

I don't want to take away from the beautiful joy of your new life in the presence of God.  I can't grasp it.  I can't pretend to. I read about it every day in His Word, but I can't really fathom it, not until I'm there. To be well without worry, and to never have death hanging on your horizon again must be perfection for you.  I haven't made it one day since your death without crying.  I have at least one meltdown a day, but often the tears come when I think of the overwhelming peace that must have washed over you the moment you left your broken body.  Your joy is my joy, and my joy often sheds tears.

Grief really is a selfish thing, but it's a necessary thing.  I celebrate your joy, but I mourn my loss.  The space you occupied in this world became sharply empty when you vacated it. I knew in an instant that the world had changed, and life would never be the same again.  Well meaning people say time heals, or it will get better.  I used to say that to people too before I lost both of my parents, but now I've joined the ranks of those who understand the spiritual reshaping that takes place when relationships like this are severed.  To be torn from the voices I heard even while living in the womb, and yet continue to be eternally intertwined with them is not an easy thing to experience or explain.

I'm shuffling through the days trying to figure out how to grab a hold of the moments and make something useful of my life.  Caregiving was my life for 8 years.  During those years I didn't care much for myself or my home, and now I look around and wonder what in the world happened while I was away.  I've got work to do, and it's hard to get back to it.  I miss everything about caring for you from feeding you to kissing your cheek.  I miss those evenings when you would lay in bed, and I would read from Streams in the Desert.  But I also know that all of that caring meant you were suffering and needed comfort.  I'm so glad you don't need my comfort anymore. You've found your resting place, and I will find a new place to serve when the time is right.

You and Dad have been my beloved parents, my spiritual rock, and my best friends all of my life.  I was at home wherever you were. Dad gently slipped away day by day, and you just plain snuck out when I wasn't looking.  I've seen myself in a vision running down a dirt road behind the dust of an old Model A pickup truck screaming, "Wait, wait for me!!"  Dad is driving, and you can't hear me above the whir of the engine, or the rickety rackety of the old metal frame, or the whisper of the still small voice that called you away.  I wouldn't have wanted you to ignore that voice for anything, but as I stand in the middle of the road in a cotton print dress watching you disappear, the little girl in me longs to go home too.

I'll be there.  I'll be there soon enough. What a day of rejoicing that will be when we, through Christ, are together once again.  It's the beautiful part of the story, the part of the story that waits for all of us who dare to trust Christ.  Thank you for giving me this Good News.  Thank you for telling me His story. It's because of His story that I can know how ours ends.  How can I keep it to myself?  Let it not be so.

I love you sweet Mom, and I miss you so so much!


My beautiful Mom. 1929-2015


  1. Oh, Stephanie, I had no idea that your Mom had passed away. I do know a little about the void that you feel with the loss of your Mom and the way she went without warning. That was exactly the way it was with my Mom 6 years ago. But, I cannot imagine what you must feel losing both of your parents so close together and now having neither of them. Bless your heart and may the Lord fill you with all hope and peace as only He can during such a time as this. Hugs to you!

  2. Stephani, I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your mother. And so soon after your father! I was never that close emotionally to either of my parents, so I can't begin to imagine what you must be going through. But your faith and hope are anchors that the Lord will honor. God bless, dear girl. Hope you are able to write again. I've missed your beautiful writing.


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