As Mother’s Day approaches and I see hundreds of commercials for flowers or cards, I just shrink back into a hole and wish for the passage of time quickly. The first year, which is the firsts of everything without your mom, is the toughest. That’s what “they” say. But why is this so tough when we aren’t supposed to grieve like the rest of mankind (according to 1 Thessalonians 4:13)? We are supposed to have hope, right? Jesus conquered the grave. Yet, even with that knowledge and aspect of hope, it doesn’t negate the inner pain of no longer seeing the person, hearing the person’s voice, or sharing another moment with mom for the duration of your lifetime.
There seems to be no joy right now, and when I see other people enjoying themselves, I either become more agitated because I don’t share their brightness for life, or I become even sadder because all lifetime milestones are now dreaded without my mother. “At 41, I should be more put together,” I tell myself through the waves of tears I fight on a daily basis. But the reality is I feel lost. And if you haven’t had the loss of your mom, you can’t fully comprehend the pain that puts you in this child-like state – that makes you feel as though it’s impossible to ever feel joy again.
Let me ask you some questions. Have you felt angry at mom for passing or at God for allowing her to go? Have you felt angry simply at your situation and had friends or family members pull away from you because they didn’t want to deal with your anger? Do you feel like people treat you differently because you have shown some weakness by being sad or allowing a tear or two stream down your cheek during the singing of Happy Birthday? Do you dread holidays? Are people impatient with the slowness of your grief walk and the impression of, “you’re not over it yet” stares you in the face on a constant basis?
What about the overwhelming feeling of sadness that makes you not want to live? Have you felt that? Not only is there no joy right now or color in anything you see, but you just don’t want to go on. You’re tired of explaining why you feel the way you do. You’re tired of people comparing grief and insinuating that it’s a natural order of life when your mother passes away before you in comparison to the loss of a child or spouse.
Does the thought, “this can’t be happening” cross your mind, and although you cerebrally know the facts, your heart is reluctant to accept the reality that she’s no longer on planet earth? What about that alone feeling … like no one else is ever going to love you, advise you, and care for you like your mother? Sadness, anger, denial, frustration … all very normal and common emotions after your mom has passed, yet we are left to feel very “abnormal.”
God sees your tears.
Psalm 56:8 David writes, “You have kept count of my tossing; put my tears in your bottle.” David is expressing a deep trust in God. He will remember his sorrow and tears and will not forget about him.
David is confident that God is on his side. He writes in Psalm 56:9, “This I know, God is for me.” This is confirmed in Romans 8:31-39: “If God is for us, who can be against us? . . . Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”