Even after almost six years, the pain is still fresh.
I remember standing in a quiet room looking at my Mama – except I gazed at her as she lay still, cold to the touch, in a casket. Could she really be gone from this earth? She appeared peaceful, while inside my sorrow churned despite the shock.
Only nine days after the diagnosis, she was gone. Technically, with both parents gone, I had obtained orphan status.
Sing to God, sing praise to His name, extol Him who rides on the clouds — His name is the LORD— and rejoice before Him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.” Psalm 68:4-5
I tried to cling to this verse. Valiantly, I tried.
Over time I have learned to deny the ever-present pain of the loss of my Mama. Certain events bring it rushing back. Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day…
…and funerals. I’ve been to my fair share of funerals in my life, starting fairly young.
There was my uncle’s funeral as young child – the first I remember - where I wore for the first time the beautiful new, soft grey coat that Mama had just given me. The coat I promptly threw up on during the funeral.
There was my Daddy’s funeral just before I turned 10. I remember it, but recall few details other than my beloved cousin Sheila sitting next to me.
Many others followed, including Mama’s…the one by which I measure time.
Today I attended the funeral of a sweet friend’s brother. The moment I entered the chapel, arm-in-arm with another precious friend, all the emotions I daily ignore overflowed. On the outside I appeared calm, with no tears - on the inside, the opposite emotions raged.
In my mind’s eye, I saw Mama’s casket.
It was a lovely service. My friend welcomed the friends and family in attendance, and spoke eloquently of her brother. Movingly, the pastor spoke of living water. The soloist sang with the voice of an angel.
In my heart, I mourned for my friend, and for myself.
You see, my time is now divided into two segments: before Mama’s funeral, and after.