Today's a special day. August 2. The day my mom was born 70 years ago. While I thought about her life and legacy much of the day, and all that she represents in my life, there wasn't a big birthday party celebration that I imagine still would have been fun. Instead, the day included simple things like biscuits for breakfast, wearing emerald green - her favorite color, eating mint ice cream with my uncle (her brother) and singing a song that reflected a sixteenth note of her life.
Strangely, this year, I find myself at the exact same year of age she was when she passed away (24 years ago). While I don't like to admit to aging - I'm forever young right!? - it is indeed true, and time passes too quick. It's hard to believe it has been so long since I saw my mom's face, heard her laugh, talked theology, or shopped together, yet all of these memories are still so vibrant in my mind. In one moment, it seems only a day away; in the next, an eternity.
Whether I am talking about the loss of my spouse or my mom, I continue to find as I navigate conversations with people fresh in their grief and those more seasoned, that there's still a need to just talk about it. To ask questions like, "What do you miss most?" "How has this process been for you?" . . . "How did their life change yours?" These questions can feel like prying but surprisingly there's a spark the happens - I think this is because all of us who are grieving still want to remember the people we love so dearly. We don't want them to be gone. Grief is a constant balance of trying to move forward in life and embrace the beauty and hope that is this new chapter or reality, while simultaneously navigating the challenging pieces of deep sorrow, doubt and heartache.
And yes, it's still complicated. It always is.
So . . . my centering moment and prayer at the end of this day is one of gratitude for my mom, Carol, who encouraged me, for this grace-filled woman who prayed for me and many others. Someone who left a legacy that still to this day encourages me to walk in kindness in a way that hopefully makes a difference.
If your heart is grieving and heavy today. Hold on and hold tight to God's great comfort. He's right there too. You might not feel it - trust me I've not always felt it, but I trust in his comfort ever still.
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.