Archive for May, 2011

I was never her daughter-in-law; always her daugher-in-love.

Last Sunday, “mom” would have turned 98, had she lived that long. As it was, she died five years after her second born son…my husband.

When she was told of Bill’s imminent death, she laid her head on the dining room table and cried, “Oh, why couldn’t it be me!”

Within a few short years, her body became frail and weary of this earth. She was forgetful and knew it.

I sat on the edge of her bed. “You’ll soon be with your son, mom. In Heaven.”

“But, how can I be sure,” she looked up at me; her eyes pools of worry.

“Do you believe in Jesus?”

“Oh, yes.”

“Then even if you forget Him, He’ll never forget you.”

She drifted off to sleep; her face creased in peace.

They’re together now…mother and son…for all eternity. Someday, this daughter-in-love will join them.

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Grieving In Layers

A while back, a friend reminded me that we grieve in layers. We cry; we lament. We go numb. We think we’ve finished grieving, only to discover our body was just taking a break. Something having to do with our loved one jolts us, and another layer is peeled away. For a time, we sorrow all over again as in the beginning.

At least I did.

The following excerpt is taken from my memoir*, written after the shock of my husband’s death wore off. I was face to face with my new existence.

“When I finished shopping, I returned home, parked my car by the back porch and carried my sack of monetary replacements up the stairs. One tedious step at a time. My heart took on the ache of my empty apartment. Waves of sorrow crashed over me. I felt faint.

I dropped my package on the floor and stretched out on the sofa. Reality dug its nails in deep. My thoughts festered: Bill’s gone. It’s irreversible. I stared into yesterday where he had lived bright as sunshine, while the shadows of twilight hastened in the dark of night.

The phone rang. My best friend was sending her love across the wires. I poured out my agony—putting into words, the depths of my sadness.

In the fresh air of her quiet listening, I was given oxygen. This stabilized me as I began to adjust once again, to another layer of my loss.

How many layers are there?”

*In His Hands: A Grace-filled Grief  (not yet published) by Sandi Elzinga

Where are you in your grief? Do the layers seem endless?

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