Speaking of undone, there are constant reminders of things left undone. My mom died at such a young age (only 63) and so unexpectedly. There are reminders of a life in progress all around our house: a Billy Graham biography with her bookmark at the half-way point, her "Jesus Calling" daily devotional book lying on the bedside table open the day before she died, projects that we had intended to finish, meals we were going to prepare, and the list goes on and on. It's painful.
As I grieve, I am keenly aware of how my boys(including Brad) are processing my mom's death, too. Sam was moved to tears....sobbing...on Christmas Eve. He knew that Christmas wasn't the same with his "Gran." It made him sad. He kept saying, "It's just not the same. It's not right. I want her back with me." Heartbreaking. Walking through this season of grief with our boys has been the most difficult and tender time. We've been honest, we've shared tears, we've validated their feelings, and reassured them of God's promises.
At first glance, Luke appears to be just fine...however, he fearful that I will "go away" like his grandma did. He is never far from my side and is always seeking my affection. Several times a day, I hear him say, "I am going to marry you, Mom." "I am never going to break away from you, Mom." "I don't want you to leave." "I don't want you to go to Heaven." I do my best to reassure him that his Daddy and I are doing all that we can to live a long life with him and that going to Heaven isn't scary - but, wonderful! A few nights ago, we had just finished reading a bedtime story and we snuggle up close for a prayer together. After the "amen," I hear his soft voice say, "Mom, if there was a fire at our house, would we all go to Heaven." Poor sweet boy. I assured him that Daddy loved us all so much that he made our house safe with fire alarms, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers. We talked about calling 911 and how firemen and policemen would come help us. I reminded him of our family's plan to meet at our mailbox out front if there was a fire. I tried to empower him to do something...equip him with some skills to help him cope. I am just so unsure of what to say at times. Grief is complex...the process is different for each of us.
Caleb and Matthew continue to talk about my mom as usual. I wonder if they think that the 8 weeks she lived with us was like a "long visit" and now she has gone back to Indiana. They remember things that Gran gave them, books she read to them, and things she said, like "Sweet Dreams" before bedtime. I pray that they will "know" her through the photos and stories we tell them. My mom loved them fiercely.
|Sam drew this on the chalkboard in our kitchen. I love it!|
|Watching Matthew open a gift.|
|My dad (in the hat) passing out his gifts to the grandkids, Brad videotaping, Caleb (in striped shirt) apparently pulling his pants down.|