A Time of Grief and Joy

That’s the shadow of the tree next to my mother’s headstone. Took that picture on the fifth anniversary of her ‘homegoing’, and I thought I was fine when I visited her at the cemetery. But I blubbered all the way home. And I remember I took a walk in the woods (my brother and his family live in a neighbourhood with loads of beautiful old trees surrounding a golf course), to pull myself together before heading back for lunch with my family. That was five years ago. 
It’s been seven years since she passed.
My mom would say hello if  she could, then make you all laugh; she was very clever, beautiful and funny a lot of the time. My mom is old school and a strict adherent to the Stiff Upper Lip. (I guess she took her cue from the Royal Family. 😉 ) She didn’t show emotion in public, which, sadly, I have instinctively followed. Just like my mom, I naturally don’t show any emotion in public. (For some reasons, a pastor’s wife is expected to be seen pouring her heart out to members of the church or vice-versa, and crying with them in public. And because I don’t do that, sometimes I am accused by some members of the church for being unsympathetic.) But I digress .  .  .
November is a remarkable month.
A couple of weeks ago, the 1st of November, was my father’s 32nd year death anniversary. To this day, it’s still hard to conjure fond memories of the past when the grief still seems raw and the sense of loss profound.
If my parents were still around, and I could buy both of them a gift today, I think it would be something that would express everything I have felt over the years as their daughter: love, thankfulness, respect, pride, and appreciation. And so I ask myself, “how does one find a gift that expresses these things?” I don’t think such a gift exists in the material realm. I wish my parents were still alive today . . . wish I could tell them everyday how much I love them. Such things can be done effortlessly and mean more than any amount of money. As I ponder on losing my dad and my mom exactly twenty five years apart — when I was in my early teens, and in my adulthood respectively — I thank the Lord for giving me such wonderful parents. Today I am overwhelmed with a deep sense of loss, but at the same time there’s peace and joy knowing that God in His infinite mercy and grace Has given me hope. Hope in Christ, in His unchanging love. These are the things that I believe linger in my mind and heart making me smile in remembrance and love. 
I’ve written some of my deepest thoughts and emotions about Death and Dying if you’re keen on reading it.

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