The song the Christmas shoes were just ending on the car radio and I could not hold my tears back any longer. I pulled into a parking spot, gripped the steering wheel and felt the heartache of the realization that this would be the first Christmas without my mother the emotions broke through the cold morning air and childhood memories from Christmas past came rushing at me like a stampede of reindeer landing on the roof top of my soul, there was nothing I could do to stop them.
My heart hurts because it misses what use to be and what could have been. I cannot believe we are approaching the Christmas season and I just do not feel like celebrating. I am sad about being sad if that makes sense. I cannot seem to get excited about the holidays.
I know that this is normal for loss, the first of another event passing by without her here, birthdays, a wedding, thanksgiving and now Christmas. I also know that God is bigger then my grief and he created my tears as much as he created my laughter.
I spent the better part of my life holding back every tear that needed to fall whether they were tears of joy or tears of laughter. I grew up with a false belief system that my tears were a sign weakness but the older I get the more I come to believe and understand that my strength actually comes out of those moments of grief when I choose to embrace the tears of sadness and the loss.
I have learned as well through the grieving process that there is nothing that anyone can say or do to make me feel better and the honest to God truth is that when I am grieving I am not looking to feel better I am just making sure I don’t loose my voice in the pain so that when it passes I am still fully alive.
I share and I share and I share until I cannot share anymore. It takes a very special friend a very special person to walk through grief and to share in the shedding of the tears that are brought on by the loss of a loved one due to death, a move, a break up, loss is loss and the body, mind and spirit respond the same when something you once had is now gone.
The call came in and on the other end of the phone was that very special person who so many years ago reminded me that when grief came knocking and it would that she would be just a phone call away, now whenever I try to deny or dismiss the knock at the door I remember her words and I hear her voice.
As I sat in the parking lot shedding my tears I knew that the silence on the other side of the phone meant acceptance, I knew the words of encouragement to keep it real meant even though I was struggling in my weakness I was actually being strong and brave.
I am so thankful today for the circle of friends who share a common faith, who believe that God shows up best in our weaknesses and are willing to keep it real. Today I say thank you to Jenny who has been the voice in the middle of the void when I am hurt, lost, and down and out because, sometimes life just hurts!