It’s true that at the start of mourning all things appeared bleak. Sooner than I expected though, the sadness fell away to reveal a life-picture that, little by little, became more and more hopeful. It was as though the events surrounding my mom’s death was this gigantic life-size mural covered over with crackling paint.
Once I began stripping off the dry paint chips, I saw underneath the peeling paint layers lay a heartening picture. The picture told a story of a battle fought and won. The painting told a history of loss, love, sorrow, courage, strength, and hope. My tears, I noticed, were no longer sown in sorrow. Suddenly I found myself crying tears meant to honor someone I found to be brave, loyal, and sacrificial in her love.
I was so young when she died the truth is I didn’t really know her. Through this process I am finally able to recognize who my mom is to me. Just me. Not my widowed father’s perception of her or my grandmother’s memory of her. I was finally able to have my very own experience of her and I realized I loved her and will always love her very, very, much. That was what, I hope, yesterday’s poem portrayed. My very own experience of my mom and who I knew her to be – no matter how briefly I knew her.
“It’s good to reflect on things but please don’t get stuck in your tears”. This is the advice my loving Tía Pat lent me and I agree. How not to remain indefinitely sorrowful. For me, it was being creative. These next photos are meant to be fun. A little serious, perhaps, but mostly fun.
Golden tears. Things aren’t white, black, and dreary anymore.
To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the LORD has planted for his own glory.