A Time To Mourn
There is a time to mourn, Ecc 3:1-8.
Grief is not easy; it’s painful. At some point, everyone will experience loss to some degree.
Everyone has a story and everyone’s story is relevant. We have the story of our lives, growing up, school, friends, etc. As we grow up, our story grows with us; and depending on the path we choose, our stories differ. Every life story is our own. Our losses differ in the way they happen, who it is in relation to you, and the way we are affected by our loss.
Your story, your joys, and sorrows are relevant and what you are going through matters. Hold on to the fact that where you are today in this journey changes. You will not feel the pain so strongly in the future. In the beginning, the grief of losing someone you love is – or at least it was for me – unbearable. I knew my heart was broken. When I say the journey changes, I’m not saying you will forget or that you will no longer miss them; nor that you will not shed a tear, because that will not happen.
This story is about loss.
Grief will not the be the same for everyone and that’s alright. You can not think people do or do not care based upon how they act when they are suffering the loss of a loved one. Every relationship has its own dynamics. Every person has their own personality and their own way of dealing with loss.
Part of my story:
We all share some common experiences, such as when you are about to call them and it hits you that they are no longer here.
The hardest part for me is having to adjust to the fact they are no longer physically here. No hugs, visits, or conversations…just missing them and the memories that flood in – some good, some not-so-good. When it comes to grief, some days are better than others. In the beginning, I remember crying out of the blue, just sobbing at any given moment no matter where I was. Tears can be triggered by memories, pictures, or an item they gave me, especially if I was alone, like driving in the car.
The worst part was the last week my mother was in hospice and it was becoming evident that this was for real…that soon she would no longer be here. The reality was sinking in. Watching her withdraw and become non-responsive, like a sleep she couldn’t wake up from.
I remember the last day… I was on the phone with my sister and 2 women came in to change the sheet on her bed and they rolled her up on her side. She never liked being on her side. She said she couldn’t breathe when she was in that position for very long. I watched from the sofa while talking to my sister. When they rolled her back it seemed like she was kind of stiff and her face was blue. I got up and walked closer to them and told them to wait – that something was wrong. She was blue. I felt panicky and my heart was beating hard! My sister stayed on the phone. She was at home recovering from pneumonia. She stayed with me the majority of the time by phone.
I just knew this was the beginning of the end. That picture plays like a video in my mind so clearly even to this day. Not a happy memory. I had promised her a while back that she would not be alone when her time came. My son called me not long after that to see how she and I were doing and I told him the nurse just told me that she would be gone within an hour or two. He was eating and he said he just got up and came to the hospice immediately. He was with me and my sister was on the phone as well. She went to heaven a few hours before her birthday (her birthday was a week before mine). That was the hardest moment and I cried harder than I knew was possible. I’m glad my son was there with me and my sister was on the phone. My birthday was a week later – Valentine’s day. She always said I was the best Valentine’s day gift she ever got. I didn’t want to think about any of it.
I went to see my uncle a couple of days later ( he will always be my brother in my heart). He passed a week later. February 2017 was not easy to get through. He had in-home hospice.
In one way, I’m glad I could be with her when she passed; but in another, it was not an easy thing to experience. Watching her leave this earth and take her last breath was hard. You know in your heart and mind that she is in a better place. She is healthy and able to breathe again, but it doesn’t make you miss them any less.
People never really know what to say to you when someone passes. They want to make you feel better; but at first, words do not help when it comes to the missing piece of your heart. God is the mender of the brokenhearted and He helps us get through it.
The Word says there is a time to mourn in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
The definition of mourn is: to feel or express grief, sorrow, or sadness due to the loss of someone or something. God tells us in His Word we will experience this. It’s normal. It may be normal, but its never easy saying goodbye even for a little while.
We planned the funeral and tried to make it in a way that she would have liked. I feel she would have been proud of how we handled that part. As I said earlier, her brother (and my brother at heart) passed a week after my birthday. February of 2017 was not an easy month for any of my family. Two huge losses and two funerals in a month’s time.
One thing kind of comforting is that they were close in their own way and that it seemed fitting for them both to go see Jesus and their mama in the same month.
The first week Connie was in hospice was actually a good week for the most part…family and friends came to visit and she told all kinds of stories and we all laughed together.
There was a couple of things that I will never forget
* I had been at the hospice every night except two. Connie had tried to call me the night before she became totally unresponsive and I didn’t answer as I was on another line, headed home to get clean clothes, etc. she was not alone so I didn’t switch over. The next morning she was unresponsive. I felt so bad and I prayed and asked God to please give me another moment with her…a moment where she was coherent and understood what was going on. He did just that. I sat on the bed beside her and she looked at me so sweet and I told her that if I had done anything to hurt her for her to forgive me. She actually sat up and took both my hands in hers. I was crying and she looked me in the eyes with her clear blue eyes and said,” Oh, no. All is forgiven. I have loved you always and forever and I have never regretted having you or Genia. I have always loved you both.” I cried and told her I loved her too, always and forever. I called Genia for her to be able to hear her say this. She was only awake for that time and became unresponsive again. That is a precious memory but painful as well. I cry every time I see that in my mind and it’s like a video as clear as day, replaying over and over. It makes me emotional just thinking about it and the tears flow just as they are now. That was the last time she spoke.
* Another memory was of a cleaning lady who worked there by the name of Alice. She was always singing and Connie had told me what a beautiful voice she had and how beautifully she sang “Amazing Grace”. When Connie was already unresponsive, I asked Alice if she would come in and sing it to her again. Alice came in and while she was singing “Amazing Grace”, Connie began to mouth the words…that was amazing.
Hospice was a blessing. Her nurse, Kalyn, was such a blessing too. I was glad God had a plan for her to be there. It was such a caring and nice place. She was well taken care of clinically and we could stay with her all night and be with her – a true blessing from God.
February 7th of 2018 marked a year of their passing; I admit it was not an easy month to get through. I have found that keeping myself busy does help; but at times, I still have a thought or memory and begin to cry…but it’s not as often as it was, thank God! It was embarrassing to be in a store and see something that reminds you of them and you have tears coming down your face before you even know it… You just end up leaving the store. You don’t want people to see you that way. They do not have a clue as to why you are crying.
I stayed out of church for a good while just because I was crying so much; especially when I became emotional, which is what happens at church sometimes. I just wasn’t ready to talk to people and even hear how sorry they were for my loss. I just didn’t want to talk or think about it. Some people said to go anyway – they will understand – but it’s just not what I wanted or felt like I could do.
We have to respect how people feel and allow them to heal even if it takes longer than you think it should or if the way they choose to heal is not the same as yours. That being said, one thing you have to be careful of is depression. Depression also wants isolation. You do not want to get depressed and stay there.
Grief can also affect your immune system. You have to take care of yourself no matter how you feel. Exercise such as walking actually helps relieve stress. Laughter does good like a medicine. You may not feel like doing either but do them anyway. Walk…and watch funny videos. This part will help with the healing and get you “unstuck”. That’s exactly how I felt at times. Read your Word, pray, stay busy, walk, eat, and try to laugh when you can. Get the rest you need and drink lots of water.
Live while you are here. Make memories for those you love. Death causes a hurt that only God can heal, but love leaves memories that no one can steal! Keep them alive in your heart because they are only a breath away.
I like what Billy Graham said about death:
Grief is a process. Missing them will never go away. I know she would want me to be happy and live a good life because that is what I would want for my family and friends if it were me. She understood grief. She had lost her mother, her father, and her sister. She knew how I would feel…she had already been there. I told her that she would be missed and she told me I would miss her more than I thought I would, and she was right.
They will always be missed, as all those who went before them. I will see them again someday. I have a lot of treasure in heaven.
I have to remind myself that she is still alive. Her temporary body is what died. Her spirit is alive and well – she just changed her address. Heaven is a real place and a wonderful destination to reach. She made it home, they both did. What matters most is where we go after our chapter on earth is over, and of course the dash. The dash is what separates the date of birth from the day you pass. The life we lived in between.
I hope something I have shared will help you in some way. This part of life’s journey is not fun for those left behind, even knowing we will see each other again. This separation is also temporary.
I am praying for everyone reading this who is hurting and missing a piece of their heart. I pray you will laugh and enjoy life again on your journey to see them again in our forever home; where we never have to say goodbye again.
Remember, your story is not over. This chapter is one of many. Tomorrow is still unwritten and I pray your life story will have more joy than sorrows.
If you need additional help getting over anything and need counseling, seek that help. Surround yourself with people who uplift and encourage you. Your story on earth is temporary, but keep writing. The pen to your story is in your hand. Keep living, keep writing.
Lean on God. He loves you and He cares. Focus on the fact that this world is not our home. This is not the end of their story or yours.
Start with the end of your story in mind and begin your next chapter. Your next chapter will be different because you are different. Your story has changed; but with God’s help, you can continue your story.
Grief and depression try to keep our focus on what we have lost and away from what we still have.
There is a time to mourn…just don’t allow depression or grief to steal your life forever. No one wants that to happen – including the person you no longer have in your life.
I’m writing this to myself as well; so if sharing this helps you, it’s worth sharing. Ecclesiastes 3-1-8 also says that there is a time to laugh – so do not be discouraged.
Blessings and prayers for strength and peace,
She chose Grace ♥
These are some images that touched my heart:
2 of many examples of mourning in the Bible:
John 11:35 Jesus wept… Lazarus sisters were hurting, they were mourning and Lazarus was a good friend of Jesus.. Jesus wept.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 A time to mourn verse
I made this bracelet (*with the help of a special friend) from buttons that belonged to my mother in honor of her, it will become a family heirloom.
Loving Memory of my mother 2/8/43 – 2/7/17 and all my other treasures in heaven.
I will love you forever and always, you will not be forgotten.
*Please do not smoke. If you do, please stop smoking a cigarette is not worth dying for, COPD and Lung Cancer is not worth the pain it causes you and your family.