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The First Year

On January 4, 2016 my mom passed away in her sleep. My brother was with her. She is with God now. She is free of pain. She is free of worry. She is free of sorrow. She is free of lung cancer, breathing problems, COPD, anxiety and fear. She is in a better place (1 Corinthians 15:40-49). I know all this and I am happy for her, but my heart aches. It physically aches. Today, the pain is as intense as it was the day she died. I ordinarily love being alone yet right now spending the whole day by myself produces anxiety. Grief changes you in ways you can’t imagine.

The first year is the hardest. Going through all the holidays and anniversaries without your loved one is painful to say the least. You know it will be, but nothing really prepares you for how much it actually hurts or all the emotions it brings up. You want to make it stop, you talk to friends or family, thinking it might help, but the only way out is through.

The past 15 months were hard…so hard. Three trips to Germany, 5 weeks spending every day at the hospital, sleeping at the hospital one of those weeks, taking care of my mom at her house, losing my mom, selling her house, chronic back pain, getting bitten by a dog, surgery to repair two torn tendons in my right middle finger, six weeks in a full hand splint, painful physical therapy and dealing with chronic health issues. Between the physical and emotional pain and missing my mom there were days I didn’t want to go on. But there were also many good things in the past 15 months. Bob and I are closer than ever and I am closer to God than ever. I am closer to my brother. I got to spend time with family and friends in Germany. God has healed me. I am off all medications, some of which I had been on 20 years! I may still have a few symptoms but in my heart I know I am healed. The fact that I can see so much healing, despite grief, 3 difficult trips to Germany, getting bitten by a dog, and a surgery, is a testimony to God’s power, love, and goodness.

So today I am allowing myself to grieve, to feel the pain, but I am also finding gratitude in the many blessings in my life.

Psalm 147:3

He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.

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