Sorrow, the teacher
Sorrow, the teacher

 I called my friend, finally, on my day off to see about visiting her mama and was told “It’s not a good day.”Hospice had been called in and I should have called sooner, I felt so bad.

I explained, “This is odd and may not be okay; but, I wanted to sit and talk with your mama because we have a special connection. I want to know more of her story…her favorite scripture.”

My friend paused and empty space filled the air.  “I remember, I said, “when I was brave enough to talk about my abuse, my past, my testimony in church, your mama smiled at me and met me with open arms. We have a bond.” 

“She loves you.” My friend said. ” I love her.” I said.  Again, silence, and my friend tells me she’s walking onto the porch, so her mama won’t hear.

She listens as I continue, regretful and guilty over waiting so long to call, because I missed my own mama so, so bad and I just couldn’t get that close to the sorrow, so close to the enormity of grief. Then, not sure of the weight of my words, I say:

“This is going to be hard for you. It will never be easy. You will have a forever void and nothing will replace your mama. Your life will be never be the same; but, you will be okay. You will have unexpected days of sorrow and there will be days you will be better and there will be days that the longing for her will bring you to your knees, queasy emptiness in your gut. But, you will know you were loved and the enormity of that love you will not know until you know this loss.”

If time had allowed I would say, “But, you will be at peace because you have loved and been loved back. Whatever craziness, chaos or uncertainty of your mama’s mothering will be wiped away. You will cling to the good because the good is all that matters. Your relationship will be redeemed and will be all about love.”

But, I did not say this. Instead, I prayed via cell phone.

Tearful, hoarse, and tentative, I prayed.

Heavenly Father, you know this is hard for me to remember this pain and so I have waited too long and I am sorry. I care so much about my friend’s mama because she cares about me and like me, she was redeemed. We were both redeemed.  Dear Lord, please cover her in your peace and comfort her family. Help her to know how much she is loved. In Jesus name, Amen

 I apologize to my friend for crying.I should be the strong one, offering support.  I tell her I didn’t expect to get so emotional. I did not expect to be reminded of the sadness of a mama dying. She is okay with my crying and says there is no way I will ever know just how much she needed my call. I’m crying and say “I love you. I love your mama. Please tell her.”

Then, sitting quietly, I realize sorrow circles back,redeems and gives purpose to my pain.

Wisdom meets grief,  is cushioned by love and experience, and we bravely embrace and make sense of our sorrow.  God gives us opportunities for good, for good grown of grief, the wisdom of sorrow He would have us share.

So, tonight my prayer is for peace for my friend’s path and mercy for her mama, the one who loved me despite my story, and the strong, brave one who told her own story, the one redeemed… redeemed like me.

Because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us…to guide our feet in the path of peace.   Luke 1:78

One thought on “When Sorrow Circles Back

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