As of today, it has been six years since my mama went home to be with Jesus. The further I get away from the day that the most devastating news of my life changed everything, the more I worry that I'm forgetting things about her. At the moment my dad broke the news to me over the phone, I remembered everything I had ever learned about her. Six years later I can't honestly say that. Of course I can remember plenty of the arbitrary info; birthdate, social security number (from years of filling out paperwork for her), wedding anniversary & place of birth. I can remember the last time we spoke on the phone, but I can't remember the sound of her cough. I'm starting to forget what she smelled like. I can't remember the exact sound of her voice or the tone of her laugh. I can't remember the brand of lotion she used or the way she took her coffee.
One of my biggest fears is that in ten years, there won't be anything left. I worry that I'll never forget the grief that has attached itself to her memory but all of the good, amazing things of who she was will be obscured by time & my imperfect memory. How will I accurately describe her to children who will never know their grandmother? How will I paint them a word picture that is her, fully & completely?
|My Mom & Dad's wedding day-1981|
|Camping at Sheriff's Reservoir|
I think the answer is that I won't be able to. In the same way you can't perfectly describe a sunset to a sightless person who will never see one, I won't ever be able to describe the way my mother shined brilliantly in a world that is darker now that's she's gone.
In A Grief Observed C.S. Lewis said, "The death of a beloved is an amputation". It is true that a part of me will be never be the same now that my mother is gone. I may never be able to describe her in a way that does her complete justice. I may forget things about her that I wish I could remember for the rest of my life. But I'll never forget the way she showed my brother & I what it means to be a mother. To care so selflessly & completely. I'll never forget the way she loved & treated people with respect. Maybe I don't need to remember her perfectly. Maybe the best way to keep her light shining is to live & love the way she taught me to.