Today’s twist: if you wrote day four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined.
My mom’s death was one of the biggest losses in my life.
I wrote earlier about this loss, and how it really affected me with all kinds of emotions. I felt anger at myself for not spending more time with her, and for not fixing the distance in my relationship with her.
She really was a beautiful person inside and out. She found salvation in the Lord, later in life.
When she died, I thought my relationship as a Christian was strong and solid, built on the solid rock (Jesus). I found that I was falling away into depression, though.
I realized that I had pushed everyone away, built my great protective walls around my heart, and here I was, in great need of comfort and help. There seemed to be no one to comfort me.
I drove a thousand miles to the funeral with my husband, son, and two dogs. My husband was in a hurry to get back to work, so we weren’t going to spend much time with my family back in North Dakota. It was September, 2012. My husband, who was used to sleeping in his truck, didn’t see any reason not to save money sleeping in the car on the way for a few hours. We took turns driving, but I was exhausted from all the depressing emotions that filled my broken heart. My son was a new driver with a permit, and we let him help drive too. The dogs were pretty good, besides the shedding.
We stopped at a restaurant near my husband’s parent’s house to visit them a while, before finishing the journey to Fargo, ND. I was suppose to meet my sisters in the afternoon and go through some of my mom’s things before the next day, when the funeral would be.
I pulled into the driveway, where I was to meet my sisters, and ran into a huge pothole. My husband was upset that I had driven into the hole. Of course, I wouldn’t have run into it, if I had seen it! This was the straw that broke the camels back. To add to that, none of my sisters were where they said they would be. No one was home. They wouldn’t answer their cell phones either. Then, we went to the hotel where I made a reservation, one that allowed dogs. They wouldn’t let us have our room until three in the afternoon. It was only noon.
I was not getting back in the car with my husband. I had a million emotions that were sending me over the edge. I didn’t see my mom’s lifeless body yet. I didn’t want to. I was doing just fine, until all the plans changed. I couldn’t get my focus back. My sisters arranged a viewing at the funeral home with just the family for that evening. With the way things were going, I couldn’t force myself to see her gone. I figured my sisters probably wouldn’t show up for that either.Then, I saw the sign across the street from the motel. “Liquor Store”.
I told my husband to just drive around, go someplace and get something to eat. I would just take a walk.
I walked right to the liquor store. I bought a bottle of liquor, and went to a picnic table near the store, and drank the whole thing. I hadn’t drank in years, so this should have made me intoxicated, but it didn’t, so I went back and bought another. I staggered back to the motel. The room still wasn’t ready. I sat in their entry, until they told me it was ready. I went in, laid on the bed, and cried. I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore.
My family finally showed up, but I didn’t want to see anyone. I told my husband to get a different room, and just leave me alone. He had his parents come and talk to me, but I was so drunk, I yelled at them too. All the pent up frustration came out, and the alcohol gave me the boldness to say the things I never would have without it.
Anger, Depression, Guilt, Shame, and deep loneliness encompassed me. I just couldn’t find my faith when I needed it. I had been through so much in life, and I knew God, I loved Jesus. How could I be acting this way? I found that I was right back to where I used to be, and with all the I’s in these paragraphs, you can tell where my focus was.– It was on me.
I did go to see my mom at the funeral home at the urging of my sisters, who finally showed up at the motel. They explained that they were emotional too, and had been arguing, and that was why they didn’t answer any of their cell phones when I called. I found that they were experiencing the same grief I was.
My mom looked young again, like all the years were shed, and she was beautiful! My sister’s picked out a white and gold casket. She had pretty pink lipstick on her beautiful lips. She looked at peace.
The funeral the next day was beautiful too. It wasn’t raining like many of the funerals I’ve attended, where even the sky seems to grieve by dropping heavy rain. This was a gorgeous, happy, fall day. The sky was bright blue. Prayers were said, pictures were shown, hymns were sung, and the family spoke loving words. There was a long drive to the cemetery about fifty miles into the country. She would be buried by my father, in an old fashioned prairie cemetery, with an iron gate that held the relatives of my past.
I watched as the pall bearers brought the casket from the hearse. Another prayer was said. Roses were placed on the casket, and it was lowered into the ground. The heavy vault slab was dropped with a bang, cement on cement. The backhoe covered the grave with dirt. It was finished.
There was a lunch at the town my mom grew up in, one of her favorite dishes was served. It was getting towards evening. I think I mentioned my mom’s favorite color was bright pink in my previous post. You wouldn’t believe the sunset over the prairie! it was the brightest, boldest pink I ever saw. Pink highlighted everything! I wore a pink dress, like my mom asked me to do, a long time ago, when we talked about her funeral. She said she wanted me to wear pink, not black. It was like she was telling us that everything was okay, and God painted the sky with her favorite color. She was gone from the earth, but still present with us.
I found some peace, some comfort in that sky. I looked up, where my focus should have been all along.