by | Jan 17, 2019 | writing

On January 3rd, I celebrated a birthday. And it was so hard. I broke down on January 2nd. See, my mom and I had this…well, kind of a little joke about it. I am a midnight baby. I believe my birth certificate states I was born at like 12:02 am or some such. But my mother holds that the doctor did not note the time until they had gone through the normal processes of cleaning and measuring me. She contends that I was actually born on January 2nd.

Of course, I think that means I need a two-day all-about-me celebration. She’d tell me to pick one day and it should be the 2nd. The rest of my family kind of rolls their eyes at this, but my mom got it.

Now no one really does.

See, this April marks 2 years without my mom. It’s still fresh.

Last January 3rd, the first year. My birthday was nice. Really nice. But something was off. All day.

It wasn’t until the end of the day that I connected the dots.

I was waiting for the call from her that wasn’t going to come.

I say all this to share that I’m almost two years after the fact and it’s still fresh. It still hurts.

Some might think…shouldn’t she be over this by now? Or at least more over this?

No. Not at all.

Someone else might be further along in the grieving process, but not me. Not my personality makeup. I’m still somewhere in that process. The grieving process is not cut and dry. It’s different for everyone. Both in the movement through the stages and the duration in each stage and in the process as a whole. To learn more about the stages, I wrote about it here.

The truth is, we grieve deeply because we loved deeply. And, the pain may ease into a smile of nostalgia, but for some the ache will always be there. And that’s okay. My counselor has said to me: “You’ll never get over it, but you will get through it.”

I do think of her fondly and smile at times, but other times, it brings tears. That’s where I am and I’m fine with that. Is that where my siblings are? Not necessarily. And that’s okay, too. Doesn’t mean they loved her more or less. It means they are different people. And their grief process looks different than mine.

My friend found a book of liturgies for me. I’ve never thought myself to be interested in a book of prayers. But this book has moved me to laugh, cry, and brought my heart closer to Jesus. There is one about grieving that I wanted to share:

It comes from “Every Moment Holy” by Douglas Kaine McKelvey. The liturgy I’m pulling from is called “Anniversary of a Loss”:

Let that which broke me upon this day in a past year, now be seen as the beginning of my remaking into a Christ-follower more sympathetic, more compassionate, and more conscious of my frailty and of my daily dependence upon you; as one more invested in the hope of the resurrection of the the body and the return of the King, than ever I had been before.

Let this loss-hollowed day arrive in years to come as the kindling of a fire in my bones, spurring me to seek in this short life that which is eternal. Let the past wound, and the memory of it, push me to be present with you in ways that I was not before.

Do not waste my greatest sorrows, O God, but use them to teach me to live in Your presence–fully alive to pain and joy and sorrow and hope–in the places where my shattering and Your shaping meet.


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Sara R. Turnquist