Broken and Grieving
I have this little white tea cup I love. Drinking out of it always gave me so much joy. One day it slipped out of my hand, and a small piece of the top broke off. I found the little broken piece and carefully glued it back on. I set it back on my open shelf where all my pretty dishes were and carefully turned it so the piece I had fixed faced the wall. Now it looked the same as before.
But...it wasn't the same, and I never used it again. I was so scared that the little piece would break off, so I left it on the shelf where nothing could happen to it. I noticed that instead of giving me joy, this tea cup was making me sad. It used to be so perfect, and now it wasn't.
One morning, as I began to make a cup of tea I realized that it was only that one small piece that was keeping me from using it. Even though it had once belonged there, the piece didn't really fit anymore. I thought the tea cup could be made to look exactly as it was before, but it could never be what it once was.
I took the teacup off the shelf and carefully broke that little piece away from the glue. The rest of the tea cup was shiny, and now that one part was left a little rougher and broken. I boiled some water, found my favorite bag of tea, and poured it into my favorite tea cup. It was a little different now. Broken. But I wasn't afraid to use it anymore.
A Mother's Grief
I have been trying to think of something to write for Memorial day for weeks. I knew it was coming, and I knew I wanted to give a piece of my heart to all those who would be missing a loved one, especially a child, on this day. I have never experienced real grief, but I have been desperately wanting to offer something that could somehow make a mother who was missing her child feel a little better. I prayed and prayed that I would read something or talk to someone or remember something that would help a mother in the thick of her grief.
Instead, all I could think is that if it were me...if I were in the deep ocean of grief ...I wouldn't want to be "fixed." I wouldn't want someone to glue my pieces back together or make me feel "better." I wouldn't want to feel like I had to turn that part of me away so that I could look just as I did before. I wouldn't want people hoping I will be able to move on and and let me sit on a shelf, pretty and useless.
I would want to stay broken, to never "move on" or feel fixed. Fixed would mean going back to the woman I was before. I wouldn't want that. I would want to be a new woman who had loved a child who had gone to heaven. Putting my broken pieces back together and pretending I was the old version of myself would not make me whole. I would want to be broken and beautiful. Broken and a mother. I would want what had broken me to make a new WHOLE me. Broken with new purposes, new uses.
Grief and Heavenly Love
A friend told me that when she was grieving the life she thought her baby would have another woman who had lost a child wrote her a letter. She wrote, "This is a time when heaven touches earth." Heaven is found in the moments where true eternal perspective can be seen. Wishing a grieving mother's heart will be healed doesn't mean wishing she will pick up all her broken pieces, put a smile on and try to be exactly who she once was. Eternity is about becoming the woman she most desires to be. Heaven has touched her, and heaven has claimed her heart when it received an angel from her. Her life, her being, will never go back to what it was before. She will forever be a mom loving her angel. This kind of love is heavenly. She will carry this love with her wherever she goes...spreading it, using it, giving it. She will always be different now, not only smooth and shiny. This love for her angel will leave parts of her to stand out and feel rough. This grief may have broken her, but it gave her a heavenly love. She doesn't want to be "fixed" and "pretty." She wants to keep her angel with her and be broken because this love has made her a new and different whole. She is a mother. She will never stop loving.