Home » Parents and Parenting » Echoes of Darkness Sheathed in the Light

Echoes of Darkness Sheathed in the Light

In Memoriam – Mom
April 25, 1928 – February 29, 1988

[written March 1, 2009]

I thought it had passed.

Just yesterday, I remarked to my sister – “This is the first February in 21 years that hasn’t been brutal.”

Then this morning, just the mention of the phone call in the early morning darkness, when Dad told me you had died and I said, “Good” – (Good for who – me? You? The echo of guilt lingers still…) – brings back the grief like a wave crashing into rock, and I am pulled under in an instant, drowning.

The well of grief swallows me, the darkness returns, and I ache with loss – the emptiness – the missing of you – the longing for your closeness – (Me? The one who hated hugs? The one who now hugs all those in need, desperate for their/my/your touch?).

My right hand trembles, my teeth chatter, and I rock…I ache…I mourn.

My tears flood the emptiness with despair, until the well is filled to overflowing, and just when there can be no more left, the flood gates open with a rush of white-hot tears – searing, scalding, scarring – as they traverse the channels carved in my soul.

I escape then, but to where? A place of quiet, of gray, of nothing, where no one or no thing exists…where no one or no thing can hurt.

I am numb.

I cease to feel, to breathe, to mourn…quiet, waiting, collecting, remembering, forgetting. I want to stay in this nothing, where the past and present blend, simply waiting. I could spend eternity here, neither warm nor cold, neither black nor white – nothing.

But then a soft white light burns through the fog – slowly, steadily, purposefully – coming toward me. And when I turn from it, it envelops me with warmth, an embrace, a distant memory, a familiar voice, a whisper. It seeks, it flows, it permeates, it dissolves, it heals – slowly, completely. It restores breath into my lungs, it touches my hand and the trembling ceases.

The crying stops and I return. Depleted, yet complete, filled with the sense that love hurts and heals, devours and regenerates, erases then re-creates, takes away only to be made whole.

If I love, I risk.

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My losses seem legion, but my blessings lift me to a place I would not have seen had I not been buried. The tears that drowned me in their ending are transformed into the healing waters of a baptism, a beginning, a grace.

I hesitate – these wings have weight – do I want what they hold? A familiar stirring inside me – a blossoming – a peace – a knowing that this is right and good. The weight will be lifted when I surrender.

And I hear the whispered promise – “I will be with you, always.” – and I feel Your embrace lift me up, then release me. I soar back into life, toward the light and Your promise, and I know I am who I am because of You, because of Your love.

Of whom do I speak? Of my Mother? Of God? Of His Mother? It matters not; only that I return. Only that I remember Your voice as I reach out to those in need. That I am present in their pain – that I quiet their tears – that I wait in their darkness – that I am their light and their hope as You were/are/will always be to me.

Lift me up, so that I might lift them.
Love me, so that I might love them.
Give me hope, so that I might bring hope to them.
Guide me, so that I might guide them.
Give me Your words, so that I might speak them.
Give me Your hearing, so that I might listen to them.
Heal me, so that I might heal them.

Remember me, as I remember You.

I am who I am, because of You.

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Related Post: Remembrance

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16 thoughts on “Echoes of Darkness Sheathed in the Light

    • Thank you for taking the time to read this, and to comment. Something that caught me even more by surprise was the “parental grief” when my father died last year; I did not expect the different type grief that comes with having lost both parents. It is a process I talk about in “On the Shoulders of Giants“. My blessings to you on your journey.

  1. Thank you for sharing this intensely personal portion of your life Theresa. I am thankful for your Mom, although I never knew her, because she gave us (the world) you. ((hugs))

  2. This made me cry cleansing tears… so healing. So cherished are your words – filled with comfort for all who grieve. For me, it is filled with the knowing that while we are not alone because our loved one is always with us, but also that we are not alone in our very grief. Someone understands. You understand. This post is incredible. Thank you, SO much. Love and Light, Gina

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