How many times in the past months have I started a blog post only to delete it? Too many. Not necessarily writer’s block as I’ve been filling my paper and pen journal plenty. But somehow in the days between Naomi’s first birthday and this day, marking her 13th month in Heaven, I lost my voice here. My days have been filled with the ordinary beautiful of boys and summer and work and pressing on while looking up.
Lately grief has been sneaking up on me and surprising me when I’m not expecting it. Because this past month, having made it one year…was like a big sigh of relief. I still miss Naomi, more than ever it seems sometimes. But I’m learning how to keep living even with the pain of missing. Some days that goes better than others.
Last week I went into the break room at work and someone had left one of those lists of a hundred random facts…like approximately one-sixth of your life is spent on Wednesday…or an iguana can stay under water for 28 minutes. And then there was this one…
When you are dying your sight is the first sense to go and your hearing is the last sense.
And right then I was back in those moments, just be for 10:12 am on June 22, 2012. I know the last words Naomi heard, they are etched forever in my heart. A prayer by our pastor and then these words.
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalm 16:1, 2, 5-11 ESV)
And since that day she entered the fullness of joy I have desperately sought the path of life, the path back to joy. God has preserved me as I have taken refuge in Him. He has not abandoned me. Not for one moment. And in this day I am so grateful for the joy that has returned to my heart in some measure.
Last month we got to see Naomi’s marker, freshly installed, when we visited the site where we planted her earthly shell. It is beautiful. My heart swelled both with pride and grief as her eldest big brother read the whole inscription to our family and our parents who came to spend the day with us.
Thirteen months into this journey of being a mother missing a child and I can say that we have been incredibly blessed in this journey…with family and friends who’ve loved us, with two other healthy children, with jobs and a home, but most importantly with a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father whose grace continues to sustain us every day.
I pray that today, you, dear reader, would know His love and grace, wherever you are in your life’s journey.