One Year…

It is hard to believe, but today marks one year since my mother went to heaven. I was going to write ‘since I lost my mother’ – but, as my friend Debbie reminded me recently, I haven’t lost her at all. She is safe and I know exactly where she is. Thank you, Jesus.

I am grateful that she left us during Lent because my eyes are focused on the promise of the resurrection. Last March, we gave her a big Lutheran funeral with the liturgy she loved, and 350 people celebrated communion together.

We chose the Easter hymn “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” for the recessional because we wanted to proclaim that, because He lives, she does too. I remember the Pastor saying “Well, that’s an unconventional choice and Lutherans do not sing Easter hymns during Lent, but I like it!”

It really was a beautiful way to end the service; we sang ‘alleluia’ all the way out of the sanctuary – even if it was unconventional.


We have made it through all of the ‘firsts’. There’s a bit of relief that they are over – but, even though a full year has passed, the grief continues.

I miss my mom. I still can’t believe it has been a year since we have spoken or laid eyes on each other.

And as for grief… it is kind of normal now. The waves of sadness don’t hit as often and I am much better, but I truly expect it to be part of me for the rest of my life.

The death of someone you love so dearly is not something you get over. You do get more used to it and the grieving does improve, but it will never go away.

And I am ok with that. I really do not want to get over losing my mother.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I am stuck in time and unable to move forward in my life. The truth is, by allowing myself the time to grieve [and that would be as long as it takes], I am free to heal and embrace my new normal.

Healthy grieving moves us forward – stuffing, denying or trying to rush through too quickly keeps us stuck.

I have experienced two significant losses this past year – my mother in March, and my dearest friend, Mary Lou, in July. I’ve discovered that in the middle of the shock and heartache, Jesus comes in close. He extends His hand and asks “Do you trust me?”

I remember the heaviness of that question on both occasions. I knew He was asking me to trust Him in a way I never had before — and I said yes.

Last night, I went back and read a post I wrote last April, just three weeks after mom went to heaven. It was the first time I had written about her. I wondered if, with a year’s perspective, I would want to go back and change anything I had written.

Do I know something now that I didn’t know then?

After reading it again almost a year later, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change a word. I feel the same way now as I did then. I thank Him that I had eyes to see the blessings even so early on. As the Chris Tomlin song says – He’s a good, good Father.

So, in honor of my mom and in remembering her on this one year anniversary, I hope that will you go over to You Will Never Truly Understand {until it happens to you}. It is one of the most heartfelt posts I have ever written and I hope it blesses you – especially if you are dealing with a loss of your own.

Thank you to all who have prayed, encouraged, and cared for me over the past 12 months. Your outpouring of kindness and love has meant so much to meYou have been a much-needed circle of sisters during a very difficult year.

 Whenever you cross my mind, I thank my God for you and for the gift of knowing you. — Philippians 1:3

Love to all –





26 thoughts on “One Year…”

  1. Laura, Prayers to all of you. Your mom is celebrating one year with Jesus. Find peace in knowing that, as I’m certain you do.

  2. Your words recall the Truthof Romans 5:3-4 ” …we also glory in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, character, hope. ” Life in Christ always ends in Hope.

  3. You are so brave. You are so strong. You are so caring.. I never met your mother but I know it’s true, “the apple doesn’t fall from the tree.” She must have been an inspiring woman. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

  4. Laura- I’m so sorry for your pain. I can’t imagine. Thank you for being vulnerable to share. You are strong! I found you from the link up! SO happy to connect 🙂

  5. Love your writing, feels like I know you. I lost my mom in 1987 and I still miss her. God gave us such a blessing through our dear moms. Why would we ever want to forget. Bless your heart, your sharing is like a beautiful rose opening up.

    1. Cathy — you are right, God gave us such a blessing in our dear moms. That’s why it is such a loss — so grateful it is only a “temporary separation.” Thank you for your very kind words.

  6. Laura, What a blessing Godly friends are. Love that your friend was there to remind you that you have not “lost” your mother! I can feel your pain and your grief…also your hope!!!! I lost my dad 3 years ago. This is beautifully written. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Deborah. I am so sorry that your dad died. It is so hard but thankfully we grieve with hope. Many Blessings!

  7. Laura, beautifully written. I began my grief journey about six years ago when we had to put my mother in the nursing home. It felt like guilt but I was to learn later it was the beginning of grief. Each visit started with excitement but ended with a profound sadness and left me saying to God, she does not deserve this. Over and over the two emotions wore me out and as I watch her deteriorate each time I visited. First her body, then her mind till there was much of my Mama left. I begin to pray that God would take her soon, lift her soul out of that dress of flesh and make her whole again. Like you, I will always miss her and am grateful for the gift of grief, it helped me way before her death to prepare to not hold on when the end came. I had my hand on her chest as she drew her last breathe and for a few minutes a quietness came into my heart that to this day I cannot explain but I knew it was from the Lord for the next hours would be busy with calling family, meeting with the funeral man, taking her clothes we picked out for her to wear, making arrangements. The quiet was over, it was time to go about my earthly while my mother went about her heavenly life. It will be the grief that helps me remember her, to look forward to seeing her whole again. thank you so much for your encouraging comment on my post.

    1. Betty — thanks for sharing your story here with me. I read a quote last year after my mom died that said, ” Your mother’s death is the first heartbreak lived without her.” So true. We are blessed to know our moms are ok and have begun their real life in their real home. May God continue to comfort you as you grieve. xoxo

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