Like me, Mom often sought comfort in music and one of her favorite sustaining hymns was “It Is Well” written by Horatio G. Spafford who penned the hymn in the aftermath of great personal loss. Maybe that’s why his words evoke such peace when I am in the midst of a trial. As the hymn has brought me great comfort through the years, I turned to it again tonight, two days after the seventh anniversary of Mom’s passing.
This year, her homegoing date, Aug. 15 brought more loss as dear friends moved three states away to Texas. These are friends who have become family to me as I cared for their son the last three years. We have shared many meals, many laughs, a few tears and more cups of tea than I can count. They have enriched my life in many ways and after seeing them nearly every day each week, their absence will leave a hole in my heart and in my life.
Just as God prepared me in advance for Mom’s passing, in His infinite grace, He began preparing me for this change long before it became reality. Still, as is the case with any great loss, every other loss compounds that grief and I do not know why the dates coincided this year, but God gave me the strength and the grace to handle both their leaving and the remembrance of Mom’s passing. He even led me to read a book author Cindy Woodsmall had given me when I met her at a writer’s conference in June. Her novel A Love Undone recounts the story of Jolene Keim who is grieving the loss of her parents and struggles to define herself without them. I identified with Jolene’s close relationship with her parents and how their loss upended her life. Still, the novel and Jolene’s life are imbued with great hope and peace given to her by the Lord; the same gifts He has given me.