Continuing Without

Tomorrow November 22nd, 2017 marks the nine-year anniversary since I lost my mother to an accidental overdose. The word “accidental” means that she should still be here today, she could still be here today but she is not. She is gone and I will never hug her again, never utter the words I love you to her or sit down at the dinner table with her again. Memories of her are all that remain. Nine years later I still get the question, “How did you move on” or “How have you gotten over losing your mom.” The answer is simple, you don’t get over it and I haven’t moved on. You never really “move on” after the loss of a loved one, you simply learn to continue this beautiful, yet heartbreaking life without them. I remember when my mom promised me that she wouldn’t leave me until she was 100 years old. I remember being a 14-year-old kid who thought his mom would be there forever and the next day she was gone in the blink of an eye. I remember the heartbreak. I remember the devastation and the sorrow. I remember it like it was yesterday…that’s because it was yesterday, 9 years later but it was yesterday that I missed you, it was yesterday that I felt the pain. Yesterday I continued without you but not a day goes by that I don’t think of you.
I asked myself this question, “If you never move on after the loss of a loved one what does it look like to continue without them?” God gave me a new normal and that was a normal without my childhood hero. The internal battle is learning to allow God to be greater than my grief. Going from grief to greater doesn’t happen overnight, I have come to realize that grief to greater is a lifetime journey. Some days the pain feels like a prison. How could I ever love again when the person I loved most left me even though they promised they never would? How can I break the chains of anxiety, depression, grief, and heartbreak? The easy answer is Jesus and utilizing the encouragers in my life. Jesus is the answer but a life with Jesus is also a journey. As I begin to shift my focus to what I have gained from the loss of my mother rather than what I lost I begin to find healing. Some days are more exhausting than others but I know I am getting stronger every day, I know there is light at the end of the tunnel even though some days the darkness seems suffocating. Mom if you’re reading this I want you to know that I forgive you for leaving me when I needed you the most. I love you. I miss you. I want you to know that I am on a journey from grief to greater and I promise you that I will be greater than my grief. I am learning to continue without you in my life even when it hurts. For all others who have taken the time to read this, I want you to know that you are NEVER alone in your pain. Grief is a mountain. Let’s take a hike together.

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