In the Closet

“For the rest of my life I will search for moments full of you”- Anonymous

Nothing could stop my heart from carrying me into her closet. I had to see her clothes, the personal effects that were simply her. Hands that look so much like hers yearned to feel the soft sweaters she had worn, fuzzy socks that kept her feet cozy, crocheted caps that provided warmth for a head no longer covered by hair. The loss felt in my soul was so deafening I could only hear the deep thud of a broken heart and the splash of tears cascading onto the old faded Troy T-shirt I wore.

Moments in time burst through my mind of days past, happier days, when she had worn each article and the memories were a sad but necessary calm to my spirit, a calm that I seek so consistently but I’m rarely able to find. Softly clutching sleeve after sleeve, I allowed the tears to flow and memories to set me free from the labor pains of grief.

When would the next labor pain happen? If it were only that simple. Scheduled labor pains of grief, that only occur when it’s safe, when no one is around, when I’m not busy, when I have time. On the contrary, labor pains of grief happen when you least expect them; when they are ready for you, not when you are ready for them.

What have I learned you might ask? I have learned to just relax through the ebb and flow of grief, much as a laboring mother who toils to bring her newborn child into the world. The pain in labor is not constant, there are moments to catch your breath, moments to enjoy the reprieve. But when the labor pains demand results once more, you have no choice but to allow them to do their work, prep for what is to come, make way for what is new.

If a laboring mother is rewarded with a newborn, what is the result from the labor pains of grief? They, too, give newness in life. When grief has completed its journey within your heart, you will be a new person. No longer the same. You slowly present yourself to the world. A person who not only has loved, but has now also lost. A person who has not only laughed, but has now also cried. A person who has not only felt joy, but has now also felt sorrow. A person that once only thought she could, now knows she can. A person who once was broken in loss, is now finally healed.

Thinking of cups of coffee I’ve shared with my sweet little mama over the years, and smiling. ~paula

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I only know how to tell you about me by telling you the things that I love, enjoy and can't seem to get enough of. I love worshiping Jesus by serving on the praise team at our church. My mama taught me the love of music and I intend to carry out that life until God says that's enough. My next love is my family; nothing better than time spent with the folks I call mine. My favorite place on this earth and where I can hear "me" best is a good ol', white sanded beach where the waves crash out every distraction; leaving only thoughts that are my own. I have other loves, but these are a great beginning. Maybe you'll learn more while you share a cup of Coffee with Paula. (See what I did there? Ha!)

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