Lessons on the Way to a Funeral

April 5, 2021

I’m tearful as I slump into the car heading towards the funeral of my sweet friend’s mother. Even though I have been in her shoes and know pieces of the experience she is surrounded by I can’t find words worthy enough of being said when I see her.

To be honest, I considered skipping this celebration of life and this intimate time of mourning. After losing my mother, funerals have become traumatic events that flood me with overwhelming grief and ache. It would be easy to skip this funeral amidst a pandemic and Easter weekend, but I can’t and I won’t. I will do this for her. I will show up to remind her that you can lose your mother and still go on, for I am living proof. There is hope in knowing the others who’ve walked this pain before you are still here with grateful hearts and appreciative souls. 

As I gather my composure and sit down in the driver’s seat, I turn on the car. I pull the car out of the driveway as music begins to play. I hear the melody and the sound of the sweet words pouring from the speakers of my car and I weap. The song is perfect. It’s a sign. It’s a beautiful reminder and one I needed to hear. 

Tears stream down my face as I listen to the beautiful voice of Lauren Daigle:

When You don’t move the mountains

I’m needing You to move

When You don’t part the waters

I wish I could walk through

When You don’t give the answers

As I cry out to You

I will trust, I will trust

I will trust in You   

These words remind me that though I wish desperately that I could move the mountains of longing and heartbreak that my friend is facing, I cannot. Though I wish fiercely that I could part the waters and remove this loss from her path, I cannot. Though I wish I had the answers, the words, and the healing forces to help her, it is not in me who she will find the truest comfort, solace, and hope. It is in Him. It is in our higher power, the Almighty One, the Faithful and True. 

I don’t need perfect words. I simply need to show up and remind her that she is loved and prayed for. I need to show up, wrap my arms around her and tell her I am here, however she needs me. I’m here and I’ll keep showing up, checking in, and reminding her of the hope, light, and love in the journey she is about to face. 

It’s no coincidence that this song has filled my car with these perfect and delicate reminders. My mother was full of a fierce and hope-filled faith, as was my friend’s mother. These words were intentionally sent from two beautiful souls. To remind me that there are no words that could comfort the heart and soul of a person that’s just lost a mother, and eventually to allow me to remind her of the hope and inspiration of heaven, the glorious place both of our mother’s now inhabit. 

When I don’t have the words, I will trust in Him.

When I don’t have the answers, I will trust in Him.

When I don’t have the power to heal or erase the heartbreak, I will trust in Him.

When I can’t move the mountains, part the waters, or erase the destruction of grief’s entrance, I will trust in Him. 

I will be there for all those that begin walking the path of a future that holds a companion of grief. I will be there, always, however I’m needed.

And one day, I’m going to tell my sweet friend this story. I’m going to share how even after their last breath our mothers keep showing up for us, reminding us of their endless love and their ability to support and encourage us, even from heaven.

Today, my mom sent me a song, and it was exactly what I needed. She keeps showing up for me and my sweet friend’s mother will do the exact same. It’s what mothers do.

xox, Chels

You might also check out:

https://hopeandharshrealities.com/to-the-friend-that-just-lost-a-mother/

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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