There is an adage expression that says “there is a first time for everything.” Normally when people say that, it is usually expressed with some excitement or the last words as someone jumps off from the top of a ski lift for the first time with help from their friends of course.

(With A Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker)

On the other end of that expression is grief centered with a first time for everything after losing a loved one. A first event, first holiday, first birthday, first anniversary…This blog entry is about my experience over the last 5 months.

(Say Amen by Finding Favour)

The first mother’s day was not as hard since it was not that long after my mom’s passing. The full acceptance did not fully sink in. The first fourth of July was a little more difficult. Watching fireworks on the roof by myself, remembering the good times of the past when my mom and I watched fireworks and even shot off our own on some of the years. I just recently had my 30th birthday and unfortunately, it was my first birthday without my mom. The closer the day got, the more discouraged I became. I was not getting too much sleep, I had been eating more and exercising less, I have had a lack of motivation to do anything. I just recently came to the realization that it has been with my self-centered attitude that I have dug myself right into a pit, burning those metaphorical bridges rather than expanding them to anyone and everyone who would most likely would have helped me through these stages in life if only I would have spoken up about the situations and asked directly for help. This life is a journey and people in your life were strategically placed there only for a specific amount of time.

(O’Lord by Lauren Daigle)

We are here by grace and until we fully comprehend that concept, we will never be as productive as we were created to be. Every day is a gift, what are you doing with it? That is a question that I confess have not been asking myself much. What are people saying about you now when you are alive? What will they say about you when you are gone? What do you need to change in order to leave a more positive legacy for those who knew you to carry on with them as they continue living?

(How Can It Be by Lauren Daigle)

I came across a note that was in between some old school work and disciplinary papers from my middle school. My mom had written it and placed it there and the contents of that note expressed how proud she was of me to watch me grow up and she apologized for not being too open with me about her life, the things she had gone through and how those had developed the hopes and dreams she had for the future. At the end she said that if she were to die she just wanted to let me know that I was loved. That got me thinking of how great and strong love can be. In the midst of imperfections, love pulls rank and strengthens the bond. I came across a few statements over the internet that fit right in, “Grief never ends but it changes. It’s a passage not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness nor a lack of faith…It is the price of love. Grief changes us, the pain sculpts us into someone who understands more deeply, hurts more often, appreciates more quickly, cries more easily, hopes more desperately, loves more openly. Grief can be a burden, but also an anchor. You get used to the weight, how it holds you in place. Hold on to the love, not the loss.”

(Just Be Held by Casting Crowns)

If you meddle with your wounds, not only will it prolong the healing process, it will make the wound in worse shape. If you focus on the problem, you will get lost in darkness, but if you focus on the answer, you will be walking in the light. If you focus on the truth, no lie can take you down. John 14:1-7 says, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

(Trust In You by Lauren Daigle)