Yesterday was the 16th anniversary of my mom’s passing.
April 11th, 2004 was Easter Sunday. I left the hospital went home and somehow made it to church that morning. Church wasn’t something I regularly attended, but I was invited and I remember feeling I NEEDED to go. I remember feeling that by going it would keep me feeling close to her. I don’t remember what they talked about, I don’t remember much of anything during that time.
In the years to follow it felt like months out of the year were tainted. Not only did my heart ache on April 11th, but it ached every Easter. WHY on Easter? On a holiday that was suppose to be all about God’s never ending love? Grief is such a long winding road. Grief can break you. It can linger, it’s a life long game of hide and seek. Grief can blind you from seeing the truth.
I’d be lying if I told you that losing my mom just shy of 16 years old hasn’t shaped every ounce of my life. It’s why I chose photography. I’d be lying if I said that faith has come easy for me.
Two nights ago I laid with Arden as she was falling asleep & I was scrolling through instagram. There was an overflow about God’s love, about living hope and suddenly it dawned on me.
Why Not Easter Sunday?
An event in my life that sometimes gets the best of me, that can sometimes make me question my faith. It’s hard. It’s hard to understand why my mom died when I was so young. It’s the burning question that will never be answered this side of heaven. BUT there is Easter. A day that historically is about God’s never ending love.
When grief seems to overwhelm me, Easter’s not far behind to remind me that God heals the broken hearted. That God works for the good of those who love him. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26. I know my mom believed in the Lord.
I found comfort that day ,that she died on the day the celebrates his resurrection gives us eternal life. But grief stole that mindset for a long time.
As I laid there thinking, I can’t believe I have let grief blind me from what could quite possibly be the biggest gift I received from such an incredible loss. What else has it stopped me from?
I remember someone recommending I take a photo with a photo of my mom on my wedding day. Grief told me that wasn’t good enough so I don’t want it and I didn’t do it. Then I photographed Emilee & Evan’s wedding, where Emilee was missing her dad. They took a photo with a photo of him. It made my heart so happy that she would have that moment, a time where maybe, just maybe she felt like he was there, he was included.
One of the biggest heartaches is that my kids never met her. I don’t have photos of her holding them like my sister does with her kids. As I laid there I thought to myself. I should do it. There was a pretty blooming tree in someone’s yard and I though maybe they would let me take a picture there. So I got up this morning, heart set on taking a photo. When the neighborhood tree didn’t work out we drove to a place where I saw some pretty blooming trees. This picture brought me some peace.
We see cardinal birds almost daily! There are yellow daffodils that were here before we moved in that pop up every spring and yellow was her favorite color, When I first came to look at the house after Kenny bought it, I saw a connecting street name, Amy ave. Little signs.
I’ll always miss her, I’ll still cry. But the peace I feel knowing that it was Easter, that day was purposeful. A constant reminder of God’s goodness after a day that is heartbreaking is so wonderful.
Happy Easter Everyone. He is Risen.