I am finding that saying "yes" to some really hard stuff has been extremely healing.
Jason's 89 year old aunt passed away two weeks ago. I didn't know her well because we've lived so far away for so long. Uncle Duncan and Aunt Gloria did come to our wedding in Manitoba as well as our wedding reception in Ontario four months later. We exchanged phone calls and snail mail over the years. From time to time they would send books to our kids, or money to purchase books to add to their library. Their love for us and our kids was deeply felt, even across the miles.
There was no question, we went to the funeral in Ottawa. A beautiful celebration of a life filled with love. We were able to put our grief on hold to be there and be supportive by being present. It was wonderful to be there.
This past weekend there was a memorial service, reception, and the burial in Aunt Gloria's hometown here in southern Ontario. There was no question...we were going...but this time it was really difficult and I couldn't check our own grief at the door. The service was in the same town where we had Mikail's celebration of life. Driving by the funeral home, greeting the funeral home director, eating in the same reception hall...the list goes on...the wounds are still too raw to check our grief at the door. I kept things at "teary" until the choir sang a medley of songs including "Jesus Loves Me". I sobbed. My shoulders shook. It was so beautiful. The song Mikail and I sang so often. The song Olivia and I still sing every day. The hug God gave me, right there in the church, that Jesus loves me. He loves us. In our joy and in our sorrow.
And then to spend the entire day with family...all of us mourning...so much healing in the stories, laughter, and tears.
So much healing in the hard stuff...through the simplest of songs: Jesus Loves Me.