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6 things to keep in mind when mourning the death of someone you love
We each mourn the loss of those we love in our own way and time. Don't let anyone tell you when it's time to put away your grief. You'll know. In the meantime, there are ways to manage the pain. - photo by Susan Swann
Last week my mom died. God placed her spirit gently in the palms of His hands and carried her home. I am grateful for a faith that sustains me. And for family and friends who support me. None of that changes the fact that I miss my mom. Our relationship wasn't perfect. But then, whose is? Sometimes we disappointed each other. Other times, we did each other proud. Always we looked for ways to enjoy the mother/daughter bond that was uniquely ours.

A time to mourn and feel sad

There is no right or wrong way for me to mourn my mom's passing or to honor the life she lived. There is a time to laugh and a time to weep. There is a time to mourn. This is my time to mourn.

Some days I cry because my mom is no longer there to comfort me, in only the way that my mom knows how. There are days when I look for her in places I once saw her, only to remember that she's no longer there.

A time to be angry

There are moments when I find myself angry, short tempered or even distracted because my mom is dead. Sometimes I don't even know why I'm angry. I just am. And so I accept my anger and try very hard not to take it out on my own daughter. And when I do, I apologize. And she gets it.

A time to laugh and remember what we shared

Some days when I think of my mom, I laugh. My mom loved to laugh, and she made others around her laugh. Thank you, Mom, for the gift of laughter. It truly is the best medicine.

My mom loved to travel and explore the world. I have the same desire to travel and explore new vistas that my mom had. To paraphrase the poet, Edna St Vincent Millay: "Our hearts are warm with the friends we make. And better friends we'll not be knowing. But there isn't a train we wouldn't take, no matter where it's going." --Except in our case, it was usually a cruise.

A time to find acceptance

"Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way." One day I will come to accept the loss of my mom. While I will never forget her, the fresh pain of the loss of her physical presence will dull with time. And I will take comfort in my belief that I will see her again.

Six things to keep in mind when mourning the death of someone we love:

1. Mourning takes time. It doesn't happen in the first week, month or even year. Don't expect that several days after the funeral, your life will return to normal.

2. Feeling sadness does not mean that you lack faith. Even Jesus wept.

2. We each mourn losses in our own way and time. There is no real pattern to follow. Don't ever tell someone who is mourning that you know just how she feels. You don't.

3. Our feelings tend to be raw and close to the surface during times of grief and mourning. We need to be patient with ourselves and others as we work through the grieving process.

4. Fond memories of those we've lost will bring us comfort. Look for old pictures that remind you of the good times you enjoyed together.

5. Draw strength and hope from others who share in your loss.

We read in Ecclesiastes that to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heavens. A time to be born, a time to die. A time to mourn and a time to dance.

Life is short. We need to remember how to dance, even when it rains.