An extra special Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful daughter and mother to my four favorite little people. I know you probably don’t want anyone to wish you Happy Mother’s Day because it must seem impossible to feel happy through this incredible pain, but your role as their mother deserves to be recognized and honored.
Mothering Willow, Reid, and Ivy will be a fairly easy and enjoyable role compared to mothering Aspen. Being Aspen’s Mom means not only carrying her but carrying the pain of her loss for the rest of your days.
On April 15th, Aspen took her last breath and her little body died, but it was only her body that died. Her soul didn’t end; your love for her didn’t end; your role as her mom didn’t end. She still exists, although painfully you can’t see her and your arms will forever ache to hold her. Your love for her didn’t end, and throughout your life that love will continue to grow just as if she were still on earth. Your role as her mom didn’t end, but now it must evolve.
A mother’s role to her children is constantly evolving, and it’s not always easy to fit into the new role you play in your child’s life. I struggle constantly with my role as your mom. When you were young it was easy. As you grew, you changed, and I had to try (although I have often failed) to change with you. I had to learn to become mom to a teenager, then mom to a mom; and now as you learn to become a mom to a child in heaven, I will be learning how to become mom to a bereaved Mom.
There’s so much literature on parenting a baby, parenting a toddler, parenting a special needs child, parenting a teenager, etc, but I don’t know of any resources or self-help books on parenting a child in heaven.
How do you continue to parent your child when the abyss between heaven and earth separate you? I don’t know the answer, but I’ll walk beside you as you learn. I know part of that role will be to continue to love and honor Aspen. We will all carry her with us for all of our days, but it is you who knew her best, you who bore witness to her life, you will know best how to continue to love and honor her until you see her again.
Maybe part of parenting her now, will be finding her purpose. Not the purpose in her death because I don’t know that we will ever understand it, but maybe the purpose in her life. When God created Aspen, He created her in His imagine, perfect in every way. He knew her and loved her and had a plan for her…a perfect plan. Before she was conceived, before you took your first breath, before the earth was ever formed, God knew the length of her days and the number of her breaths, and in His omniscience He chose you to be her mother. He gave her to you for a reason; He had a purpose.
I don’t have the answer to how you parent a child in heaven, but I know that you will find the answer, you will find a way. You alone are Aspen’s mother, you alone can fill that role. It’s not a role that ends with death; it’s a role that continues through eternity. It will mostly likely be the hardest role you ever fill, but you will find a way, even as the abyss between heaven and earth separate you, because you alone can do it and because the love between you is eternal.
I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day because despite the grief you deserve happiness and because you are a wonderful mother. I love you! And I love my four little Woodland Creatures.