TITLE: The Passage
By Sandra Hendrix
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Here we were in a large, cold room. I could hear my sister crying softly as we stared bravely at our Mom's lifeless body laid out before us. She was gone, her life had ended, and we were there to say goodbye for the very last time.
I tried to ignore the nice man whose job it was to be there. He sat reverently on the back row. Memories of days gone by were zooming through my head. But they were coming so fast that I couldn't focus on any of them. The lines etched on Momma's face seemed now to be a loud testament to all her many years with us. I was sad but I praised God anyway in my heart because I knew that she was in His hands. The tears fell as we thought of the days ahead without her. And for sometime afterwards, the grief would still hit like giant crashing waves. It would knock me down out of nowhere and take my breath away. Like birthing pains only in reverse.
I began thinking about that. Birthing pains come on gradually and they come harder and faster as time goes by until the moment of the passing through of life when it all stops. I felt horrible grief when my Mother passed this earth and it hit hard at first. Then each time the pangs of grief visited me it would hit less hard and less often each time, until it gradually subsided. How odd, I thought.
I realise that there is a parallel here, but it is still such a mystery to me. As Mom had passed through this life and onto the next, it was an event that we had gathered together for. We cried sad tears, and said goodbye, thinking of the days that were done. Knowing now that the future would be without her, we ushered her into God's hands.
I think of Momma often, but now especially on the anniversary of my birth. I think how she suffered through the birth pangs up until my arrival. How they had started slow and easy and became fast and hard.
Then I passed into this life and into her arms. She cried tears of joy, and said hello, thinking of the days ahead with me. Loved ones gathered to usher me in and dedicated me to God. Ignoring the nice man in the room, whose job it was to be there, she laid there thinking of all the things to come, now that I was going to be with her.
Now as I ponder this passing place, I see how it holds both life and death. Even in death there is a new birth awaiting us. I can't help but picture a group of loved ones awaiting Momma on the other side of this passage. Crying tears of joy they welcome her there. And a nice man by the name of Jesus ushers her into his loving arms.
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