Quietly we walk across the sand, packed down by the tide, now low. The immense fear I had in the car ride over seems to instantly, supernaturally disappear as I take each step. All I can hear now is the surf. I watch the sun, feel the wind and know I’m surrounded by the love of family and friends who couldn’t be here. It’s so warm. Surrounded stronger by Father arms, I hear a whispering that Mabel is perfect. Sorrow, tears and sadness, she never had to feel. What more could a mother hope for their child? Peace washes over me as I give up wanting her here with me and KNOW she is safe and waiting. I can wait too.
Now, here on this beach, all that is left in me is quiet contentment and almost — happy. I will get to honor Mabel, these next moments are just for her. How is it possible I could feel this good? It is not from my own power.
We pray first, asking God to do what He is already doing. Give us peace and comfort, take care of Mabel, change us, teach us, use us.
Sweet words are said to Mabel. Heard or not, they make us feel better. Closer. Talking to her is therapy.
Next we take Mabel, her ashes are all that remain. I want to keep some of her near me, but some of her we want to return to the ground from where she, we all, came. Husband and I spread some over the sea, it seems fitting to be able to always look at the wide, captivating, deep-water and think of her. I see thousands of tiny sea shells on the ground beneath our feet and smile, knowing this is Mabel’s perfect place. Out of all our beach babies, I know she would’ve been the most in love with the ocean.
Flowers a must, next we release pink petals out to the sea. The kids play soccer on the beach behind me as I smile and am literally out of breath at the Spirit’s presence and guidance of this perfect service. They giggle as they too toss flowers out, watching them wash back in, then out. Each petal slowly being drawn out to sea. They understand the petals will be out there, even if we can’t see them.
Just like Mabel.
Pastor-friend is there to comfort, spend time, honor and read verses but his passion turns this next moment into a preaching moment that leaves me touched to the depths of my grieving, shattered soul. It comforts and heals, God-salve being quietly pushed into every cracked crevice.
Saying thank you to him is inadequate, and unnecessary, he is a vessel for what God is saying to all of us. But we are so grateful.
“If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. –Psalm 139:11-16
I am reminded that I do not have to fear being swallowed whole by darkness, Jesus-light keeps me safe from that.
Salve touches open wounds. Healing.
I am reminded that Mabel was knit into my womb, the reason for our bond, our connection. The reason I feel such a loss — that even though this other soul was in me, she was a PART of me, created within the lines and blood and tissue of the pitch of my womb. The reason my other children are other parts of my whole.
Another crevice heals.
I am reminded that God knew every day Mabel would carry in this world. While her soul still waiting for it’s creation. It’s conception. He knew. It is ok.
Comfort wraps around my heart and body.
It’s time to leave as real world things like a parking lot closing bring us back to this life. This temporary, full of suffering, redeemed life.
A life that began already dead, but in which our soul has been saved so we might Live. The Promise stays with me, like a film on my skin.
Thick, heavy, sticky, soft, it reminds me of all that we’ve gone through with Mabel. The soul-altering changes that we rejoice in, bear suffering and endure for Glory. This film — this Trust Film — I need it. It was missing before.
Content to head home, to new Life, in my new life. This new me still like new shoes, waiting to be worked in, waiting for time to make them comfortable. All I can do is just these things. Hold close, cling, remember, surrender, endure and love.