This picture. I took it at Marcy’s house on May 19, 2019 when Cacy and Brian stopped by to see us as they drove out to Durham Town to camp. I remember distinctly looking at the photo on my phone screen and contemplating if I should send it to my mom’s phone. But, she was in such a sad place and said she wished she was with us that I didn’t want to send it to her and it come across as “Here we are all together, but you can’t be with us because you’re not feeling well.” That could make her feel left out and even more sad, so I decided not to send it for fear of upsetting her. I would just show it to her tomorrow when I went to visit her.
Well, that visit never happened. The “tomorrow” I had planned was the worst day of my life. And I have to be in the right frame of mind and heart or this photo can haunt me. It actually makes my stomach hurt to look at it too long.
What if she had seen the precious faces of her grandkids who think she is awesome and fun and loving? What if this photo would have been just the encouragment she needed to push through her pain and confusion? What if she would have realized how many people love her just the way she is and, besides, who else will send the birthday cards and buy the popsicles for their visits or let them have too many sweets?
But I didn’t send it.
But what if I did send it and the outcome of her life was the same? Then what? Would it haunt me in other ways? What if you had not sent her that photo and driven her into more of a depressed state? What if you had waited to just go see her instead of showing her a photo of the grandkids that she didn’t feel good enough to be around?
What I’ve learned as I have walked through grief (there is not an actual end) and have since been close to others who also are walking through grief of their own is that we all have “What if” questions that threaten to take us down. We all wish we could go back and have another chance to say how we feel about our loved one, to make a different decision surrounding the circumstances of our loved one’s death.
I am reminded during these downward spiral of thoughts of what Josh once told me as we were laying in bed and I was spewing out my feelings and questions about my mom.
“These are God’s things, Kristy.”
And they were. And they are still. Sometimes I think I have made amazing progress and I have let all of the “what ifs” go and then something triggers an onslaught of them. I take a deep breath and remember that these are God’s things. I won’t know all I think I want to know. I am not God. My decisions aren’t paramount. My power is no power at all. But God is God. His power is unlimited. His abilities aren’t thwarted by me.
I trust He is not overwhelmed with all the “things” He has to do and all the people He has to keep up with. So I will keep casting all my cares upon the Lord because He cares for me (I Peter 5:7). And He cares for you, too. Trust Him with all the things.