By Chris Meehan
Three women sat on portable stools among the gravestones, laughing and crying as they watched the rays of the evening sun stream through the trees. “You might say it was my great sorrow that brought us there, but I’d say it was really the love of my sisters in Christ,” explains Judy Hickey (Saskatoon).
Judy’s mother died 44 years ago, when Judy was eight years old. Following the custom of the time, Judy and her sister had not been allowed to attend their mother’s funeral services. The pain and anguish from losing her mom grew over the years, but Judy didn’t talk about it very much. Then she brought up her grief at a women’s group meeting.
“Judy, have you ever been to your mother’s grave?,” Janice Akerman asked after hearing the story.
“No. I’m afraid it’ll be too hard. And I don’t even know where she’s buried.”
“We’ll find out. We’ll come and get you next Monday for women’s group and we’ll go with you, if that’s what you need,” Janice said.
The next Monday evening, Suzanne Rooke and Janice rolled up to Judy’s house in Janice’s car. They drove 20 minutes to a large cemetery. Janice found the grave’s location online and printed a map so Judy could find the spot then and in the future.
Janice and Suzanne brought flowers for Judy to place on her mother’s grave. As they sat in the warm sun, Judy shared memories of her mother, the things she missed the most, and how her mother’s death had affected her life over the years.
"As we talked and cried together,” says Judy, “I realized how grateful I was for these women, and for the time and effort we had put into our friendship over the years to bring us to this point. They were God’s provision for me. I found that I could start to face my grief and move along with it, once I had the strength and courage of my women’s group to bolster me. I wouldn’t have wanted to face it on my own.”
Peter Walters says:
April 29th, 2010 at 12:37 PM
I look forward to these little shots of spiritual energy. Thanks for the work that makes these updates so good!
God bless you
Peter Hammer says:
April 29th, 2010 at 1:53 PM
Thank you Judy for the courage it took to share this story with all of us. I'm sure many in POP have suffered losses and can relate to your experience. My faith helps me to remain hopefull, even joyfull after losing loved ones because I believe that I can look forward to life with them in it again. But the pain does remain over the years. The memories of my mother (13 years ago) and my daughter (almost 4 years ago) have affected me in different ways at different times in my life already. Reading this story has stirred those memories for me. I am grateful that you shared and encouraged me today.
CJ Newburn says:
April 29th, 2010 at 2:11 PM
Charlie Fraga likes to talk about pondering, planning and pursuing what we should do in Christ. This is a great example of seeing into a sister's heart to see a desire (pondering), making that brighter, and working together (planning and pursuing) to make it real.
eileen horan says:
April 29th, 2010 at 10:59 AM
I am so touched, Judy. Thank you for sharing and important part of your life with us. Love - Eileen Horan
Margaret Sak says:
April 29th, 2010 at 1:51 PM
Judy, thank you for sharing your story. I was very moved by the thought of the healing that can take place after such a long time. May the Lord continue to show himself to us in one another.
Barb Potts says:
May 4th, 2010 at 5:17 PM
Thanks for sharing your story, Judy. Your courage in sharing with your women's group gave them a gift of knowing and loving you in a new way. Now, after reading your story, I can do the same.
Kim Doffing says:
May 17th, 2010 at 1:29 PM
My heart goes out to you as you reopen this sorrowful time in your life. Your kindness in sharing this WG moment with us and a little of your life is a great gift to us all.
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