How do we deal with grief? I don’t believe that there is a right answer. Grief is an overwhelming sadness swallowed by the emptiness of loss. I’ve recently experienced a loss. My mother, Gail Hamilton, died on my dad’s birthday on October 18, 2018.
When I was 25, I was accepted to the School of Visual Arts, Graduate Studio Program, Products of Design. The class was held in France, just south of Paris. Upon my acceptance into the program, my mom decided that she would accompany me to Paris for a rendezvous before I embarked on my educational exploration. Once in Paris, we ventured into the Louvre. I remember distinctly that experience. As we explored the museum, I was in a bitter mood; I’m not quite sure the reason. My mom told me, “Stop. Just enjoy this moment. Let’s have fun together”. And so we began posing like the sculptures, taking funny photos and laughing at each other.
As a young girl, I struggled being away from home. I recall a sleep over at a good friend’s house. As the evening wore on, I became home sick. Weeping on the staircase, I called my mom and asked her to come pick me up. After a short debate, she did just that. My mom came for me, picked me up, and took me home.
I’ve experienced a great many adventures. I have many yet to come. But throughout my life, my mom was always there to encourage me and pick me up.
Of the numerous traits for which my mom was known, grace was at the top of the list. This past week, my Uncle and Aunt, two of my mom’s younger siblings, came to visit me. We had the great pleasure of seeing Amy Grant live. As I watched Amy sing Breath of Heaven, I cried. I was reminded of my mom. Amy has a certain grace and beauty that reflects similarly to that of my mom. As I listened to Breath of Heaven, I thought how my mom was born out of such. My mom was designed through a breath of heaven. She was designed to be a woman of beauty and grace. She was kind and gentle. She lived in the moment. She had fun. She was particularly skilled at recognizing a struggling soul who just needed someone to pick them up. I know because she did it for me when I was a child and as I grew into the woman I am.
I am a woman, a daughter, grieving the loss of her mom. But I’m blessed by the legacy that she leaves and the lessons that she taught. I too want to enjoy the moments but have the capacity to stop and pick up someone in need. I too want to reflect God’s glory with grace through love.
How do I grieve this enormous loss? I don’t know. I do know that God could not have breathed a more perfect mother for me than that of my own. She truly was a breath of heaven.