042. The Art of Mourning

“Joy comes in the morning…”

And while I understand what David was after here, I truly think it can be applied in another and more poignant way: there is always joy in the mourning. It is in our mourning that we feel Jesus close to us in as many ways possible this side of heaven; caring and understanding embraces, tears of empathy, memories shared of Gods creation and their effect on us. The pain is what draws Him and us together, though not to discount this completely counter intuitive feeling of immense loss and a void where our loved one once perfectly fit. “God is near to the broken-hearted,” yes. But that proximity often comes in the forms of other people and their recollection of our loved ones gone on.

Wanda Epps Boughter passed peacefully and completely early this morning; her impact as strong and passionate as her personality. She loved more than anyone I think I know and accepted EVERYONE into whatever arms she had left. She adopted my mother-in-love when there was no one to hold her in her teenage years with the loss of her birth parents and literally never questioned why or how; just did it. She raised and cared for children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren she had no blood attachment too, which makes that bond all the stronger via the choosing to be family. She never wavered in her heart what was good and right for her to do. I never heard a “woe is me” pass from her lips and she was always sharp as a tack, even if her body and motor skills couldn’t keep up. She was a truly amazing woman whose impact my family and I will feel until we are with her in eternity.

My sons said a few days ago as she was beginning to slow walk to the end that she gets to go have a beer with Grampee and Honest Abe. My wife’s cousin’s friend said that Nan finally gets to see her son (cousins father) who she lost too soon. It is truly the fulfillment of all things lost; dying. And the closer I come to it in my own life, the more I brush against this vastly uncomfortable feeling of the dread of the unknown, I come to face the “latter years” of my own life welcoming whenever it’s my time to go. I’ll be sad, sure, but yet for the fulfillment of all the things hoped for, the evidence of the thing’s unseen, reuniting with these gaps in my heart is a thing I look forward to: no more loss, no more sorrow, no more tears…

For now, we look ahead towards Heaven knowing we have to dull out another loss from our loving family and hope we can do them justice until we meet again.


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