Last year I planted Rosella Hibiscus seeds and even though they sprouted and grew some, realizing I planted them too late they died. I planted Rosella’s because the flowers were edible, made healing tea, and quite simply were beautiful. Every month I would see her getting bigger but no flowers. I thought after a bad tumbling over through Hurricane Ida her roots would be too damaged.
A few mornings before mom died, I noticed something different all over her now 7ft body - there were flower buds everywhere. This week they all started blooming. As I picked one, I noticed there were other blooms that seemingly closed back up and fell to the ground, so I started researching what happens to Rosella hibiscus flowers after they bloom.
I learned that as with a few other flowering plants, rosella hibiscus flowers open only for 1 day, then close and fall away although the tree itself keeps producing more flowers.
I began talking to the Lord and my mom about this fascinating discovery. It comforts me to talk to her Spirit because I know she’s here. Caring for my mother and the grief journey losing her has become such a place of reflecting for me – about mortality, time, our pursuits and relationships. There is a sobering realization coming over me that the moment we leave, there is no communication, discussion or even an ounce of regret or longing for what/who is left behind. It was that way for both my mom and dad even though God called for them differently. It will be that way for us too you know – we won’t take a thing with us.
A hibiscus’ life is short and fragile, but God’s Word used flowers metaphorically to explain His eternality. The Lord had been speaking to me through the book of Isaiah the entire month of September. I know now He was preparing me to say goodbye to my mom.
Isaiah 40:6-8 says, “A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people is grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.”
I miss her so much - our talks, kissing her face, her talking to Gracie, testing my recipes, her wisdom. I walk out my life without her day by day and at times moment by moment. To you who too may be grieving – even anticipatory grief – each part is painful. Do not try to numb down, ignore or rush through your grief, simply leave some space for God’s grace and your gratefulness to coexist with it. The Lord will not leave you. Nothing and no one can fill the void my mom’s death has left, and the same is true of your loved one whether it’s been two months or ten years. It is healthy to find ways to continue your bond.
Your honesty with yourself and God through the hard parts, invites the Holy Spirit’s promised comfort. Commit to go through it knowing that the Lord is faithful and true. He will not leave you until He has done that which He has promised to do for you.