When a daughter loses a mother, the intervals between grief responses lengthen over time, but her longing never disappears. It always hovers at the edge of her awareness, ready to surface at any time, in any place, in the least expected ways. This isn't pathological. It's normal. It's why you find yourself, at twenty-four, or thirty-five or forty-three, unwrapping a present or walking down an aisle or crossing a busy street, doubled over and missing your mother.
Over and above any spring we may know, outside our windows or in our hearts, there is the illimitable sweep of God's concern for his creation and his creatures; comprehending both suffering and beatitude, and transcending both. No one who has been spared — certainly not I — dare say to the afflicted that they are blessed in their affliction, or dare offer comfort in universal terms for particular griefs. Yet one can dimly see and humbly say that suffering is an integral and essential part of our human drama. That it falls upon one and all in differing degrees and belongs to God's purpose for us here on earth, so that in the end, all the experience of living has to teach us is to say: Thy will be done. To say it standing before a cross; itself signifying the suffering of God in the person of a Man, and the redemption of a Man in the person of God. The greatest sorrow and the greatest joy co-existing on Golgotha.
You see, for me, memories are difficult. Very often, they hurt. A curious thing about grief is the way it takes your entire life, all those foundational years that made you who you are, and makes them so painful to look back upon because of the absence there, that suddenly they're inaccessible.