It’s been an interesting year. That is, we are coming up on the anniversary of my mother-in-law’s passing. Thankfully, we have our recovery groups and another group that we attend specifically for grief and loss of a loved one.

My mother in law was a very smart, and determined person. She had a quiet, but forceful personality that could seem quite fearsome under the right conditions. When I came into the family over 20 years ago, I was not in active recovery, and I was pretty intimidated by someone so organized and intelligent. Every family event was organized down to the last place card. I advised my husband before the wedding that he had better not expect anything like this from me. I am a casual sort, I like to entertain, but if you are looking for matching china and silver, you are in the wrong place.

One thing that I couldn’t have really understood is how much grief and pain my husband and his father would feel after her passing. She had been ill a couple years, so it wasn’t entirely out of the blue, but it was sudden. I have found myself struggling to understand the level of grief. So instead, I have been seeking for God to develop in me compassion, and care in the midst. I don’t really need to attend grief meetings, but I do it to be supportive of my husband, I learn things and I love being there for him.

Sometimes as a part of being in relationship, it’s just enough to be there, even if we can’t relate or really understand. Our presence, our prayers, our ear…these things are invaluable. No amount of good literature or programs can compete with this. And as I continue to extend myself in support of those that are in pain, God is producing the fruits of grace, mercy and love. I am grateful.

Prayers for a peace-filled next few weeks as we pass this anniversary. Rest in peace, Miss Frances.

Much love dear ones.