The best way to describe our journey with grief can be summed up in one word: Completion.
We are 2/3 of the children that were raised by two amazing parents that are no longer with us. Our father passed in 2008, and our mother joined him in 2015.
When asked to participate in this project we couldn’t think of a better way to tell our story. We decided to do Part 1…Together.
My name is Sheray (left), and my name is Sheletha (right). We grew up one of five black families in Paw Paw, Michigan. Our father was a Deacon in the church, and our mother was an Usher. So, our family foundation has always been of Spirit and Love. We have an older sister, and the three of us grew up in this home that we are sitting in today. A strong family structure was always something that was instilled in us.
Our responsibility to our mother and father was to usher them to the door.
The door that represented the passage or journey that we could no longer take with them.
Whereas with our father he wanted to take flight by himself, and we must respect that. He made sure everyone was away when he decided to have the conversation with God.
His body was tired, he believed in a quality of life, and he departed this life…peacefully.
Our father didn’t struggle, and he left this earth knowing that all of the lessons and love that he provided for us would sustain us for the rest of our lives.
Our journey with our mother was quite different.
We walked through the process together.
We waited together.
It was never a discussion of if the big sister would be stronger than the little sister.
We did it, together.
It was we taking our responsibility of walking our mother “to the door.” We couldn’t go far, we had to let her know she wasn’t alone. She ushered us into the world, and it was our responsibility. On the other hand it was our mom’s responsibility to take flight.
We both heard in the Spirit, “your assignment is done.” Something we never discussed until telling our story today. Within that moment of our mother transitioning, we were more than sisters; we were locked together in Spirit. A sense of worship and praise came over us that we can never explain. It was nothing but God in that room with us that day.
We did what our assignment was, and it was HARD, but it was so necessary. We worshiped God in that moment because HE NEVER LEFT US. The foundation that daddy had given us; grounded us in faith, and at that time our faith had been stretched.
God had placed us in a position to be close to her, and those moments are forever embedded in our memory.
Our story doesn’t stop here. It was important to share Part I of our story together. Our parents died almost 7 years apart, and if you are aware, the number 7 symbolizes completion. We will share our own stories separately, but this part of the journey, well it had to be completed together.