There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 NIV

Yet in the time of a loved one’s passing, there never seems to be enough time, one more day, one more dance, one more hug, one more goodbye. There are things to do, to be respectfully cared for, funeral arrangements, family arrangements, food, flowers and logistics, everything but a time to mourn. To agonize, anguish, grieve, hurt, bleed, remember. Not until dirt is sprinkled, grandchildren hugged, and black clothes put away does the gravity affect the all too quiet rooms which used to be filled with laughter.

Everyone grieves in different ways, and you may not know the trigger that causes tears to fall.

For me with my father, it was a Cowboy’s game. Now Cowboy fans do tend to weep with the current rosters, but this was in the Troy Aikman days. Though my father and I had not watched a game together in years, the kickoff of the first one without him broke me. I had grieved and stored it away, or so I thought.

My mother’s time was different. She passed during the pandemic. Funerals were not happening, and families could not travel. The arrangements were drawn out over eight months, time to grieve and re-grieve with every step. A graveside gathering, “Amazing Grace” and it was finished.

Fast forward a full year and I was asked to play at the funeral of a dear church member. I had known her for many years, and we shared a kinship as we alternated piano duties in church. Playing for her was an honor, yet I walked away crushed, completely spent. She and my mother were certainly cut from the same cloth. The church was full, stories were told, old hymns were sung. On this day, it was “My God and I”. For my mother, it would have been “His Eye is on the Sparrow.” As I sat, paper in hand, uncontrollable tears staining the pages, I realized I had just played for my mother’s funeral, again.

A time to grieve and re-grieve.

A time to mourn and re-mourn.

And as my mother’s name is Joyce,
A time to Joyce and Re-Joyce.


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