She really was extraordinary—funny, loving, and firm when she needed to be. If a perfect teacher exists, she would be at the top of the list, in our house anyway. Thankfully for us, our younger son was in her class, not once, but twice. When we found out he would have his kindergarten teacher again for 5th grade, we were elated. The unpredictability of 2020 was especially difficult for him. While we couldn’t be sure which activities, even school itself, would go on, we could be sure about one thing: Mrs. W. And she delivered—suddenly breaking into song, encouraging dance-offs, dressing up in wild costumes. If there was anything an 11-year-old would love, she did it.
Now that life has resumed some normalcy, we have tried to embrace change. My boys started new schools this year. While they were excited to move on to new adventures, the subtle dread of leaving this enjoyable relationship behind haunted us all. My son periodically says, “I miss Mrs. W.” After six great years under her tutelage, we all miss her. We mourn this transition in our lives.
Mourning comes in all shapes and sizes. Not only has our family mourned transitions, we’ve mourned broken relationships, and the passing of dear family members. Life is filled with losses and each one brings us great grief.
A Life of Mourning
The teacher in Ecclesiastes tells us there is “a time to mourn” (3:4). But in all reality, life can sometimes feel a lot more like one long mourning period. It seems the longer we live, the more we mourn. While we definitely have reasons to rejoice, our lives, more often than not, mirror Paul’s description in Romans of “…groaning together in the pains of childbirth…” and “groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption of sons…” (Romans 8:22-23).
We mourn and groan because we know things are not as they should be. When God created the world, there was no mourning. Things didn’t break. Relationships didn’t fail. Bodies didn’t age. And there was no death. Until the Fall of man when our first parents sinned. The effects of that sin have reverberated through the ages since. Mourning is now a way of life…