High on A Mountain Top

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Have you  noticed the moon this week? It's huge and bright and beautiful. An absolutely spectacular site.

We went on a wonderful family hike a few weeks ago in Park City. We did our old stand by trail that we call "the loop". It is at the top of our neighborhood (neighborhoods in PC have "tops" and "bottoms") and we have hiked it and run it a million times...with all 3 of our kids.

I was reminded of a very difficult and sacred experience I had once at the very spot pictured in the above photos. I had Vic snap these of me for the specific reason of writing this post. A few weeks after Lucy died, exactly this time of year--July--when the moon was just as ripe and big and full and bright as it is now, I went on a walk to this lookout point. I planned on going alone, but a friend joined me at the last minute.

Utterly exhausted and trembling with grief, I silently made my way to the trail head and began to climb. Once at the top, I sat down on the bench and looked out over my beloved city. My friend could sense I needed some time alone and wandered up the trail a bit while I sat thinking and praying, questioning, talking, trying to make sense of the unsensible.

That's when I began weeping. I don't remember where Vic was this particular night. He may have been at some sort of church meeting, or even just home in bed. It was at a time when we didn't know how to grieve with each other. We were not able to comfort each other. There was no give and take. No taking turns being the strong one. We were both incredibly broken.

As I sat there weeping, it turned to sobs. I tried to stifle my wailing noises, my mucus and tears and loud, fast breaths. I was gasping for more than just air. I needed peace and comfort as desperately as a drowning person needs to break through to the surface of the water. But I was sinking fast.

My friend approached the bench, sat down, and lifted me into their lap and held me. As my friend stroked my hair and wiped the tears from my face, we didn't say a word to each other. Just then, the heavenly summer moon rose over the crest of the mountain. The power of its beauty and majesty was palpable. Again, we said nothing. I continued to cry and mumble "why did I give her the apple?" "I can't believe this happened". "It's too painful. It's too painful"!

As the moon continued to rise, a calm came over us. I began breathing more slowly. I stared at the moon as if it were a peep hole into the heavens...where my daughter's new life was just beginning. The timing of the moon rise seemed musical. Like it was a prop, arriving on stage right on cue. It cast a gorgeous glow on everything in sight. I think that was the moment I decided I wasn't going to be mad at God for this. His works are too mysterious, beautiful, and unknown for me to comprehend.

Sitting on that mountain top, surrounded by the wildflowers, rocks, trees, and the city lights of my home, I felt the possibility of healing. It lasted for just a moment, but I recognized it amidst the extreme heartache.

Again, we walked back to my friend's home in silence. I was still reeling. Still wiping tears. Still torn and upset and confused and utterly, completely, entirely lost. But to this day, every time I see a full moon, especially in July, I think of that night. I will never forget the tenderness my friend showed me.  The calmness and sacredness in which my friend handled the situation was one of the purest acts of love and friendship I've experienced. I see the summer moon and it reminds me of that heartache. It always makes me feel melancholy and grateful at the same time.

I've come a long way--and the moon always reminds me of this. But it reminds me I haven't done it on my own. We all need each other. Sometimes we are the ones who offer our lap and unspoken support, and sometimes we are the one needing a hand to hold and someone to wipe our tears.

I don't have a clever or profound ending to this post. It's just something I have wanted to record for a long time. Last night's moon told me that now was the time.


  1. Such a beautiful, powerful story Molly. I'm so sorry you went through such grieve (and continue to do so) but I am in awe of the kindness your friend showed you. Keep that one around eh? Hugs.

  2. Thank you. Thank you for sharing this experience.

  3. Your words are so poignant and beautiful. My story is not like yours...losing a child can't honestly compare to other loses..that's why there is no name for it. I'm a widow...there is a name for my loss. But anyway...the night before we turned off life support for my husband almost 6 years ago this August, my sisters walked me to my car. We sat on a bench and held each other and cried. I remember the sobs and tears...it was so quiet except for those sad sounds. There was nothing to say. But there was that beautiful moon. My BFF took pictures of it for me (how did she know how much it would mean later?). I love moons...when I look up to the heavens I feel peace and it reminds me that God has not forgotten me and send me tender mercies along the way. Keep looking at the moon and I hope peace and love wash over you when you are missing your sweet girl.


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