June 27 was the nine-year anniversary of my daughter Zipporah Linda-Ann Johnson's passing. I intended to write a tributary memorial and honor her memory. It did not happen. The memory of her passing rivets my soul to one lurid image--one I hesitate to describe here.
For hours I sat in a funk of depression, almost zombie-like. I told the family that we needed to look at videos and reminisce, but that failed to happen also. Grief has a changing face over the years relating to the death of loved ones, especially children. My mother lost a son before I was born, Johny Lee Oliver. To her dying day, she cried over the loss of that child. The whole he left when Johny slipped into the veil changed Mother, Catherine Oliver, into another person for the remainder of her life.
I now realize, Zipporah's crossing over did the same for me. Some years I can celebrate her life. Other years I weep in the fetal position despite knowing that she is waiting on the other side for our family reunion with our other family who have passed on. Every year I berate myself with blame. Each time it takes the Holy Spirit to pull me from despair as I agonize of the events that led to her death.
Fathers protect. One of my babies did not have enough protection. I wonder every day if the other six kids of mine will get lost in some way because of the protection I provide. It is an ugly feeling to have and experience, yet I live in that reality often.
The Day after June 27, I can talk about it. It is also the day that Joseph Smith lost his life to martyrdom. How is it that for his death I am grateful he was willing to seal his testimony of Christ with his life, but for Zipporah's death I still, still and constantly want to call her from the dead in the name of Jesus Christ. How is it possible that I wait with hope to meet a resurrected prophet through Jesus, but hope every day God will change His mind about Zipporah and have her come back to our family?
Grief or guilt? Both?
Wrote the prophet, "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."
Moroni let me know right here in this verse that my entire life up until that point of losing my Zipporah was a trial of my faith. Now I have to dispute not because I see not her face right now. My life, trial of faith, is not over. Living without her is a trial daily. What has Moroni seen in you?