Here we are, once again, approaching the anniversary of the death of one of our most precious blessings – one of our children – and it is sometimes difficult to want to go on.
I’m functioning, though, better than I have for the past almost 4 years – I help my husband in his business; I keep our house (more or less) clean; I pay the bills, do the shopping, make the meals, wash the clothes, and everything else that goes along with keeping a household running smoothly – while frequently feeling like this:
Because one of these beautiful and amazing people God entrusted to my husband and I is always missing:
It almost always hurts.
I’ve just learned how to function in life while hurting.
Here is what I know, though – That God loves me and my family; that He is near to the brokenhearted; that He never leaves me nor forsakes me; that I am His and He is mine, and nothing will ever change that.
I also know that God is the One who will heal my broken heart – in His way and in His time.
And I’ve come to know this – the words of my fellow human beings can bring comfort, or cause pain, more quickly and deeply than before experiencing this tragedy.
I’ve found, lately, that I feel like I need to explain why I’m still grieved that one of my children – a healthy, vibrant, full-of-promise young man – died at the tender age of 25; that I need to make excuses for still being where I am in this horribly unwanted walk of grief. It makes me feel even more reclusive than I naturally am already. It makes me unable to express my feelings to anyone but my husband.
But do you know what else it’s done? It’s made me realize that I really only have one answer. And it is the one answer I’ve always known was the answer, but I was too angry and full of doubts and questions to accept that it – He, actually – is the only viable answer.
He, as always, is the answer.
He was my answer before our tragedy.
He was my answer during the tragedy.
He has been my answer every moment of learning to live with it.
And He will be my answer tomorrow, the next day, the day after that, and every other day of my life here on earth.
He is my answer.
He is my strength.
He is my comfort.
He is my very breath.
But this wonderful assurance of faith in God doesn’t lessen the pain of the loss.
I unpacked the box of our family’s portraits a few days ago, and with the help of my youngest daughter, Elizabeth, hung them in the living room. It has been over 5 years since they’ve been hung, and we were delighted to see them on the walls again.
Tonight, though, I caught a glimpse of the 5 sepia-tone portraits taken of my kiddos as I walked past them and my heart skipped a beat. Then that familiar knot in my stomach returned, rose to my throat, then my eyes, and despite my determination to be “okay”, I had to cry to get relief from it.
Aren’t they beautiful? That darling middle one is in heaven, and a piece of my heart went there with him.
I trust in God.
The constant dichotomy.