It’s so much more than losing our son – as if that isn’t enough.
It’s the living without him every day and the knowing that he won’t ever be back here with us. It’s the replaying of October 24th that never stops
It’s watching a baby brother retreat in the areas he used to thrive and a middle brother carry the weight of playing a role he was never created for.
It’s seeing a sister doubt all the things she once knew; trying to make sense of the fact that her brother won’t be here when she graduates high school or walks done the aisle.
It’s hearing the moans and groans of a father in the night and knowing he will awake to the same mental, emotional and physical pain he fell asleep with.
It’s my heart longing just to touch my son once more; to stroke his face, to place my hand on his shoulder, to stand on my tippy toes to kiss his cheek, to hug him and never let go.
It’s pain and heartache every day. It’s an unwanted knowing that life can be gone in an instant. It’s worrying about my children every time they aren’t with me. It’s the piling up of bills and the trying to play catch up for the time we just couldn’t function. It’s the floods that came, one forcing my husband to switch the location of his business, and the other still plaguing our basement with mold. It’s our family unit all handling our grief in different ways – and it’s me trying to be there for everyone. It’s doubts and questions from my children that leave me speechless and without answers. It’s crying out to God, pleading for him to reveal Himself to our children. It’s watching the strongest man I’ve ever known take on a whole different disposition; limping from the recent rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis and walking with a hunch – both because he misses his boy. It’s the two of us trying so hard to hold it together but, at times, find ourselves drifting apart. It’s working when I want to home with my family because I know they need me now more than ever. It’s life on hold – unfinished projects, shattered dreams, and a blurry picture of a future once so clear. It’s trusting in God when I just want to crawl in a hole. It’s a daily hope that our suffering will cease and God will fix our family. It’s a constant struggle and battle in which we have a choice – do we surrender to the enemy or do we surrender to The Lord? Do we cave under the pressure, or do we let it refine us? It’s a persistent faith that our battle has been won and we will see the other side, someway; somehow.
I will not sugar coat it. The last ten months have been complete and utter hell for our family, and this only scratches the surface of it. All I can say with confidence is that Jesus knows our suffering – He paid the price for all of it. God knows what it’s like to lose a son, and He sacrificed His son just for me. Is that enough? Is it enough that God made a way for me to have eternal life? I can truly say, it’s everything to me. It gives me hope and provides me with a future. Someone recently asked me, ‘how can you still say that God is good?’ My answer, minus the tears, cries, and blubbering, was simply this, ‘He saved me, and I’ve seen His hand upon my life.’
As awful as this past ten months have been, I am trying to maintain a grateful heart through this season. I’m beyond thankful for the love of my family and the friends who have prayed for us. I’m thankful that I’ve gained an access to God that not everyone gets. I know what Paul meant when He said ‘I’ve been crucified with Christ,’ and I’m slowly learning the second part that it’s no longer I that lives, but Christ in me.’
One day our suffering will end, and we will come face to face with the One who took our place in hell and made our place in Heaven. Ten months is a long time. But, eternity is forever.