Healing

As I look back over those first two years – reading posts, blog articles, and my personal notes – I am struck by how raw my wound was and how excruciating daily living was. I see the pain, the sorrow, and intense grief I experienced in those first months. I see how simple tasks were extremely difficult. I remember how hard it was dealing with the paperwork and the decisions we had to make. And I am in awe that I no longer walk in that pain. I no longer walk in a fog of constant sorrow and grief.

There is a void in my life that only Andrew filled. I miss his laugh, his stomping through the house, his hugs, and his stories. Nothing will ever replace my son in my life. I still have moments and even days of sadness. Some memories still bring tears. I see his friends dance, graduate, get new jobs, or get married, and these things bring a twinge of regret that I don’t get to see Andrew do those things. I hate that his nephews won’t know him like they will know their other uncles and aunts. Yes, I will grieve my son until I die.

However, those early days of sorrow so deep that I physically ached are gone. The days of doubt, sobbing, and aching have passed. Seeing an old picture of all four of my boys together no longer takes my breath away. I no longer count the days, weeks, or months since I saw him last or since the date of his death. I no longer cry each time I see a picture of him or hear his name. I no longer wake up with my pillow wet from my tears. Death is no longer a central theme in my thoughts.

Pictures and stories of my son bring a smile. I enjoy looking back at his Facebook, seeing photos of him with his friends, and hearing stories of their antics. I rejoice at seeing his friends growing and living. I know that they were changed for the better by having Andrew in their lives, and I know that they have not forgotten him.

Friends, family, and of course grandchildren bring me joy. I have peace. I sleep well. Sometimes I dream of Andrew, and I am glad. I ride my bike, travel with Ron, and mow my property. I read great books, study my Bible, and enjoy movies and TV. I play with my dogs, visit with friends, and go out to eat. In short, I live.

I know I have forgotten things about Andrew, stories he told, little things. I see pictures and wish he were here to tell me the backstory. I miss Andrew.

I know my son lived. He lived well. He still lives.

My heart is no longer broken. I no longer ache all over. I no longer think of death, dying, grief, and pain much of the time. Yes, there is a void. Yes, there is a scar. Yes, I have experienced loss. But in Christ I have found peace, joy, and strength to go forth and do the next right thing. This is what I mean when I say my broken, shattered heart has been healed by a loving, gracious, living God. When I say that I have found healing after The Accident, I don’t mean that I no longer grieve.

As you try to comfort a mother or father who has experienced the death of a child – a child of any age and by any cause – remember that they will grieve their child forever. Or at least until we join them in Heaven. Please know that their birthday and the date of their death will always be difficult days. Even when it doesn’t look like they still grieve, please know that they miss their child.

Mention our children. Share your memories. Acknowledge our pain.

And pray for us. Pray that we find joy. Pray that we have happy memories. Pray that we find healing in a loving, living God.

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9 thoughts on “Healing

  1. Pingback: The February Favorites #1: Healing | kathleenbduncan

  2. Pingback: Tears at Bedtime. And in the morning.  | kathleenbduncan

  3. Its hard to explain how we can get beyond the emotions of the first few years yet still grieve. It’s a different kind of grief. It still hurts but not constantly, and we can smile without pretending because we’re able to stop seeing the world through the window of death. We’ve become accustomed to the absence but I don’t know if we’ll ever really accept the loss. I think its important for others to know that grievers can have relapses along the way, that doesn’t mean they’re weak or lacking faith, it only proves that they are human.
    I love the way you express your journey.

    Like

    • Thank you. Yes, we will grieve until we join them, but the grief is different than this first days and months.

      This world is not our home. I think that is one of the many things I understand more clearly now. I was not meant to be content with this temporary, earthly life; I was created for eternal things. I think that is part of what we feel: a longing to be home while knowing we still have work to do here.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My daughter is 20. I cannot even begin to imagine losing her or either of my boys. I lost a pregnancy and that was tough enough with a child I had never met. I have lost others and those losses were tough enough, but I think the pain of losing a child must be a whole other thing because it has other aspects. I am so sorry for your loss, and so glad that God has seen you through, and will continue to see you through those rough days that anyone who has lost someone knows are never “over.” (Hug)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, losing a baby through miscarriage is different than losing a twenty-year-old. But some things are the same; we grieve what might have been, dreams, and the future that will not be. I am grateful for a living, loving God who heals the broken-hearted.

      Like

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