I am reading this book. It is not a How To on grief. It is a book full of a father’s laments over the loss of his son. Our pastor shared this quote yesterday.
Facing our fifth Christmas without Andrew, I know these laments. Still. This foreverness hurts.
Yes, joy and grief do coexist. Especially during the holidays.
GONE FROM THE face of the earth. I wait for a group of students to cross the street, and suddenly I think: He is not there. I go to a ballgame and find myself singling out the twenty-five-year olds; none of them is he. In all the crowds and streets and rooms and churches and schools and libraries and gatherings of friends in our world, on all the mountains, I will not find him. Only his absence.
Silence. “Was there a letter from Eric today?” “When did Eric say he would call?” Now only silence. Absence and silence.
When we gather now there’s always someone missing, his absence as present as our presence, his silence as loud as our speech. Still five children, but one always gone.
When we’re all together, we’re not all together.
It’s the neverness that is so painful. Never again to be here with us—never to sit with us at table, never to travel with us, never to laugh with us, never to cry with us, never to embrace us as he leaves for school, never to see his brothers and sister marry. All the rest of our lives we must live without him. Only our death can stop the pain of his death.
A month, a year, five years—with that I could live. But not this forever.
~ Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son, pp 14-15