“She has changed,” they say.
As if I should be as I was.
As I was before.
But things changed.
Every single thing.
Everything changed that day.
In that moment.
When he died.
I will go on living.
But everything changed.
I am changed.
When temperatures fall or a freeze hits, an oak tree changes colors.
Leaves turn from green to red and yellow and brown.
It’s the same tree.
Right where it’s always been.
But the tree is changed by outside forces.
Never to be the same.
In spring, when temperatures warm and the sun shines
new leaves will grow.
New branches and twigs and leaves will sprout.
The tree will look the same as it did the spring before.
But it’s not the same.
That tree will never be exactly as it was.
There is new life where old leaves died.
There are new leaves, different leaves.
The tree is still alive, still growing, still covered in leaves.
But it is changed.
Forever changed by outside forces,
By what is happening around it.
If a little thing like a drop in temperature can forever change a mighty oak tree,
why would they even imagine that something so huge,
so earth shattering
as the death of one I love
would not change me?
His presence in my life changed me.
It made me a better person.
I pray his absence will do the same.
Yes, I am changed.
I am forever changed.
Lord, may the changes in me glorify You. Amen
This article was originally published in January 2018.
If you have experienced the death of a child, here are two resources that may help you.
Surviving Sorrow by Kim Erickson
God’s Healing in Grief by Ron & Kathleen Duncan