Pain’s perspective is hardly something accurately portrayed across the expanse of humanity. We all experience pain so diversely given many variables at play.
As I’ve written about before, I have a ritual of visiting with the memory of my deceased son — a journey through photographs, videos, journal entries, articles I’ve written — all as a means of keeping his precious memory alive. Such a ritual causes me no ‘pain’ so-to-speak. I’m blessed. This is the case because God never fails to touch me in my innermost parts. I’m shown different nuances of the journey as I go back there and enjoy the memory of my son, in collection with the memories we, as a family, had of that time.
One such recent revelation involved the photo above (that has been cropped by request of my wife). This photo was taken the moment I held Nathanael Marcus for the first time.
I was, of a very real sense, meeting him. I was meeting him how any of us new mothers and fathers meet our babies—“Well, who do I have here then?” The relationship begins! From that moment, the ‘getting to know you’ processes blossoms and we are forever cast as divided again in our identities to assume room for this little one. It’s about as precious as life gets.
And there is also a very special nuance to this particular photograph.
My son had passed away some six to eight hours beforehand, due to a prolapsed cord with shoulder presentation. He had died. I have the corpse of my son there, and I do hope by saying it that way that I do not bring you, the unsuspecting reader, any pain.
I was meeting my son, thinking, “Just what have you been through?” “My poor little man, I wish it could have been different for you.” “I love you, sweet Nathanael.” These are the types of things I could write as captions to describe this photo.
And then, as I look at myself, remembering how weird the experience was, and how much courage it took for Sarah and I to traipse that road together — the delivery, I mean — I am thankful to myself for the courage I had, but ever more thankful to God that he got me/us through!
Our pain is precious to God, and our Lord will bring healing from within the site of our pain if we will let him.
This pain that I experience is a most precious grief that I cannot live without, because it is the sacredness of memory that has come to be part of me now.
There is an interdependence between the enduring grief of missing Nathanael and the sacredness of his memory. This is such an ingenious gift to carry through my days; a most treasurable compensation for our loss.
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.