EXTINGUISHED now is the deep pain of our loss, yet what has replaced it is the precious void we share together as we remember our son.
Often, we talk about how old he would be, and we particularly miss him not being the loyal little brother to our now four-year-old.
Gone is the pain. Yet, the mystery remains, and ever will do. The rollercoaster ride is over, and it’s only the memories that endure. Sometimes we’d love to step back into the tremulous breach. To hold him just once more. Thankfully, acceptance has been God’s gift for our healing.
As my wife embraces the soft teddy bear bearing our son’s birth year (2014) she smiles with a mixture of giddy pride and reality’s sadness. Acceptance is the right noun describing her gait.
We understand the gravity of loss, but not only that, it’s the reach of loss that accosts us all. One in four pregnancies are lost. And loss, of course, occurs within the myriad milieus of life — death, sure, but divorce, job loss, unrequited dreams, and trauma, to name just a few. There are so many who have their own story. Ours is not unique. Although it is remarkable, every story of loss is equally remarkable.
And still there is the memory of our son, Nathanael. He ages with us in our hearts as we age. Never will his memory leave us. He lives with us, as long as we live.
I write about these types of personal things for a few reasons, not least for my own therapy, and to encourage others who’ve experienced loss to partake in therapy’s expression, as well as those presently on their journey of grief. I often wonder if it’s helpful or even appropriate to share so publicly, but I also see the role of my ego not wanting others to think I’m profiting out of our loss when I have such thoughts. I cannot control what others think or how they attribute my motives for sharing. What I can do, however, is be a voice breaking the silence regarding loss. I can share in good conscience, trusting it’s God’s will to do what I do.