There are many days over the course of our lives that we can look back on and say that they were turning points for us. For me one of those days happened 6 years ago. That day changed me profoundly. I questioned my faith; I questioned the goodness of people; I began to guard my heart and not be so open with people, to trust very few people at all anymore. The death of our son William made it so that I could never be the person I was before.
I can’t tell you how many times I have cried out over the course of my lifetime, but particularly in the last 6 years, “My God! My God! Why have you abandoned me?” I have asked God why He gives me such heavy crosses to carry- not only with William but with so many other things. It seems unfair to be asked to carry so much. But each time I question, God reminds me of His presence through a song, a bible verse, a sermon, a quote, one of my children, or a dear friend who has reached out to me to help me carry whatever cross I might be carrying at the time. It was precisely because of William’s death that I not only felt such abandonment but also found the deepest faith I could ever have.
With so much faith it should be easy to “get over it,” as many people have said to me. But one never gets over the loss of a child. You may be able to move forward, to laugh once again, and to show your love to others, but deep inside that pain is always there. Your heart has been shattered and put back together but there pieces missing from it. It isn’t the same anymore.
Grief is a reminder of what deep love we hold within our hearts. If we didn’t love we wouldn’t hurt when we lose someone. Love is the greatest gift we can give and receive. To know grief is to know a love so beautiful and so deep that it can’t help but flow from your eyes as teardrops and grip your heart tightly while taking your breath away.
Today I share my grief with you so that you can feel this deep love I have for him and for all my children who are lost to me. Today is William’s birthday. I miss him and I wish I had been given more days with him, but I am thankful for the blessing of what little time we had.
Happy birthday, William. Until my arms can hold you again know that I hold you in my heart.