About this time of evening, 11 years ago I realized something was dreadfully wrong with our sweet baby boy, Jonathan Michael. A trip to Duke Hospital confirmed the worst and though it would be 36 long hours later before we held him and kissed him goodbye for the last time, tonight is the night that begins that journey of intense remembering for me each year. August 22-24 are tough days and although I know they are coming and I mentally prepare for them…they still arrive bringing a wave of grief so strong, it makes breathing hard.
All day today I have held the grief at bay. Busying myself with helping Mike prepare resumes and cover letters, taking a new writing assignment for Yahoo and just generally trying to keep my mind busy…anything to keep the grief from gaining too much of a grip. Yet, still is comes…unwelcome, unwanted, but oh, so predictable.
It isn’t the remembering of Jonathan that is painful. For he was perfect and beautiful and MINE. It’s the realization of the time I’ve missed with him that hurts so much. Wondering what 11 years of birthday parties would have been like and what sports, if any, he would have liked. All the little things that we have been able to enjoy with Spencer…just wondering what they would have been like with Jonathan as well.
However, taking a deep breath, I remind myself that God makes NO mistakes and that although my arms are empty and there is a hole in my heart where Jonathan (and Faith, Hope, and Charity) will all live forever, I am still incredibly blessed to have had them for the brief time that I did.
So, once again this year, I will muddle through the next couple of days, take flowers and balloons to the cemetery, shed some tears, hurt some more and then pick myself up and carry on. Because that’s what we do with grief. We endure it when it sneaks up on us. We never welcome it, but we endure it while it stays. Then we grow just a tad bit stronger and brace ourselves for when it visits again.
How thankful I am for God’s comfort at times when like this. Matthew 5:4 reminds me “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” And no one comforts like God comforts!!!