You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8
In Honor of My Son ~ Gone Too Soon
August 21, 1974 ~ August 11, 2005
With every breath I take and with every beat of my heart, I miss my firstborn son, and particularly now, as another anniversary looms on the horizon. Dear Reader, I know you understand. I know you miss your child, too. It’s true that our minds are stuck on our loss for a long time, but even after a long time has passed, the ones we miss are always in our thoughts. After the fog lifts, and we come to grips with the truth that they are never coming back home, we get good at multi-tasking; we learn to do the normal day-to-day activities while still keeping a heart watch on our pain. It’s a lifetime journey, this grief, but I also suspect that surviving is a lifetime journey, too, and one I am committed to. I write to help others and to keep alive the memories of the one I have lost. There is not a day that goes by that we don’t think about them and wish they were with us. And it’s okay to feel that way.
I share a piece entitled “Why Did He Do It?” written some years ago. Even now the question is still uppermost in my heart. Perhaps it will be a blessing to those of you who are new to your grief journey. I am so sorry we have the tragic death of our children in common, and I feel your pain. Though it has been years, I can easily reach back and pull up horrible memories at a time when grief was fresh and so very cruel. It was during this time that I cried out to God:
“Why Did He Do It?”
Why did he do it? I’m probably not going to get an answer . . . at least not one that I could even begin to accept this side of heaven. My mind understands that my firstborn son chose to end his life. But my heart still cries. It cries out because of his pain that I could not stop. It cries out because he thought there was no other way to end his pain.
Reasoning, I get. You and I have written about it ~ but my mother heart still cries. It cries bitter tears for all the beautiful days he’s missing out on. It cries for the college degree he will never have the chance to spread his wings in the job market with, or the woman he could have met who would have loved, understood, and accepted him just the way he was. And I shed tears for all the sweet grandchildren we will never get to enjoy.
I look at his picture with his big grin ~ and my heart breaks. I see other brothers pummeling each other, obviously acting like brothers ~ and my heart breaks. I pick up his billfold and finger each personal piece of paper ~ and my heart breaks. I go to the cemetery and look down at the slab of marble with his name engraved in bronze ~ and my heart breaks. I hear of other suicide deaths on the news ~ and my heart breaks for the loved ones left behind to pick up the pieces.
Lord, how can we blend together the business of daily toil with heartbreak? Life is a mixture of pain and joy, suffering and comfort, tragedy and peace. How do we blend them together to make an emulsion when they are opposites, like oil and water?
This is where You come in, isn’t it? You are the “glue” that holds us together in the midst of our times of joy and trouble. Lord, I am sure there will be more sadness and tears, but with Your huge arms wrapped around me, we can walk this journey together and when it ends, it will be all joy and no more tears.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. Revelation 21:4
Verses selected from the New Living Translation (NLT)
“Why Did He Do It?” poem from Shattered By Suicide, My Conversations With God After the Death of My Son, by Gracie Thompson, pgs. 5-7