Eyes Only for You

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  1 John 3:1a

With your permission, I will share a story about my youngest son (but don’t tell him, lol). Several years ago my son began dating a lovely young woman. Later he proposed to her, and wedding plans were in full swing. I could tell by the way he looked at her ~ as if he could not get his fill ~ that he was totally smitten. She is a sweetheart, and we embraced his choice with pleasure. For a period of time educational pursuits separated them by hundreds of miles, forcing them to continue their courtship long distance.

The month of May was fast approaching, bringing yet another Mother’s Day. I would prefer to not celebrate; however, there were other feelings to consider since my hubby and youngest son wanted to take me to lunch. I appreciated the invitation and determined to muster up some holiday spirit in spite of the pain each holiday brings.

Unlike previous Mother’s Day holidays, this one encompassed a special surprise. My son’s fiancée had let hubby and me in on a little secret: she had purchased a round-trip ticket and was flying in to surprise her unsuspecting fiancé!

At last, it was Mother’s Day. My hubby and son found a table in the restaurant while I, supposedly, was making a quick return to a store in the mall where we were having lunch. Actually, I was meeting my son’s fiancée at the bookstore around the corner from the restaurant. The excitement was written all over her face as the seconds ticked down to the culmination of the grand secret!

Meanwhile, back at the restaurant my son was texting his fiancée like he did every other day. He peppered her with questions like: “How is your day going? What are you doing?” Feeling giddy about meeting my son in just a few minutes, his fiancée giggled as she “made up” logical answers, as if she were far, far away. Back and forth zipped the texts. We were enjoying the thrill of building tension, but we didn’t want to keep the guys waiting too long.

Moments later I settled into my seat across the table from my son. He barely acknowledged my presence; he was so preoccupied with texting the one he missed so much. His body language spoke a clear message: I wish I was having lunch with the love of my life right now. For some reason, Mom and Dad didn’t quite fill the bill, but this lunch was about to get a lot better.

A few seconds later she slid into the vacant chair. He looked up. Shock registered on his face. You could have blown him over with a feather! He appeared stunned! I have never known him at a loss for words, but there he sat dumbstruck, gazing at his lady. I watched as realization slowly crept across his face as it dawned on him that he was really and truly looking into the face of his beloved fiancée. Then he broke into a broad smile. It was so gratifying to watch the lovebirds stare into each other’s eyes. Neither of them could stop smiling! Words appeared to be unnecessary. My son kept reaching out to touch his sweetheart as if he needed reassurance that she was real and not a figment of his imagination. Can you picture it?

I can’t help but wonder: does God feel this way about me? Does He have eyes only for me? For you? Does He look into the eyes of our children with so much love He’s about to burst? As I ponder the imagery laced through these questions, I can imagine Him saying: I am God, and I love you. I have your name engraved on the palms of my hands. If I had a refrigerator, your name would be on it. I know all about you, even the number of hairs on your head. I am intimately in love with every inch of you, and I always will be (John 16:27; Isaiah 49:16; Luke 12:7, paraphrased). The pictures that come to mind make me smile. The love in these words sounds warm and tender. Do you think He really is that loving toward His kids? I think so. Actually, according to His Word, I know so.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Dear Reader, as you read this happy reunion story your heart may be permeated with pain. All of our days, following the loss of a child, are often filled to the brim with sadness. It is always worse on holidays when we miss them so much the grief overflows the banks of our hearts. We might find it difficult to enjoy a precious moment because the heart is so preoccupied with thoughts of the one missing such a happy occasion. I know how hard it is. The death of a beloved child to suicide, as is my story, seems to paint the world forever in perennial shades of gray, obscuring the light of the sun.

Friend, I read the sad remarks rung from your aching heart on social media. You say that the one you miss was the “love of your life.” You remember your son or daughter as a kind, gentle, loving soul. You say how strong the connection was between the two of you and still is. We tend to remember all the good things about them and wonder how they could slip from our lives so quickly and totally, leaving us feeling like we are missing a limb. We can’t wait to look into their eyes once more, and soon we will for eternity has been promised! Soon we shall see our children face to face! Joyfully we will lock eyes with the ones we have waited to see for so long.

Verses shared from New International Version (NIV)

 

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4 thoughts on “Eyes Only for You

  1. Gracie, thank you for your blog. I have been slowly working through them. We lost our daughter to a completed suicide just over three months ago. We had no warnings or second chance. It has been devastating but we are soldering on for our son. This Mother’s Day will be our first without our beloved Mia and we know it will be particularly difficult. Our son is hyper sensitive to our pain (mine in particular) and he still sleeps with us every night since our lives changed forever (he is 14). Do you have any advice or wisdom to share regarding working with him? We are all seeing a counselor and it does help.
    Thank you,
    Your Functional Broken friend, Todd

    • I am so sorry for your loss, Todd. I understand your brokenness. I feel your pain! At three months you and your family are still raw. Thank you for perusing my blog archives for words that might bring a bit of comfort. I have written 2 books, both on Amazon, if you are up to reading more. I was so shattered at three months I couldn’t have told you what was going on ~ it was still a blur. I applaud you for getting your family into counseling. If it helps, continue would be my advice. Hubby and I tried a counselor but realized it wasn’t a good fit. Later we tried SOS meetings and found them a much better fit. Grief is a lifelong journey for me. I am nearing 13 years now. Over time, and lots of it, I have healed much by writing and I have learned how to survive, even thrive a little. The pain is never too far away; I can recall “the day” in an instant if I want to, but most of the time I am settled into a place of peace knowing God is taking the journey with me. I have covered the “why” questions and the blame and guilt to the point that I recognize that there is nothing new to uncover. Heaven is where I will get my answers, but heaven is where our completed family will spend eternity and never hurt or be separated again!

      My firstborn had a younger brother. They were very close. Losing his “other half” has been tough for him. He does not grieve in front of me, but others who have seen him in tears have told me. My pain is mother pain. I don’t grieve like my husband. I cannot compare my pain to my son’s. Each is unique. I would imagine you know where I am headed with this. I’m not sure I have wisdom, but I have great experience from my journey so far. Your boy is young, impressionable. Chances are you know him well. Chances are you knew his sister well, too. I would say the same about my boys, but I now realize that there was part of my firstborn I was not privy to. He had to hurt deeply to do what he did. He wanted the pain to stop and ending his life was the only way he thought he could get relief. Likely your daughter felt the same? Healthy minds want to live. We are designed to heal. I know you are concerned for your son’s safety as I was concerned for my younger son who was much older than your son. I would imagine at 14 he is very sensitive to your pain, maybe fearing you will leave, too? Loving him unconditionally, reassuring him of your love and above all, listen to him with undivided attention. Spend 1-on-1 time as much as possible; he might share differently with each of his parents. You can compare notes for, perhaps, a better understanding of what he is thinking deep inside. He probably has classmates. Kids aren’t always understanding and can be hurtful. I hope this has not been his experience. With summer break, he will have time to regroup. He is young. I don’t know how much you have told him. You may be thinking to wait to share some details and that is at your discretion. As parents you are in the best place to handle your child. Others can weigh in with their advice, but the parents are the final authority. Please be careful who you listen to. In my experience only those who have lost a child to suicide have helpful things to say. I’m not suggesting others can’t be supportive. I have learned to be cautious after losing both friends and family after our son died

      I have rambled on here. I don’t know if anything I have said will be helpful or not. It is not an easy road to navigate, but you will find your way. Just know that you have the rest of your life to come to grips with your loss. The pain eases in time. Your memories go forward with you as you carry your daughter in your heart. Allow your son to think and process like a 14 year old. He cannot think and process like an adult. Suicide is a heavy topic and definitely needs lots of time to process. I have been blessed to counsel other mothers. I get where they are coming from even if our paths have never been similar. As parents we have been forced to bury a child! Such an impossible thing, right? Knowing that you are reading my words from my blog, you will learn how I think and process. I try to always be aware of new grievers which you are one. Your pain is fresh and raw and I hope you are comforted by what you read.

      I hope you will write often. Ask me questions any time. I am always here to listen. If you prefer a more private means, you may write me at my confidential em: impossiblejoy@yahoo.com. I care, friend. Gracie

      I share my book titles in case you are interested, not to push them on you. “Shattered By Suicide” was my first. “Picking Up the Pieces” came later and is a composite of blog pieces which you have free access to.

  2. I too lost my son to suicide. This year will be my second Mother’s Day without him. I have two daughters and two grandchildren that fill my heart with love and joy but there is always that longing for my missing child. Have a blessed Mother’s Day

    • Dear Katherine, thank you for taking the time to share your heart and I am so sorry for your loss. I know just what you mean. I am a new gram of twin girls and their sweetness fills my heart with joy just when I am feeling depleted. Losing a child is draining and celebrating holidays is difficult. Somehow we muster the courage to survive and share with those who remain out of the depth of love that flows from a broken heart. Please write again. Blessings, Gracie

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