Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Losing a Child

Parents--you know that feeling when you lose a child in a department store? One moment they're beside you and the next moment they're nowhere to be seen. Your heart drops into your stomach as panic sets in. Your focus becomes only them--finding them--making sure they're safe. You scramble down the aisles, praying silently, and calling their name over and over again. Others in the store sense your distress and helplessness; many come to help.

My husband and I had two very adventurous children, so we've experienced that panic on a few occasions. It's terrible. But, oh the great relief when you finally hear their voice or see their little faces as they come trudging down the aisle with one of the store clerks. After the initial breath and blessed relief, you go through a succession of emotions from joy to anger. It's all because you love them so much.

Almost two months ago, we lost our son. Not to distraction at the mall, but to death. He was thirty-two years old, not six. He was taken by illness, not a self-styled escape from Mom. Never-the-less, the resultant panic and emotion was very much the same. All those in the family who loved him felt absolutely helpless. Others felt our distress and came to help. But, there was no voice heard--no seeing of his face--no store clerk bringing him back to us. It is silence and desolation that goes on and on. We have been through many emotions, because we love him so much. It is pain that actually settles in your heart and makes it hard to breathe.

Here is where faith comes in.

We found ourselves reaching for strength and comfort in our testimonies of spiritual truth. We felt peace from the doctrines of eternal life and the promise of the Resurrection. We held the hand of the Savior as He wept with us and shared our sorrow. This isn't just a bunch of words; this is a tangible comfort that enfolded us and continues to enfold us during the most devastating earthly trial we've had to face.

I may not hear my son's voice right now. I may not see his face. But, I know one day I will. One day I will see him and I will breathe again and I will feel only joy.

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