The silence is so thick you can cut it with a knife. The pain is so raw it hurts to meet their gaze. The loss is so great I cannot imagine finding the strength to breathe. To be swallowed up by grief and drowning in fallen tears is all I can see. Yes, I have watched two close friends bury their children. Two families touched in a way that they will never be the same again.
Death is something we all face, know is inevitable, and cannot escape. There is no denying the fact that it is part of nature’s plan and part of the circle of life. It is something we accept as part of the process. Yet when we think of death, we think about burying our grandparents, our parents, and perhaps our older siblings, but the concept of burying our child, rarely if ever, enters the equation.
As I stare across the room at my own child, I cannot imagine my life without him. I cannot envision planning his funeral. I cannot comprehend reading his tombstone or visiting his grave. My heart literally aches for my friends when I consider this thought.
It also reminds me of my selfishness. How dare I grieve over the fact that my son doesn’t live under the same roof as I any longer? How dare I shed a tear over a night of loneliness? How dare I weep over a dinner alone or not doing his laundry? Although it is justified to feel hurt, and sadness over the loss of the daily routine of raising a child, it does not compare to the loss of a child. I am working on putting these things in perspective because truthfully, my attitude over my son leaving the nest simply stinks…Period.
A visit from my son, even for a few minutes, is worth it’s weight in gold verses a visit to the cemetery. A phone call where I hear his voice or a simple text with the words, “I love you” at the end, I’m certain my friends would trade over the silence.
When I think of what I have verses what they have lost, I am ashamed by my past actions of selfishness. However, I am grateful that I am working through the rubble that has built up around me. I am thrilled that this wall is coming down. I am blessed beyond measure. I am loved beyond means.
Today I am thankful I can hear the voice, hug the neck, and hold the hand of my son.