Matt, Christmas is in 4 days and I’m struggling with bouts of grief. The waves come and go at unexpected times as a memory from your childhood finds its way into my brain. Seeing you as an innocent child warms my heart like nothing else. Looking at photos of you from infancy to adulthood fills me with wonder as to what could have been.
I heard a song yesterday called “Mary Did You Know?” It asks Mary if she knew who her son was born to be. Did she know He would grow into a man who would suffer a horrible death to save people like you and me. Listening to those words, I found myself thinking about Mary. Knowing that she gave birth to a precious boy, raised him, loved him as I loved you then watched him die on the cross. It hit me that Mary like me grieved the death of her precious son.
I wonder if Mary knew what she signed up for when she said ok to God’s plan. I wonder if she knew her son would die and break her heart as your death has broken mine. Losing our children is not part of the plan when we think of life. Yet, here was Mary, the mother of Jesus experiencing the excruciating grief of child loss. As mother’s we only see a bright future for our son’s and daughters. We never think of losing them in our lifetime.
Like me, Mary was as helpless in trying to save Jesus as I was in trying to save you. Like me, I’m sure her mother’s instinct took over as she tried to protect her son from harm. Her grief journey parallels mine as both our son’s lost their lives and we were helpless to intervene.
It hit me as I listened to the words of that powerful song, that I’ve been selfish in my grief. Never thinking that the mother of my savior felt the same soul shattering heartbreak at the loss of her son. I’ve heard that song before. I’ve read the story of the crucifixion, but never once did I think of Mary and the pain she lived at her son’s death.
Mary never questioned God’s plan for her son like I have. She never demanded answers like I have. She never yelled and screamed at God like I have. Mary trusted in God’s plan knowing he knew best.
As fate would have it, I was visiting your garden as that song started playing on the car radio. I sat in silence and looked at the cross. It stands in the center of your garden. Some of your ashes are scattered beneath your stone. I closed my eyes and could feel a peace come over my soul. I no longer felt so bitterly alone as I looked up at the cross.
I want to be more like Mary. I want to trust that God saved you. That he knew what your future would be and spared us both of more pain. I need to believe you are healed and living in paradise with Jesus and his mother. I need to believe that one day you and I will be reunited as were Mary and Jesus.
Neither Mary or I knew that when we gave birth to our precious son’s we would share a bond of grief. That we would lose our son’s very close in age, one due to the sins of mankind, one to the power of a horrible disease.
Mary did you know???????????