A Story of Addiction & Loss

Tag: Mary and Jesus

Thinking About Mary


Matt,  today is Holy Saturday.  I went to your garden at church to visit and to plant some flowers.  The cross is draped in a purple sash that was blowing in the wind.  

I filled both bird feeders then sat on the bench and watched as the garden sprang to life.  The sounds of birds chirping filled the air and made me think that even though this garden represents your death life continues around the cross. 

As I continued to sit there and talk to you and Jesus, I started to think about Mary.  The stone in the garden represents your death but the massive cross represents the death of Jesus.  I wondered how horrible it must have been for her to have no idea why the man she raised from an innocent infant was being beaten.  She had no clue what was happening or why the crowds were shouting for her son to be crucified.  

Mary was helpless in stopping his death as I was helpless in stopping yours.  I can’t imagine the horror she felt as she watched the story unfold from the distance.  Never once allowing Jesus to be out of her sight.  Oh how her heart must have broken with every strike to Jesus’s body.  How her eyes could not believe what she was seeing.  Her precious son was being hung from a cross.  

The baby she nursed as an infant.  The toddler whose hand she held.  Now a grown man being brutally abused right before her eyes.  
I didn’t know how she had the courage to watch as her son took his last breath.  The confusion that must have been running through her mind as her heart was ripped out of her chest.  

As I continued to sit in the peace of your garden I felt a deep connection to Mary.  She knows my grief. She felt that pain years before I had any clue that I too would lose a son.  Your death was slow as the drugs took you further and further away.  I shared her helplessness in having no power to stop it.  I share her pain and sadness as you left this earth leaving me behind to pick up the pieces of what I expected life to be.  

The story of Lent is all about Jesus, his crucifixion and resurrection.  Today I thought about his mother, Mary.  How she grieved her son as I grieve you.  


Mary Did You Know??

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???????????


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