Sunday, September 24, 2017

If I could, I would tell her everything was going to be alright.

{song credit: "Smallest Wingless" by Craig Cardiff}

My heart has been full these past few days as my thoughts have been turned toward my son, Michael. It all started when we were watching some random home videos the other day, and a video of Michael's burial popped up in the feed. As we watched the video, I saw a mother whose heart was shattered. I could feel that broken heart as if it was currently beating within my chest, not because my heart is broken now, but because I was that mother and the memory of the pain is very real and very raw. I remember distinctly how I felt on that day nearly 8 years ago. I was hurting and crippled with sorrow. I was only able to stand because my loving Heavenly Father had sent angels to hold me up. I yearned to hold my sweet baby in my arms. That's where he should have been. In my arms. Not in a cold, tiny casket. I wasn't bitter. I wasn't mad. But I was broken.

It was an odd feeling looking at this mother who I knew all too well. I wanted to reach through the screen and hold her tight. I wanted to tell her that everything was going to be alright despite the grief she was feeling. I wanted to tell her that even though it was hard for her to imagine ever feeling joy again in that moment, that joy would eventually come into her life again. I wanted to explain how she would go on to have three more beautiful children, and although they could never replace the one she had just lost, they could teach her so much about God's love and His plan for her and her family. I wish I could tell her of the tender experiences that have come about because of the loss of that sweet baby boy. How her oldest son would always remember his baby brother that was in heaven and share his knowledge of that fact with his younger siblings. How there are gentle reminders of him in their home and even a stocking for him on the mantle at Christmas so that he is never forgotten. I wanted to tell her that grief is a roller coaster ride. There would be lots of bad days, but also good days. The bad days would eventually become more rare and her faith in her Savior would continue to help carry her through those bad days and enjoy more fully the good days.

If I had the opportunity I would tell her that Heavenly Father loves her. He was there with her that cold, fall day and one day she would realize just how truly blessed she was to have so much love surrounding her as she buried her son. It would be a pivotal moment in her testimony of her Savior, Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. She would come to know, if she didn't already, that she would see her son again one day. She would draw nearer to her Savior than she ever thought possible. Her heart would be forever changed and she would have more compassion and empathy to those who experience similar losses in their lives. She would learn and grow from this terrible and trying experience.

As the video wrapped up, my sweet daughter said, "Wow, this is kind of sad isn't it?" We had a tender discussion about Michael and the plan of salvation. A while after we were done talking, I heard her telling her brother, "Jesus saves us! We get to see Michael again someday and I can't wait to hold him." It was just another tender experience that I can add to the long list of blessings that have come from that trial in my life.

I loved this video that popped up in my Facebook feed tonight. My favorite quote from it is this:
"(We have a) Savior who loves us so much He allows us to hurt so he can heal us and put us together better than we were before. That is the definition of the Savior's grace." Those words ring so true to me and I know that with each trial I am asked to go through that He is shaping me into who I am to become. In the words of my sweet grandma who I just spoke with tonight on the phone, "we are just all so very blessed no matter what our circumstances".

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