When a Child Goes Away

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4: 17-18


If asked, most mothers or fathers would probably agree that losing a child is the most traumatic experience any parent could go through. And, I suspect that if one of those same people went really deep emotionally they would struggle with what to do when a child goes away. To lose a child is to lose a part of you no other human can replace. Even if you had ten kids, who by design are all different, neither could replace another. Trying to relive the life of a lost child through one of his or her siblings rarely turns out in the way the grieving parent desires or intended. Not being able to move on while cherishing the memory of a deceased child is a recipe for disaster. This is yet another example of a man or woman attempting to place a question mark where God has already put a period.

In 1994, my then 18-year-old son was struck and killed by a car, driven by a 21-year-old young woman. For a while, “I asked myself the question, why me?” But then I switched gears. Instead, I began to think about “why not me?” In other words, who am I to think that someone else deserved this degree of pain more than or in place of me?

Before long I came to realize my grief had transformed into anger and inconsolable sorrow. If that were not enough, I was also angry with the young woman who killed my son, so much so that I settled for refusing to consider an important fact about the tragedy, which was, “the young woman did not intentionally kill my son with her car?” Even though I knew that in my heart my mind convinced me to treat the young woman as though she had. Even worse, back then, behaving that way seemed like the appropriate thing to do, after all, she killed my son.

For almost a year I allowed these unfounded allegations to establish rules for my heart to operate around. No matter how hard I tried, on my own, I could not let go of the nagging hurt brought on by the loss of my firstborn. Believe me when I tell you, “there is no loss comparable in the degree of despair to hurt caused by losing a child.

Thankfully, God found me before I lost myself. I remember the occasion as if it was yesterday. I had tossed and turned all night in bed the night before, wrestling with Satan, searching for a light at the end of the grief’s tunnel. It wasn’t until later on that I realized how broken I had become. No matter how many times I searched the list of people I loved nobody on the list came across as capable of putting my heart back together again.

But one morning, I woke up with the voice of God in my head. He was speaking life into my dead heart. Little did I know, my time had come! God was there to take away every instance of sorrow. All He asked of me was to be still, keep quiet, and receive Him. This was the day God chose to heal me, patch up all those wounds caused by the stench of death, and, accept that neither brevity of life nor the moment of death is not mine to determine, not even my son’s.

Shortly after, in 1995, I ran across an unauthored poem titled “God’s Lent Child.” This poem really put life into perspective for me. In short, the poem tells us that children are on loan to parents, to care for, protect, and love until God calls them home. When a child goes away whether due to death or to the world for most parents, particularly mothers, the hurt is unimaginable. As Regina Bell explains in her song “If I Could,”

But the part of life
I gave you isn’t mine
I’ll watch you grow
So I can let you go I could
I would help you make it through
The hungry years
But I know that I can never
Cry your tears, babe
But I would if I could if I could

God does not place us in the life of others at a time when they need us most by coincidence, nor does He invite or encourage us to question His plans or reasons behind His allocation of time to live. What the Father does instead is warn us ahead of time to be on our best behavior, love one another, treat other people the way we want to be treated, and love Him with all of our heart and soul.

When I finally accepted that I could not bring my son back I also recognized that he was in a better place. That realization is even more evident today almost 25 years later if I pay attention to what is going on in the world today.

If you have lost a child don’t grieve in silence. In fact, give yourself permission to feel the hurt, cry the tears and miss them more than life. Not only is that okay, it is permitted because to heal one must address the hurt and face it head-on.

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If it hurts too much to talk about just TYPE PRAY in Comment.

If I Could

Regina Belle

Ooh, ooh
Oh, oo
Yeah, yeahIf I could, I’d protect you
From the sadness in your eyes
Give you courage
In a world of compromise
Yes, I wouldIf I could
I would teach you all the things
I’ve never learned
And I’d help you cross the bridges
That I’ve burned
Yes, I would if I could
I would try to shield
Your innocence from time
But the part of life
I gave you isn’t mine
I’ll watch you grow
So I can let you go I could
I would help you make it through
The hungry years
But I know that I can never
Cry your tears, babe
But I would if I could if I could
In a time and place
Where you don’t wanna be
You don’t have to walk along
This road with me
My yesterday won’t have to be your wayIf I knew
I’d try to change the world
I brought you to
Now there isn’t…

Source: Musixmatch

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