It is tough for me to explain, the juxtaposition of circumstance in which we (Brian, Esther, and I) have just lived. For upon finishing up the memorial/burial services for our beloved, Cole, we had to continue on, “being strong”, to fulfill a commitment made prior to our loss. This commitment just happened to be in France.
It was very strange to have such heartache within us, while engaging in new adventures with new relations…very kind and loving people. At best, we remained “distracted” from our pain. But every so often (daily in fact), our loss was inescapable.
While touring the streets of Toulouse a man with a limp and a cane walked by. I was instantly flooded with sympathy for my son, and hurt for the hardship he faced after his braintumor surgery. My heart ached so horribly in that moment as I faced his bravery and HIS physical challenges, as seen empathetically through his eyes by way of the disabled man doing his best to navigate his physical impairment.
In another moment, while visiting Spain, I (metaphorically) stepped into the shoes of my siblings and felt the pain of their loss…the loss of their beloved nephew. And in another town, I hurt for my mother who I knew was keeping my house (and pets) in order while we were away, yet was daily facing the undeniable reality of Cole’s empty room–her first grandchild, her angel. And during the couple of times I was able to have a quiet walk on my own, I stepped into the shoes of the friend. The impact of their struggle in learning how to be a friend to a fragile Cole (after his surgery), and the impact of his being gone that leaves its profound mark upon their young souls.
And of course there was (is) my own pain that is unavoidable and ever so ready in its reminder that I cannot “wake up” from this nightmare of a reality. And then there is the pain of the sister, my beautiful Esther Rose, and the father, my ‘darlin,’ Brian. If I could, for a moment, get away from my own mourning, theirs was present, visible, and in need of consoling.
It is a tough case, this loss. For me, it hasn’t lessened my faith in G-d the almighty, but it has impacted my ‘faith’ in ways I cannot truly explain. Just impacted, that is all…
After Cole’s surgery, though I ached (alongside him) for his physical, spiritual, and emotional struggles, I held on–so tightly–to the hope of his future, and I encouraged him often to see it for himself. The scripture from Jeremiah 29, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”, I believed with all my being in relationship to my son. I could almost taste, touch, smell, and see the prosperous future of Cole…his dreams of a wife and children fulfilled. His gifts and strengths being of benefit to others for years to come. His generous heart beating full strength ahead for years and years after the statistics of his type of cancer suggested. His touch upon this earth not hindered in the least because of his physical impairments. …I could see it all, and my faith was fully present within my hope.
So while I remain fully comitted to my faith in G-d, his word, his promises, and the hope we are offered in this life and the life beyond, I am just a bit impacted, so to say, from not only the loss of my son, but from the loss of hope I had been clinging to in relationship to Cole’s future. …hard to explain. Just as being in France, while in mourning, is difficult to describe. But I feel a bit like a disappointment. Like one of the stories in the bible, such as Job, that no-one wants to relate to. That we all, at some point or another, would like to believe is more myth than reality. I mean I had such hope…such positivity, such faith–and yet, here I am–we are, all of us, hurting from this story that none of us wishes were ours to tell. I don’t want to be a modern day Job. I just don’t. I don’t even like his story of intense loss, complete faithfulness to our Heavenly father, and a bounty of new blessing bestowed upon him. It just brings up too many questions of, “why?”
Oh dear, I am rambling…the result of horrific tales of travel (delays, crowded planes, flight cancellations, loss of luggage and sleep, etc.). I apologize, though not enough to delete this post. ;)
Next up, Japan. Brian and I leave on Monday. But for today, though our luggage has yet to arrive, we are home–safe. And I write while sitting in my son’s room–as close to him as I can be…for now.