France in mourning

28 Jun

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.

For instance…

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.

Biarritz France

Musician and daughter (Brian and Esther), walking to the ‘gig’ in Biarritz, France


France, in mourning. Brian and Rivka

12 Responses to “France in mourning”

  1. Hana July 12, 2013 at 3:59 am #

    Hi Rivka! I randomly stumbled across your blog while searching for Cole’s care page, and started reading. I just wanted you to know that I often think about your family, and I pray for y’all.

  2. Kim Juniper July 2, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    A few thoughts:
    Everytime I read your posts, I think to myself “I just love her”…..
    Was following Esther on Instgram while you were in Europe and it made US (Robert and I) smiles to see you all smiling…..
    We too, think of Cole everyday… I can’t even imagine the pain you all feel and how much you MISS HIM!
    Hope you have a good time in Japan. Been there… will be an adventure for you both!
    Smiles and a BIG HUG!

  3. Brad June 29, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    Still praying every day for you, Brian, Esther, and Margie.

  4. Greg Wilker June 29, 2013 at 1:55 am #

    esto es a través de traductor Google, así que no sé la calidad. Yo tampoco sé la verdad y el plan de Dios. creo sin embargo, que el deseo de Dios para ti, es retener la esperanza de su auto y su familia – con la misma fuerza que la sostuvo por su hijo. sabemos que no está muerto y enterrado, porque Dios no creó a perderse en la nada. hemos sido creados a partir de su amor, por lo tanto, es quién y qué somos. nuestros corazones se rompen, y se rompen … y romper. nunca más allá de lo que podemos soportar, para nuestra fuerza viene de Dios. mantener la esperanza con la misma fuerza que dio a Cole y aprender lo que Dios tiene para enseñarte … por lo que vale la pena y con mucho amor, greg-e

  5. jeansullivan June 28, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    Praying for comfort for today. ❤

  6. Margie June 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    I’m so glad you made this post. It gave me peace about how you all were doing while you were away. I had Cole with me everyday, all day, in spirit being present at your home. I could see him in his room, feel him sitting at the pool and when I was watering the lawn. Piper and I hugged like he would hug her. I hear him telling me his last, “I love you too, Gramma” as I was about to leave again for Nicaragua. As I have said before, he will always be with me. His spirit energy cannot leave.

  7. Nora June 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    Welcome home although be it brief. I hear your heart in this blog–all of its emotions so hard to describe but yet so sharply felt. Glad you are home safe. I walk with you in your mourning. Love you all.

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