July 24 is a date that marks time for me now. For it was on July 24, 2008, that my firstborn son, Christopher David Laurie, left this world at the age of 33.
Yes, it has been two years since he died. Two long years since I last saw his face and heard his voice. It seems like yesterday that he was here. Then again, it seems like forever since I last saw him.
I miss him so, so much
At first, people would approach with often clumsy attempts at offering sympathy. Other times, they would say just the right thing.
But after two years,very few people say anything at all. Only a handful. Perhaps they don’t know what to say.
Many will ask how a grieving person is doing. Are they over it yet? May I answer for all people who have lost loved ones, especially children?
No. We never will be “over it,” so please don’t ask that, if you please.
Some well-meaning but misguided Christians might say, “Don’t be sad. They are in heaven!” You must have never lost a loved if you say something like that. We know they are in heaven, and frankly, we want them here with us on Earth. So, we are sad.
When the apostle Paul’s friend and fellow worker Epaphroditus fell gravely ill, Paul wrote in a letter: “Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow” (Philippians 2:27 NIV).
So even Paul, who certainly had a strong faith and his theology straight, could hardly bear the thought of being separated from a close friend by death.
Are we getting through it?
The answer to that question is yes. Some days are better than others.
The most random things can trigger vivid memories that we did not even know were stored in the vaults of our imaginations. But like little home movies, they play out, and it both comforts and saddens.
But the thing we cannot do is forget. Nor do we want to,even if remembering causes pain.
Yes, our pain is deep, but know this: God is deeper still. He has kept His promises to me and my family. He has been there for us each step of the way, though it has been so very hard.
So we do not sorrow as those who have no hope. But we do sorrow. And we will continue to shed many tears. That’s because our love continues on for that person that has left us.
Yes, I am two years removed from the last time I saw Christopher. But I am also two years closer to when I will see him again.
This is my blessed hope. It is the hope of all of use who have had loved ones precede us to heaven.