Life is definitely full of mystery. Each chapter of our lives holds precious events that become our legacy. We all start life on many different journeys; some have been blessed with near carefree lives while others have battled trial over trial. Regardless of your personal journey, together in this chapter of our lives, we are here in the presence of each other with an opportunity to invest in ourselves and our wellbeing.
Sunday in church I learned that optimism changes perspective. Oh how this is true. For instance grieving parents…When you lose a child you come near and dear to complete destruction and devastation. Nobody likes to admit it, but you honestly do. Your heartstrings are stretched to the fullest extent and as you watch one string after another snap violently from the excessive torment, you find yourself wounded and defeated.
I believe many parents, in time, bounce back slightly towards the person they used to be, however each of us are forever changed. Some things that held great value and priority in our lives don’t mean much to us anymore. It forces us to find out what really matters to us in life. What is the meaning and purpose in life for us?
We each find it slowly, in our own way. Once you become a grieving parent, you soon find, connect and understand there are other parents out there who are walking their own grief journey. It doesn’t matter how long it has been since the death of our child, all that matters is the life of our child, the past memories, the present longings and the “what ifs”, “could have’s”, and “should have been’s” of the future. We never mean for it to be this way, it is simply the way our hearts respond.
I don’t know how I am supposed to act, think or do this side of my life’s journey, all I know is that I trust God. Completely. Being optimistic is a life all grieving parents soon adopt.
Yes I do have my moments of questions and even anger at God. I get angry at Derrick. I summons the guilt card and I get frustrated at life. I have my moments of great sorrow and longing. I also allow myself to enjoy life as it unfolds and indulge in joyful activities.
Life is a roller coaster. We have one of two ways to look at every situation. Perspective plays a key roll in everything we view. For instance a physical roller coaster may be a crazy, insane, why would anyone get on that thing fun ride, yet you can have no fear. I personally, KNOW that it will be fun. I trust the design, I trust the maintenance inspections and I envision the end result…Windblown hair, cheeks that hurt from smiling and satisfied sensation of exhilaration. Even in the excitement of the ride, fear may come in the blink of an eye, but just as quickly as it came it leaves so I can enjoy the thrill it was created to be. The same perspective is in life. While there are moments of exhilaration and even fear, it will always end as intended. Exactly and perfectly in the will of God.
If you lose a child you have a strong desire, passion and purpose for Heaven. The blessing in losing your child is that no matter what happens in life good or bad, you are one day closer to Heaven and seeing your child again. One day closer to “no more sorrow, no more pain”. Our optimism changes our perspective.
Tomorrow is Derrick’s 24th birthday. He would have been 24 on the 24th. What a milestone. While he isn’t here to celebrate with us, tomorrow will be a day of remembering a handsome young man with a forever smile and a heart of gold. A young man, who endured a lot, yet lived with a passion for people. While he wrestled his demons, he loved even greater. He is an incredible young man and I am proud to call him my son. There will be tears tomorrow, as they seem to come more freely, but those tears are moments of love, memories from my heart and I am so blessed that God will capture each one and treasure them forever. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8 NLT.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
We are never alone on this journey. Always remember that.