I still avoid you. I will even pass by milk with that expiration date.
November 15 is hard. And ugly. And so utterly painful.
This day 5 years ago I found my perfect, healthy, beautiful 5.5 week old baby boy not breathing.
A mother’s nightmare. To call 911. To wait in a waiting room. To walk away with empty arms. To bury a son.
I clung to a God who had allowed my son to be taken from me. I clung to a God who brought an unexplainable peace and comfort.
My journey through grief was was one of winding and circling and climbing and stumbling and running and being carried when my legs would no longer hold me up. My journey through grief was, and at times, still messy… and yet I was never alone. God so graciously reminded me of His consistent, unfailing love. And His hope. His hope that brings life.
5 years in this journey of grief, I still desperately miss a son I barely knew. I grieve not seeing this baby grow into a boy. I grieve not seeing this baby be a big brother. I grieve not being able to see how he would fit in our family.
It’s true. I didn’t get the chance to watch him grow up and I don’t know what his favorite candy would have been or what he would have liked to eat for breakfast or if he would have walked early or late or if he would have been strong-willed or super compassionate or both… but I do know how he fits in our family, in our life. I am reminded every single time Asher prays and thanks God for a brother he never knew and every time Andrew asks about his baby brother that he no longer remembers and when someone tells me how their life has been changed because of this baby they never met. I am reminded that Aaden’s life brought life. Aaden’s life serves our family every single day, pointing us to a God of hope and restoration and grace. Aaden’s life points us to an eternity with Jesus.
God woke me early this morning and the first thing I heard was Adee wimpering in her bed. How I praised God for that sound. The sound of life. My heart thanked God for His grace. For His abundant healing and comfort. In 5 years I have learned nothing more than I learned in those first moments following Aaden’s death. God is faithful. He is healer. He is comforter. He is gracious and He is good.
Today, 5 years later, the loss is still very real and very painful but I am grateful for a God who is big enough to handle my doubt and confusion and anger and begging questions. I am grateful that His love never waivers and His faithfulness is unending. I am grateful that He brought life where I saw only death. I am grateful that He made beauty from ashes.
If you are hurting today and are suffering deeply and your heart is aching and you have that constant knot in your throat and pit in your stomach and at any moment you may scream or burst into tears… please know, you are so dearly loved. And you are not alone. You did not stumble here by accident. God wants to bring you a message of hope and grace amidst your suffering. He wants you to know that your heart is known by Him. He loves you and He will bring healing… a little more each day. You WILL laugh again. You WILL smile and dance again. You WILL find your place amidst this new normal. He IS making beauty from your ashes. I would love to pray for you more specifically, please feel free to share your story with me (firstname.lastname@example.org). You are so very loved friend.