I can’t find the words to properly explain the ache I feel in my heart.
I have so many words, but not enough words, not the right words, not descriptive enough words to make you feel the deep loss, the devastation, the hurt of losing him.
Of losing my son.
Of losing John.
I have come to understand that if I had all the words in all the languages of the world, they still wouldn’t be enough. The only way you can feel my heart is to experience the loss of a child – and I wouldn’t want that for anyone.
If it were possible to let you into how It feels for just a few seconds, I would welcome the invasion into the private and protected areas of my heart, the heart that holds his memory.
For just a brief moment, if you could touch that place and gain the understanding, it would change you forever.
Yes, it would fill you with emptiness. It would feel like a cavern of darkness. A longing that nothing can fill.
A tenacity that you didn’t know you were capable of.
A strength that only comes from enduring the unendurable.
Yes, it would change you.
You would see the sadness in the eyes looking back at you from the mirror. You would see yourself, but you wouldn’t recognize the person you have become.
You would no longer be so afraid. After all, you would understand that you lived through the nightmare every parent feared. A nightmare realized.
The nightmare you would only briefly let yourself ponder – afraid that thinking about it too long could somehow make it happen. Jinx you. Bring it into existence.
What other fear could come close to that?
What else could scare you now? Death came and stole your child while he slept in the adjacent room.
What monster under your bed could make you tremble after that?
In those few moments, of standing in my shoes, you would gain compassion.
A broken heart, but a bigger heart. You’d understand that words are meaningless in a situation so terrible. Platitudes are for card stock and not for conversation.
You would learn that your faith is everything, your days are numbered, and now you are longing to hear the trumpets sound and to see Jesus come down and gather all His children together for a reunion of unimaginable joy.
That will change you.
In fact, you’d start living for that day. Waiting for that day. Grasping for any glimmer of a future that wasn’t filled with tears and grief.
You’d want to believe the books that promise healing, but you’d know down deep that some losses don’t belong in the healing column — some losses you can’t put a checkmark behind and move on.
If you could feel my heart for those few moments, the world would change for the mothers who are missing their children, because, in those few moments, we would feel understood.
We would feel seen.
At that moment, you would remember our child and see how important it is to us to say their name and to remember them.
Yes, it would change you.