My friend came to visit me today. 3 years ago she lost her precious 8 month old daughter. She is Evangelical and I am Catholic, so we have some differences in what I call the "spiritual details", but we talked a lot about death, and missing our kids, and being selfish, and heaven. Lots about Heaven.
It is hard to believe in a merciful and loving God when something like this happens. I am not going to sit here at my screen and pretend to anyone who is reading this that losing your child does not inspire a crisis of faith. It does, at least for me.
I have empty arms and full breasts. I have a Jonah shaped hole in my heart. I have other kids that need me when all I want to do is crawl into my bed and stay there.
If there is one thing I have learned from my 30 years on this Earth, however, it is that you have to keep going. I have to be sad, to grieve, and to cry. I love this baby and I absolutely ache to hold him and kiss him and nurse him again.
But the reality is, that isn't going to happen. Not in my lifetime. If there was something I could do to bring him back, I would have done it already.
So what now? My friend and I talked so much about Heaven today because it gives us hope. We pictured our children laughing together and excitedly waiting for the day they might see us again. Since they are having so much fun in Heaven with Jesus and all the Saints and Angels it will be like a short time for them until we are reunited.
This is what I am trying to picture, my baby safe in the arms of the Blessed Mother, surrounded by the peace and light and love of God. Why should I want to take him from such a wonderful place?
The reality is that this hurts. I am a human, and selfish or not I miss my baby. But I am choosing to put my faith in Heaven and in the beauty and love of God which I got such a sweet glimpse of through my perfect baby boy. I am choosing to breathe, to put one foot in front of the other, and to say thank you. Thank you for my beautiful children, for my friends, my family, my husband's job, our comfortable house, plentiful food.
And for the love of God. The love I know exists because of my longing for Jonah. I am an imperfect human being and yet my love for my child is so incredibly strong. If I can love like that, how much stronger is the love of God that inspired all other Love into being?
Jonah, I'll love you forever.
I'll like you for always.
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be.