We have never met. Unlike the rest of the blogging world, it seems, I have only just discovered your blog, An Inch of Gray.
I read that your son, your beautiful 12-year-old boy, Jack, died. I clicked on a link that led me to the pictures taken only a few days before. The pictures of he and his sister on the 1st day of school.
When I saw them, I thought,
Not that boy.
It can’t be that boy.
That boy was just alive on September 7th.
That boy is beautiful.
That boy looks very close in age to my boy.”
But it was that boy. It was your boy. Your, Jack.
And my hands shook. And my eyes poured, like my own 7-year-old boy says instead of crying.
Then I read this post. You said so many things that made me want to run from the screen because the thought, oh God, the thought of it.
You said this,
And the feeling that I want to hug those kids so tightly, or scream at them because they are alive and my kid is dead.
And I trembled. Because you said that your kid was dead.
And I shuddered at how that might feel coming off of my own lips.
How horrid it sounded.
And I wished that it wasn’t true for you.
And I wished that we didn’t live in the valley of the shadow of death.
And I wished that you didn’t lose your boy.
Oh, God. I wish you didn’t lose your boy.
Then my thoughts went back to my own boy. My, Jake.
You see, I have been struggling with him. Arguing. Fighting. Frustrated. Having a power struggle. A struggle I fear I may lose.
I remembered how just yesterday I yelled. I let him know how frustrated I am.
Those pictures of your kids. It was just a few days before. And he was alive. He was alive and going into 7th grade. Just like my boy.
And then he was gone. And every morning when you wake up, you have to remember that he is gone. All over again. And my eyes, they started to pour for you again.
I thought about what C.S. Lewis says in A Grief Observed after he lost his wife:
“Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery’s shadow or reflection: the fact that you don’t merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.”
And I thought about how it would be to wake up again knowing that your boy was gone. That all of those struggles and frustrations were meaningless. How you would do anything to hear his voice one more time. Even if you were frustrated.
And I knew that you know.
Because you are living that.
So, when my boy, my Jake, woke up this morning, I hugged him. I held him close and tight. I told him I loved him. That I was thankful for him.
He let me. He didn’t resist. He didn’t remind me of all the ways I have been impatient and ugly.
hugged me back.
And in that moment, all I could think of was you.
To say I will be praying for you and for your family, sounds trite. It sounds like words that don’t mean anything. A thing that people say when they hear about the loss in someone else’s life.
But it is all I have.
All that I can do.
So I will.
I will pray that a peace, fills your arms, that must feel less full, and heals your heart, that must be shattered into an infinite amount of little pieces.
I have to believe that this is possible. I have to believe that Jack’s faith and my faith are the same. That nothing is impossible with God.
With Love and Pain,
If you would like to donate, the family has asked for all donations to be given to Samaritan’s Purse.
Now go and hug your babies or the people you love as tightly as you can. And don’t let go. For as long as they will let you hold on.