It’s not that sorrow wears off, or grieving gets easier. It’s just that you come to an awareness that sorrow is not getting you anywhere.
Slowly, you realize your tears will not bring your child back. The churning rawness begins to level off, not because the pain is less, but because you become too worn out to cry. Your sorrow gets quieter, burrows deeper, becomes part of you rather than something you do battle with. Whereas, once you thought your heart would explode with pain, you now feel it threatening to implode, to collapse under the stealthy grip of chronic sadness.
But, then, little by little, by very little, you gain the ability to smile occasionally while remembering. Instead of seeing empty spaces everywhere, spaces where your child should be, you begin to see God’s hand. The frantic grasping begins to subside as you look up in wonder, knowing your child is up there.
You learn the Lord has provided a better connection to your departed child than sorrow and grief, based on the facts as they are – not life as it was.
He has provided Himself.
It is true that the day on which I last saw my son is moving farther and farther away from me in time. It feels like we are leaving him behind. But to think like this all the time is to look in the wrong direction. If I turn around, I see that I am moving forward toward the day when we will be together again. The grasping for the past must be replaced by joyful anticipation of the future. The time between now and then is getting shorter every minute. Hans is in my future. For us, the earthbound ones, that is where our departed, believing children are.
And every day that passes is another day closer to seeing them again.