It is hard to fathom that one year has gone by since you entered this world and were taken into the arms of our Father in Heaven. I remember that day so vividly in my mind; the pain, the tears, the ache, the brokenness, the denial, the helplessness, the grief,
I have experienced the heaviness and intensity of grief in this life through the loss of my best friend just 6 short years ago. Losing you sweet Jake proved very different. You see, for the longest time I thought those around me didn’t understand MY grief. The truth is, I was selfish. I thought that because I had experienced something traumatic that those around me should intuitively know what I needed. After all, they had to be grieving in the same way I was or at least something similar. The fact is that grief is ugly, unpredictable, messy, selfish, raw, and it hurts to depths of the soul that one never thought they had. Most importantly, however, no matter if you have experienced the heaviness of grief or not it is different every time.
The Lord used your life to humble me of my experiences with grief, to realize that there is no recipe for grief or how to effectively cope with its unpredictable nature. I was left feeling helpless and to be honest, I spent many a nights questioning myself. Was I helping your Mommy? How could I help her more? Is it okay to say this? Do I cry? What do I do? Is there something I’m missing? I had become the person I was so angry at when I lost my best friend, the friend that didn’t know what to do. Debilitated by grief, but this time in a very different capacity.
I knew that the only thing I could do to find the answers that my soul so desperately longed for was to humble myself before the Lord and pray. The answers did not come all at once and not always were they clear, but sweet boy let me tell you the words “be still and know that I am God” have never rung truer and sweeter. I didn’t have to have all the answers, I didn’t have to know what to do. There would be times that I would fail, as difficult as it was to think. There may even be times that my iniquity would hurt your sweet Mommy and Daddy, but through the raging rivers of grief God would and continues to be with them, holding their hands and carrying them in the most difficult of moments. So I committed to praying continuously for your Mommy and Daddy knowing all the while that the only one who knew their hearts and souls to their very depths was our Father in heaven. The same hands that are holding you in heaven are holding your Mommy and Daddy here on earth and it is those hands that will carry them through the depths of their sorrow. The following verse in Isaiah served as a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness to your Mommy and Daddy.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2
I prayed daily that the Lord would reveal himself to your Mommy and Daddy and that they would be reminded that through the storm, He is their firm ground, healer, comforter, constant hope, their all in all. Grief taught me a lot this year. Some things expected and some painfully unexpected. Most importantly, it taught me that there is immense power and knowledge in prayer. It is through prayer that I was able to care for and love your Mommy and Daddy through this most violent of storms.
Sweet Jake, thank your for teaching me the immense power of prayer, to be still before the Lord, to love more deeply and forgive more freely, that grief isn’t perfect, and most importantly that through the storms of life our God is good all of the time. Losing you will forever be one of the most heartbreaking and beautiful experiences of my life. I will carry you in my heart until the day we meet. Happy Birthday little man.