I'm not sure there really could ever be a perfect explanation of what life is like after the death of a child. For the most part, I would not want people to really understand -- as in reality the only way to really fully grasp this world is to live it yourself -- I wish that on no one. However, I often wish people could just understand just a little bit of what our life is like now that Gavin is gone.
Shortly after Gavin's death we enrolled our family at Peter's Place. This is a non-Profit group therapy center to assist children and families in the grieving process. We would go on a biweekly basis and Madison would join about six other kids in her age group who had either lost a sibling or parent. During Madison's group time us parent's would gather and have have our own time of reflection.
This past session was our last time in this group. We just felt like it was time to move to the next step in our healing.
During this last session Madison took part in a beautiful ceremony to celebrate her healing. Madison was given three rocks. Two of the rocks were beautifully smooth -- polished and perfect. The cool smooth stones were soothing to the touch -- they signified our healing. The other rock was rough, as if it had been cracked off with no care of concern. It was ugly. There was no smooth edge to be found and was just plain ugly. This signified the pain and grief that we will always carry -- the death of Gavin.
Now when you first look at these stones the beauty of the smooth rocks is the first thing you see -- they are the majority. But once you take a closer look you see the rough edges of that one lone rock. As our life continues on our pile of smooth rocks will grow -- our healing will become more and more firm. Yet even during the times where we feel that God could not possible heal our hearts any more, there will always be that rough rock.
Many Christians and people of faith would say -- well doesn't God want totally wholeness -- complete happiness and healing? I think somewhere in the history of Christianity/Faith we got it all messed up. Our human idea of wholeness doesn't match that of God's. If we were to take that rough rock out of our pile -- it would be as if we would erase the life and death of our little boy. Even though the pain is so deep -- in our pain and groaning His grace and faithfulness runs even deeper.
If were to walk around with a handful of smooth rocks we would be claiming something we are not. Our rough rock has made us who we are and in our eyes, beauty can be seen even in the rough edges.
Thanks to Peter's Place for helping us in our journey of grief. We will never forget our times of simply being able to be a family in pain -- and during those times, also seeing the possibility of healing.