As it is for most families grieving a loss, particularly the death of a child, the holidays bring up so many deep emotions -- moments of pure grief, where our hearts and minds are left to wonder, dreaming of what could have been. Our family is no different. This holiday I was once again reminded that my little boy is not here. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him, in fact his legacy is so strong that I often find myself forgetting the fact that he isn't actually physically part of our family -- until a holiday or anniversary of some sort. It's in those moments where Adam and I gather all our little ones together that I realize that he is truly missing. The memory of his touch and scent becomes more and more distant as the years pass by. I hate that.
As we often do, this Christmas we spent some time together as a family at Gavin's grave. I'm sure many people cannot fathom why we would take a place of mourning and make it a moment for our family to remember. For me, as a mother, his grave is the one place we can be together. Before you think on that too much let me explain this. When we watched Gavin take his last breath, we witnessed first hand as his soul left his sick, swollen shell of a body. After his heart stopped it was very real to me -- that the body that held my little boy's soul was simply just that -- a body. But for me as a mother that's the part I was able to hold and touch -- the part I gave birth to and held on my bare chest. So to have all my babies in on place -- it's just a feeling I can't describe to you.
But that's not the only reason why I return to his grave.
Every time I stand at that grave I can't help but remember this one thing -- God didn't answer my prayer.
And as I stand on top of his grave just feet away from his flesh -- holding my three beautiful babies, I am reminded in a powerful way that I am not in control, and for once in my life I don't feel like that is such a bad thing. Going back to the grave reminds me of something much bigger than myself -- that my life, my families life is being held in the palm of his strong hands -- I don't have to fight so hard, I don't have to figure it all out and I don't have to carry all the worry and fear our failing world throws on me.
As I look at his grave I am brought back to place of humility. But not humility, as in I am nothing. But rather just the opposite -- I am something. I am someone He finds worthy, worthy enough to take my prayers and turn them into something bigger than I originally asked. He never ignored our prayers, in fact he heard each and every one -- and listened. He didn't answer in the way we wanted, and I'll never understand the suffering. But what I do know, is that when we choose to stop trying so hard to understand -- He tends to reveal so much, to heal and to restore.
So thankful that his grave is not a place of mourning, but a symbol of hope, peace and joy.