Losses are so sacredly palpable we cannot reconcile the fuller extent of them.
Having lost our little boy – stillborn full-term on October 30, 2014 – we find it impossible to reconcile the earthly reality with an eternal reality we are still so far away from understanding.
Nathanael Marcus, afflicted majorly within, complicated by the challenges of his Pallister-Killian Syndrome (PKS), looked like a perfect little boy. We cherished that time with him in hospital before we said our short goodbye to him 179 hours after he was born lifeless.
Still so precious to us there are new things to reconcile that sneak up; we shift house and feel we are leaving a crucial piece of history behind. Nathanael was conceived in this house; this was the house he spent that thirty-something weeks with us; this house we wept many tears and had many a serious conversation.
The more we realise that time heals our wounds, the more we realise there are timeless components to grief that ought to be ever validated and sanctified.
Only as we tread the real and raw path are we able to more fully feel what God wanted us to experience, for it doesn’t kill us; it makes us resilient for the journey.
There is a sacred beauty in the matter of timeless grief that we must carry with us to our graves.
Only God can turn what would be worst into something akin to the best, but not because our Lord is sadistic. We ought not to save ourselves (or be saved) from anything we have experienced, because God is on the other side beyond the pain.
We must go into the pain to receive him who alone may help.
This sounds nonsensical, but, because we can know this by implementing biblical wisdom by faith, we find, again and again, that God turns the tables of common sense upside down.
As I consider the dualist truth that Nathanael is at once gone forever, but also complete in our memory, I reconcile only one viable truth: there is a thing as timeless grief that we cannot and ought not to ‘recover’ from.
God blesses us most richly in the containing of a sacred sense for pain. Quite appropriately, our Lord will not save us from that which will grow us.
We, ourselves, as we suffer, are earthen vessels designed to be filled-up souls (as a mentor recently put it). We can only be filled to the quota of our need.
If we have no need of healing we have no need or use of the Holy Spirit.
We cannot give what we have not yet received.
So, an irreconcilable grief is good; it connects us to eternity and it also necessitates our reliance on God.
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.