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The Dark Cloud Looming Years After the Passing of My Son

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I have recently become aware of a dark cloud that is on the horizon. In one and a half years my son will have been gone as long as he was here. I’m not sure why this is causing me some trepidation. The only thing I can relate it to is my Mom’s demise. She died at 50 years old and when I was approaching my 50th birthday, I had a similar feeling. My sister also experienced this. It differed in that my mom was my example and when I turned 50, I felt an uncertainty because I no longer had that example to refer to for my life. I recall thinking, “So, now what, Mom?” But it’s different in regards to my son.

I shared this with another Momma and she has heard others share, who have crossed this point, that they felt, “Sadness and heartbreak to be without their child longer than they were with their child.” That doesn’t sound good to me. All I know is that it is frightening to me. Another hurdle to cross on this journey — a significant one. It deepens the void in some way.

Next month it will be 24 years I have been divorced from my children’s dad whom I was married to for 24 years. I am looking forward to that. This situation feels positive — as if I will feel a greater sense of freedom. It’s as if a “bond” of some sort will finally be broken and complete. It’s a positive anticipation. In regards to my son, however, it is not.

I don’t want to be without my son longer than he was with me. It’s a void I do not want to embrace. Yet, I fear, I will have to do so.

This is just another example as to why our grief journey never ends. There are always new hurdles to cross over. We watch our children’s friends move on in their lives, marry and have children; things that some of our children who died too young never experienced. Their girlfriend/boyfriend eventually find someone new and perhaps we feel as if our child is being replaced in their lives. We know this is perfectly normal and even expected, but what we know and how it feels does not line up. I was recalling earlier a memory of running into the mom of the gal my son was in love with and hoped to marry. I had run into her in the local grocery store. She was excited about the fact that her daughter was getting married. She went on and on about it, never mentioning my son. I could not speak. I left my cart of groceries sitting in the aisle and simply walked out of the store. I was dazed. I did not know how to respond. I know in my heart I was happy for her — but.

This dark looming cloud is another “unknown.” I have no clue as to how I will feel when I cross this new hurdle. Though I still am one and a half years from crossing this line, an apprehension is already setting in. That can’t be a good sign. But time moves along at a much more rapid pace; seasons are here and gone seemingly before they began. Our perception of time changes dramatically as we age.  One and a half years now seems to pass in less than six months. I know I need to take this to the Lord in prayer. In my faith I believe He will get me through it as He has been faithful to do with everything else on this journey. Still, the consternation is unsettling. I need my perspective changed. Rather than look at how long my son has been gone, I need to turn it around and look at how much closer I am to being reunited with him.

Jude’s book, “Gifts from the Ashes,” is available at Direct Textbook.

Follow this journey on Jude’s website.

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Thinkstock image by Herianus

Originally published: July 7, 2017
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