Losing a child at any age is one of the most catastrophic events in any parent’s life. For me, my only child, David, died 6 weeks before his 41st birthday on May 18, 2017. David lived in Florida at the time and his father (my former husband) sent me, at my request, one-half of his ashes to Pennsylvania. Because of travel complications for my family, the funeral was held July 1st in Pennsylvania and he was buried in the newly acquired family plot here.
I was distraught over my loss – no parent should ever have to bury his/her child! However, I knew that God had a reason for taking David and my first response upon hearing the news was from the Book of Job: chapter 1, verse 21b – “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” That is when I finally realized that David was not mine – he was a gift from God and I was a steward of his life as my son on earth, but God was his father – and I released David to Him.
That first Christmas, we did not put up a Christmas tree because I couldn’t bear it – so many ornaments reminded me of David and my joy was buried under my sorrow. The next two Christmases were very low key as well. But in 2020, the Lord led me to give a gift to each of my grandchildren (through Peter’s children) from Uncle David so that each one would remember him. I found “Moose Munch” from Harry and David’s online store and purchased 6 bags – one for each of our grands! Moose was David’s nickname growing up and that name stuck with him into adulthood. My spirits were lifted last year by doing that and we used a small ceramic Christmas tree that I made for David when he was a child as our family tree!
Then this spring, I did the unthinkable. I didn’t realize that it was David’s 4th anniversary of his death until that very day. What kind of a mother was I to almost forget this date? I spent most of the day feeling guilty of some unforgiveable sin (in my eyes). It was the beginning of the miracle that happened six weeks later, the day before David’s birthday this week.
All of a sudden, the Lord led me to a new era!! Instead of spending the day in sorrow, He inspired an alternative – Peter and I were to go out to a pub/deli near us and have a beer (me = root beer) in his memory and celebrate his life!! What a concept!! Unfortunately, a weather advisory of extreme heat kept us home, but we celebrated David and his life and his wonderful memories with each other – I had come out of my grief and sadness and entered into the steadfast love of the Lord which never ceases! His mercies never come to an end! They are new every morning! Great is His faithfulness!