Friday, January 27, 2012

Faithful Friday: Remembering You

 "I thank my God every time I remember you" --Philippians 1:3

I went to bed last night with this scripture on my heart.  Yesterday I found Noah with his treasure chest opened on his bed.  This chest is one he built with his dad, shortly after we lost Austin.  In it Noah placed memories of Austin, things he treasured about his big brother.  The chest came with a lock and key and we shared with him that it was his to go to whenever he missed Austin.  Most of the time, he opens it privately, as I'm sure that tears often fall, like they do whenever I reminisce.  This time however, he wanted to share.  We spent time looking through things and he decided to wear one of brother's necklaces and his cologne to school this morning.  Although I wish he didn't have to have only memories left of Austin, I am glad he can remember and feel close to him in these ways.

Memories are difficult when you first lose someone.  You waiver between wanting to remember them and guarding your heart against the pain you know will follow.  While you welcome others mentioning the lost loved one, you brace yourself for the raw emotions those early months bring.  On one hand it may lift your spirits that someone remembered or thought of them, but on the other it just irritates an already broken heart.

And truthfully, in some cases, I avoided the topic at times because I just couldn't break down in that moment.  Either I was in a location I didn't want to bare to my soul, or my face was still damp from tears I didn't want to spill again so soon.  So, you build it up and wait until you are alone, or feel safe, to reflect on the memories and allow the pain to come.

There were times that I wondered if we could ever speak of Austin that tears wouldn't fall or our voice would shake.  It hurt me because I wanted us to recall memories of him and be able to smile, laugh, and warm our hearts in remembering him.  But I also knew how each of us stood on shaky ground every day.  Some days were ok, some days were horrible,  and I never wanted to cause tears to fall on a rare good day.  I didn't want to cause Tim or Noah anymore pain than what I already knew they felt, even though I also knew they thought of him with every breath.

Looking back at the long road of grief with child loss, I can say those days do eventually come.  Yes, we still cry, and yes, it still hurts, but we can also smile now when saying his name.  We can laugh as we tell a funny story of something Austin did.  We can remember all the many, many blessings he brought into our lives, even if his days with us were shorter than we'd hoped.  We can also thank God with every memory, every thought, each reflection of his life and how he impacted each of ours.


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