The gifts of my son

Tonight is beautiful. The moon is full. Our yard is illuminated with white light. I can hear your wind chimes tinkling in the breeze. I visited your grave tonight. I needed to be close to you, even though you are not really there. I knelt next to those five rainbow roses. I thought it was raining, and then I realized that it was my tears. I let them fall freely onto the soil over you, and I hope that they seeped down to you, sweet son.

My son. My only son. Gone before me into a place that I cannot see.

You gave so many gifts in your life.

You pulled back the curtain for me, so that I could see everything with stunning clarity. I am not alone in my grief. So many others have gone before me on this path, and so many will walk behind me. I was afraid of grief, afraid that it would change me. Afraid that grief would make the world colorless all the days I spent upon it. Now I know that it will change me, and I will be more because of it.

I stared at the stars tonight. I found Orion. I felt insignificant, tiny. I felt vast and full of grief and awe. My heart reached out into the night and found the hearts of other mothers, weeping for their children.

We are not alone. The only way to know this is to reach out to one another, to link hands across the darkness, to find each other in the turmoil. There is no point to our existence here if we solely care for ourselves.

Grief is honing me, forging me, like a sword in the fire. My purpose is slowly making itself clear to me, and it is because of you, sweet boy. You taught me that there is more than what I see in this world –  more love, more grief, more hope, more sorrow. I won’t be content to stand back anymore and be a bystander.

You gave me that, James. And I thank you for it.

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