This blog is my record of my journey with my son who had a rare, and eventually fatal metabolic illness. It is the story of the last year and a half of his life, his death, and after. I have shared this journey this in the hopes that is will not only help me come to terms with the realities, but also that someone along the way may find it helpful, as they face a similar journey.

This is my place to comment on events, blow off steam, encourage myself (and maybe you), share frustrations, show my love, grieve my losses, express my hopes, and if I am lucky, maybe figure out some of this crazy place we call life on earth.

The content might sometimes get a little heavy. As an understatement..


People who are grieving may write sad or difficult things and bring you down. This blog may not be for the faint of stomach or of heart. Read with caution and at your own risk.

If you are new to this blog, I suggest reading it from oldest to newest. It isn't necessary, as what I write is complete in itself. But this blog is sort of the result of the "journey" I'm going on, and I think it sort of "flows" better from oldest to newest.

I do hope that in the end you will find, in spite of all the difficult and heartbreaking things, things that are worth contemplating.

Welcome along!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


On Monday night, while I was talking with my friends, something we discussed really struck me. It wasn't an entirely new thought in some ways. But it hit me in a strong, new way. I was surprised by my emotional reaction to it.

We were talking about if a parent ever really "got over" the death of their child. We were discussing the ways that they might heal, but that the pain never completely went away. That the child remained in memory and in heart forever. And not only when it comes to a child. The loss of a spouse can be the same way. Or a sibling. A part of us, forever missing.

And while we were talking about this, it hit me. I realized how wonderful this was!

Before, when I thought about this, it made me immensely sad. Sad and afraid. The thought that I might never recover from losing Joel. The thought that there would forever be a space located just under my rib cage where my breathe would cut when I thought of him. That years later I would still long for him. What kind of person would I be? What kind of life could I live, with this pain a part of me forever.

I haven't laid those questions to rest. Sure, I know that as I say "yes" to God through this all, even my pain can be transformed so that my life can be a beautiful thing. But that isn't what struck me on Monday night.

What struck me was how wonderful it was that I would always love Joel and that I would never forget him and that I would long for him for all my days on earth. For this longing, I know, will one day be FILLED.

Perhaps for the first time I can understand Jesus' words "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." That always sort of confused me. Because I wasn't thinking of full comfort. I was thinking of temporary half measures. Then I realized that when it says "comforted" it doesn't mean as in someone will put their arm around your shoulder while you weep. When it says "comforted" it means that the mourning is ENDED. Comfort is found, of a nature that is full and complete.

And receiving this sort of comfort makes all the mourning worth it.

For I shall mourn Joel. It is likely that I may mourn him for a long, long time. But not forever. And NOT because I forget him. No, it is much more wonderful than that. Because one day he's going to be part of the welcoming committee for me when I finish my own life on earth. And that reunion is going to be very much like when you are really, really thirsty for a long time, and then you finally get a drink.

In fact, sometimes it is worth it, to get super thirsty, just to experience how wonderful water really is. And you would never really know if you never really got thirsty. It is the thirst that makes the satisfaction so complete.

God gave us immortal souls. Because we will last forever, we also can love forever. And the fact that I will never forget Joel, that I will never stop longing for him, is evidence that LOVE NEVER FAILS. And that is amazing. What a great gift God gave us. We can live forever, and we are able to love forever too.

When I mourn, it is evidence of this gift. I can love someone forever. And one day that terrible "thirst" which we call mourning shall be satisfied. I shall be comforted, and I will once again be able to see and talk to and hug my loved one.

I'd never trade all the sad, lonely, painful years for then I'd miss that final reunion. I'll wait through the hard years so that one day I can have the joy of that ache being quenched.

I'm not downplaying how amazing it will be to finally see Jesus, or be able to really commune with God "face to face." Some people might feel that I'm straying close to forgetting that God is supposed to be the most wonderful thing about heaven. I'm not.

But Paul says in 1st Thessalonians that we are not to sorrow like those who have no hope. Why? Because our loved ones will meet us one day when we go to be with Jesus. He's not saying that we should not sorrow at all. And he's not saying that we should not sorrow because we get to be with God day. He is specifically saying that our sorrow over those that die should have a different sort of "flavour" to it. It should be seasoned by hope, because we get to see our loved ones again.

So I can face the long years with out Joel with a sorrow that is seasoned by my hope. A terrible thirst, that I know will end one day with total satisfaction. It will be quenched.

I say "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."

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