“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
What I learned after Joshua died? The loss of my son became a physical reaction.
Each night as I lay in my bed and hoped for sleep, I squeezed my eyes shut. Tormented, I felt as though my heart and soul were being shredded. My love for Joshua intensified, but no love flowed back from son to mother. During the worst nights, I prayed for God to stop my beating heart.
My husband reluctantly returned to work, and life without Joshua’s presence left me lonely and hollow. I tried listening to music a few times, but the songs reminded me of Joshua. The songs were either his favorites or what he wished I would turn off. To fill the air with noise, I began talking out loud to myself.
Never in my life had I known such isolation. Raised the eldest sibling of a large family, I was surrounded by people. When my husband and I first married, and for many years after, he came home from work for lunch.
Now my husband worked in another city more than half an hour away.
Days stretched in front of me as I wandered the house. My skin pricked as I walked past Joshua’s closed bedroom door in the hall. Sometimes I entered his room.
I would stand there and blink—he was not there. I would search through Joshua’s possessions, hoping to find a note he may have left for his dad and me. Other times, I hurried down the hall and past his room, wishing Joshua’s bedroom would disappear.
I forgot the people I could have phoned for comfort during the worst sorrowful moments. Too deep in the pit of grief, it was God and me—alone, but not alone.
My Lord, my God, whom I want I cannot have, so I want nothing except to sleep. Please be merciful to me through the valley of the shadow. In Jesus’s holy name. Amen.