I imagine that when anyone experiences great tragedy in their life, it becomes a mile marker—a lens through which the view of their story becomes completely and utterly transformed. While I have experienced great hurts and failures in my life, none have changed me quite the way things changed when Jacob left.
I never expected to be that person, and yet, I find it difficult to withhold the continual statements that correlate everything back to “when we lost Jacob.” Maybe it’s still fresh. Maybe it is who I am now. But that day in December seems to be the point on the map where everything suddenly seemed different.
Easter week. From the moment I calculated my due date, I envisioned Easter week with the perspective of all things Jacob. He likely wouldn’t be here yet, but he would be coming any day now. I would have four monogrammed baskets ready on the fireplace. His would be filled with sweet newborn necessities. I would make it through the celebration of Roman’s birthday with a sigh of relief, “Okay. He can come now.” I would carefully watch the days pass so that sweet husband could tie up the loose ends of the busiest week of the crawfish season, with a knowing that now he would be free (well, more free) when I called to give him a report on weekly doctor appointments or told him it was time.
But here we are. Easter week. And it all seems hollow. My feet felt like lead trudging through the days. I don’t want to celebrate. I don’t want to smile. I don’t want to do anything but have a moment to crawl under the covers and cry. And I certainly don’t want to acknowledge Easter because that means the glaring hurt of every single excruciating moment that is different because he is not here. And yet, life keeps moving. So you celebrate. You smile. You get out of bed. You dye eggs. You fill Easter baskets. You prepare Easter outfits. And sometimes the tears fall faster than you can catch them because even in the moments of plentiful blessings, so much seems lost.
Twice this week I was completely shocked by two very special deliveries. Both some of the kindest gestures I can ever recall receiving. Earlier in the week, a dear friend had the loveliest flowers delivered to my door with a card that spoke of my sweet Jacob. There is no way to describe the healing that is felt in hearing others speak his name. To know he is not forgotten. And then later in the week, I arrived home to see a perfectly pure white Easter lily on my doorstep with a card and a letter from a friend, which in part gave me such a much needed reminder of the promise of purpose in pain.
She mentioned that since we lost Jacob, her heart has hurt for us and she has prayed every month on the 14th. Recently, in thinking of us, she also thought of the cross. Jesus died on GOOD Friday. Oh how so many around him must not have understood the “good” in what was happening. But we know, in seeing a bigger picture that Jesus’ death was GOOD because it paid the price for our sin. And it was GOOD because He defeated death, hell, and the grave when He rose again on Sunday. What hope that must have brought to those who just a few days earlier were in utter despair! Oh Sunday, what a glorious day!
She closed by reminding me that this year, Good Friday fell on April 14th. Jacob’s date as well as his birth month—GOOD. What a precious perspective. It is hard to understand the GOOD in losing a child. But we must remember that there is purpose in the pain. And I know… I know that I know… that I will see Sunday someday. I can have hope that my Sunday is coming when I experience the realization of the GOODness of Friday. I know this because I have seen it in my Savior’s death. And I know His death was not the end. It was only a stop in the journey to Sunday.
I will not let go until I receive the blessing. For I know that it will be Sunday someday…
If you are struggling through Friday, keep walking. You too can have the hope that Friday is not the end. I KNOW it will be Sunday someday.