Tomorrow marks two years since we said goodbye to our teenage son, Nathan, who went to be with Jesus. We were on holidays and we knew that the cancer would take him soon, but it’s hard to drive home with one less kid in your car.
When he died, I was relieved that he was with his Lord, but I still miss him so much. My temporary shepherding of him had finished, and he now is with the the greater shepherd of his soul.
I still cry when I eat his favourite food, watch his favourite sport, or see a picture of him as a little child or young man enduring chemotherapy. Sometimes I weep uncontrollably, as I am doing right now. Other times, I just cry internally. It’s like the tears just fall down the inside of my face rather than the outside. No one sees them. The tears are mixed with joy, thankfulness, parental pride, gratitude and confidence that I will see him again. But they are still tears.
The New Testament gives us hope in Christ, for all who trust in him, but I also take great encouragement from the smallest of phrases, “sorrow upon sorrow”. The Apostle Paul, who taught us to grieve with hope, could also say about his dear friend and brother.
Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. (Phil. 2:27 cf. 1 Thes. 4:13)
While I have been strengthened by Jesus and his gospel, I wanted now to dig into the Old Testament, which portrays many generations of parents and children living outside the Garden of Eden. What does it reflect to us about the tragedy of a parent burying their son or daughter?
In my small search, here are six things I have found that I need to tell myself and others who have lost children.Read More