Saturday, February 6, 2010

You just go.

I went to a wake today. The teenage son of a High School classmate of mine died tragically this week. It was a sad day; the shocking loss, the burdens to be borne by the parents, siblings. What struck me more than anything else? The caring & tenderness between these bereaved parents - the high school friend & his precious wife. These two – deep & early into their bereavement – shared an almost palpable energy. It held them together as they huddled with visitors; nodding with some, clinging to others. It emanated from him as he helped her to a seat when the weight of their burden took her knees from her. It shone from her eyes as they slid to meet his in a lighter, easier moment.

It had been that way when we he first introduced her at our 20th reunion. The pride swelling in his chest, the adoring smiles & sweetness in each other’s glances told of a love that was rich & true; one that had spanned the stretch of some life together. Today, in the midst of a sadness that few parents know & fewer marriages survive, these two leaned into that love for dear life. You just can’t do that if there’s nothing to lean into. And for these two, there is. Thanks be to God, because they’re going to need it.

Life is not fair. This is not fair. There’s no way to explain that something like this should happen to anyone at all, much less to two bound by such a sweetness, with such an obvious love for their first born. There’s no way to decipher the meaning in the events of this week.

In these moments you simply go. You embrace the shattered mother, friend. You embrace the tearful, heartsick father. You go because it doesn’t matter what you say or don’t say. It matters that you’re there. You go, because they need to know someone will remember their son.

You go, because you would want someone to remember yours.

You go. You just go.



Joe said...

Those are some of the toughest times we face. Your presence, of course, was greatly appreciated by the bereaved.

As they deal with their grief, pray that God's matchless grace will become more and more evident to them with each passing day.

jadedfellow said...

To lose a child is a loss that can not be understood until it is experienced.

It has been just shy of ten years and all the moments simply go by as I wait to embrace Elizabeth again. I confess I do not understand fairness, but when a twelve year old can say, "I am ready Daddy"; faith, love and the I AM become a bit more clear.

I pray that the parents can make it thru the grief and find grace in the mystery of it all.

ExPatMatt said...


My deepest condolences to the bereaved. I'm sure your presence there, Susannah, was greatly appreciated as is your post here.

Kind Regards,


Susannah said...

Joe~ Thank you so very much for your prayers. It is an especially difficult situation due to the circumstances. They will need matchless grace, which is sure to be present.

JF~ My true & heartfelt condolences to you in your loss. Your experience, as my friend's, is a stunning thing that I can only simply imagine. Thank you for sharing your heart here. It is a privilege to read your words.

Matt~ Thank you for your kindness & sincerity. I trust that having more people be there, rather than less was a comfort.

David Wyatt said...


Thank you for sharing this tragedy with us, & reminding us that this is exactly what our Lord Jesus did when we needed Him most, at that moment we realized we were lost & separated from Him, He came & saved us. We pray for this dear family. God bless you.

Susannah said...

DW~ Thank you so very much. I am sure that this is what the family is leaning on, counting on.

オテモヤン said...
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Laurie S. said...

In a moment of unspeakable tragedy, it is God's mercy to give us a glimmer of such beauty. "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Cor. 13:13. During a time that I cannot understand, with a pain that I do not wish to know, these parents can cling to a love that will remain. And we know that redemption will come, and God truly will bring beauty from the ashes.

Susannah said...

Oh dear, dear Laurie~ How beautifully said: that it truly is God's mercy to "give us a glimmer of such beauty." I'm sure you saw it too, with our dear friends.

"And we know that redemption will come, and God truly will bring beauty from the ashes."

Tears in my eyes even as I type these words. Thank you.

Jodi Barnes said...

Thank you. Thank you. I can't imagine what my daughter's friend's parents are going through and will for some time. I hope they hold onto one another instead of splitting apart, which is statistically more likely. Your writing is beautiful and brings me comfort. Much love, Jodi