Flowers in the Snow
There are two dates that are forever ingrained in the mind of a parent who has lost a child: the day they were born and the day they died.
It’s easier to look back on the day my son was born and remember the happy feelings of introducing him to his older siblings, giving him his first bath or even simply snuggling. But it’s a lot harder to have any positive feelings about the day he died.
I want to hate February. And the color red and hearts and Valentine’s Day. And especially the number 28.
It feels wrong and broken and hopeless all wrapped up in one. And part of me wants to kick and scream at the unfairness of it all, while the other side wants to shut my eyes and just wish this day away completely.
Then I am reminded how much God has redeemed.
On that very same day that Solomon died, February 28, 2018, a dear friend welcomed her baby boy into the world. We had gotten together only the week prior and she had met Solomon for the first time.
Over this past year, she has remembered Solomon by sending cards or gifts to encourage or uplift me. Because each month as her baby gets a little older, it’s been a little longer since I’ve held mine. It was such a heart-wrenching example of the verse, “The Lord giveth and the Lord take the away,”
I still have not been back to visit the park that we played at the morning of Solomon’s death. I have a hard time even looking back at the picture I snapped there that morning and shared here—just a simple, carefree photo of the boys playing in the sandbox. No idea that only a few hours later my entire life would feel like it was falling apart.
Then not long ago I received a notice in the mail that the very same park was looking for funds to build a new playground structure. All donations over a certain amount will have a name memorialized at the park. And Solomon will be remembered there.
God even cares about the sorrow I feel towards a park.
Friend, I’m not sure what kind of brokenness or pain you’re experiencing right now in your life, but I just want to encourage you that God doesn’t want to leave you there. The pain right now might feel like it will never go away and life can never be righted again, but God WILL bring you through it if you follow Him.
I still don’t love February and I don’t imagine that I ever will. But as I think back over this year, I’m reminded of something from the story of Lazarus. When Jesus arrived in Bethany, He didn’t scold Mary and Martha for their tears or try to remind them that everything was going to work out. He simply wept.
Over this past year, God hasn’t given me some deep insight into the purpose behind Solomon’s death. He hasn’t answered all my questions or righted every tough situation. But He has been there.
When we’re fresh in the middle of the sorrow and sadness, Jesus doesn’t come with all the answers. He just comes.
And over time, maybe we can look back and see some of the beauty in the middle of the pain. Like flowers coming up right in the snow. I’m learning that sometimes the best way to be like Jesus isn’t to try to change someone’s sorrow, it’s to simply be with them in the midst of it.