Sunday, June 26, 2016




  1. the act or process of closing something, especially an institution, thoroughfare, or frontier, or of being closed:
    "hospitals that face closure" ·
    "road closures"
    synonyms: closing down · shutdown · termination · discontinuation
     2.   a sense of resolution or conclusion at the end of an artistic work:
          "he brings modernistic closure to his narrative"

I would say that May and June are particularly hard months around our house, but that would not be quite true.  They are difficult months to be sure.  With Jonathan's birthday sandwiched closely between Mother's Day and Father's Day, there is no escape from the accompanying series of painful but necessary reminders.  But then again, it seems that every month and season has its own unique blend of reminders and special brand of pain.

June 10th was Jonathan's birthday.  He would have been 30 years old.  THIRTY!!  We should have spent the day as a family swimming and cooking out.  We should have been telling countless stories about his childhood over his half-hearted objections -- doing our best to embarrass him in front of his latest girlfriend or even his wife by now. 

It is still impossible to believe he is gone, and unfathomable that he didn't live to see his thirtieth birthday.  The thought that he will never get married or have children is beyond heartbreaking.  It wasn't just a single life that was destroyed, but the generations that would have followed.

At some point this last week my wife Pam commented that our other son, Christian, will be 26 this year.  From a distance that might seem like just an observation of fact.  From a parent, it is usually (and was in this case) intended as a commentary on how fast our children grow up.  But as Pam uttered those words the first thought that came to my mind was that Christian's time on the earth would soon surpass his brother's twenty-seven years. 

Pam and I have never discussed this, but as she uttered those words the look on her face changed too.  She strained to recover and quickly moved on to a new subject.  She did her best not to let that thought ruin the moment.  The truth is that not even I can fully understand a mother's pain.

Just this morning Pam and I watched a clip from the Passion of the Christ that was played in a class we attend together on Sunday mornings.  It is a compelling film -- showing in graphic detail the price that Jesus paid for all of us.

One of the subplots in the film that we should not forget is that Mary was a real woman -- a REAL mother -- who had to watch her son suffer incomprehensible pain ... and death.  As we watched the scene depicting Mary wiping up the blood of Jesus from the ground our minds inescapably migrated to our own pain.  Our thoughts quickly moved to the death of our own son.

I mention all of this because from time-to-time people will use the word "closure" when they talk about the loss of our son.  It is a non sequitur in the context of losing a child.  "Closure" is neither possible nor desirable.  Closure -- whatever that means -- will never come.


1 comment:

Cheves said...

Deeply moving. Your openness in loss is a testament to the faith. As you've noted to me, the saints in the Scriptures suffered as we do; "triumphant living" means holding fast to God when things make absolutely zero since. God is using you. The day is close, brother, when sorrow will turn to unimaginable, eternal joy when we meet Him face to face. God bless you and your family.