In the very early hours of that Thursday morning on June 28, 2018, you allowed the worst thing possible for a parent to happen to Jason and me. I don’t want to relive it now, not even in your presence, Father. But losing our son, Landen, was the end of something and the beginning of this new thing. I can’t tell you how I felt. It was increasing degrees of pain. Grief was like my heart’s descent into shards of glass that cut and cut and cut again. And a whirlwind of emotion, a blur of condolences, snatches of clarity. He left me four days before his twelfth birthday. And instead of a party to celebrate his stepping into pre-teendom, we kept vigil over his body. The husk that used to contain so much life. And later, a butterfly alit on my hand as I laughed, and we released balloons into the stratosphere with thoughts on the gift you gave us in our son, brother, grandson, nephew, friend, and inspiration.
It was the beginning of this something new. Today is November 29, 2022, and I am a new creation. Three years inside a cocoon, a metamorphosis occurred beneath your gentle fingers. I’m ready to talk about it now, Lord. I am ready to sing the song of the beloved. For that is what I am, wholly and deeply loved.
And Landen is not some memory to be mourned. He does not exist in the past, but he is present with you, Lord, and I’ll find him there when I step into that glorious future.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).