Fall had always been my favorite season. The beauty of the changing leaves and the flight of the starlings amazed me. Since losing my son however, the arrival of Fall has brought with it a sense of dread. Now, seeing the flowers wilt and the branches become bare make my heart ache. This Thursday will be 2 years since we lost Christian. As the yellow and orange leaves scattered my front lawn, I remembered going outside to take his photo on his last birthday.
When they came to pick up the signs we rented for Christian’s birthday, I felt an ache in my heart and I didn’t know why. The fact that we would lose him 15 days later was the furthest thing from my mind.
As the 27th approaches, I want to remember God’s grace. I want to remember the kind things people did and said after Christian passed away. Sure, the pain will be there but God’s grace can be in my heart too. We literally had a roomful of flowers and a stack of sympathy cards – some from people I had never met such as a woman in Lewistown who gave us $100. I remember my friends, Tracy and Amanda, coming over to the house and offering to help with the food after the services. A woman from Kalispell who lost her son to the same disease just weeks prior drew me a picture of Christian. My dad drew a picture and my mother helped as much as she could. Another woman who lost her son to Duchenne MD flew in from Columbia Falls to attend the services. Sara from Infinity Lofts set up a dove release for us at the graveside and let my son Andrew hold and release the first dove. My good friend Michelle drove up from Lewistown and brought me something vegan to eat. Our friends Mike and Monica brought us our groceries for a couple of months until I was ready to go to the store myself. We received care packages from friends in Wyoming and Hawaii as well as family in Montana.
The pain was unimaginable but God’s grace kept us from completely breaking. Remembering the love and kindness of others makes the pain a little more bearable and gives me comfort even today.