Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Long Losing

Today, on the longest day in history... the day between Good Friday and the Resurrection, the day when death seemed to reign and all was quiet and hopeless, we attend a memorial service with our dear friends for their boy who died here just a few weeks ago.

Do you ever stop the losing?
In that ever present moment, when
if he were here
with those doleful eyes like his dad
and the sun flecked hair like his mama
the freckles sprinkled across the bridge of his nose,
he would be here.
Three weeks older than he was
just three weeks ago.

And when you’re all sitting around the table for dinner,
And his seat is empty.
When the grades come home from school,
But for the first time there is his card,
And next time, there won’t be a card at all.

Does it stop five years from now,
When he would have been sixteen,
When you imagine his body grown and firmed up,
the muscles sinewy and the hair on his legs coarse and man-like.
His eyes, still doleful like his dad’s
Still the sunflecked hair and freckles
Like his mama.
But he isn’t here, and you are still
Losing him
In these ever present moments,
days and years
That keep passing by without him
Though you still can’t imagine it so.

Do you ever stop the losing?
When it’s the year he would have worn the cap and gown
And you would have said a different goodbye
Sending him off with pride and expectation
And maybe a little sadness and apprehension
Except now you’re closest memories are still
Those of his eleven year old face
Still fresh from boyhood,
The year you lost him
And began the years
of the Losing That Never Stops.

Sister gets married and maybe younger brother next
And all the while you can
Imagine him standing there,
Clasping their shoulders,
Laughing with a teasing smile.
But his smile is lost to you,
To all of you.
Because he is not here
And you always imagined he would be
So you lose him all over again.

Does it ever stop?
Twenty years, thirty years? Fifty?
Do you want it to?
When you held him small and red faced,
Fed him through the night and
Watched him toddle first steps,
Did you think that if you might lose him,
You would rather not have these moments at all?

His life, a gift.
And your life, forever threaded and branded with it.
To stop losing him would be a sort of death to your own soul.
To lose him over and over means
You never stop magnifying the gift he was to you.
But will it ever stop hurting?
Can you endure this, the losing
Of him—your son?
Your precious, God-given
And taken

The Son of Man once said,
If you lose your life for my sake, you will find it.
So maybe in the losing
All is not,
And he,
your doe-eyed, sun-flecked, freckle-faced boy,
 is not

The Son of Man once said,
Cast all your burdens on him.
So when the losing grows too great,
Or swells with too many years,
Or even long before then,
May He, who was once lost to his own Father,
Carry the Losing for you.


  1. Beautifully written. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your heart, your thoughts. Thank you Jesus that we are not lost in You.

  3. lovely post!!! i just spent almost 2weeks in china for work, now i'm in hong kong waiting for my husband to arrive =)