Monday, July 7, 2014
Love After Death
I love you to the moon and back.
I love you beyond tomorrow.
Love. Love for kids. Love for our kids.
Who knows how deep it is?
Who knows better than a bereaved mother?
With the births of my first three children, I loved them in all their red-faced fuzziness. By the time my fourth child was born, I knew I loved her more than ever.
Did I love her more?
No, but I knew of the depth of my capacity to love.
What had changed?
My second child, Daniel, had died just three months earlier.
And with his death, I realized how great and vast and powerful and consuming a mother's love is for her child. And that once a child is gone, there is a fierceness to love, to love that continues, but has no living-on-earth object of love.
It's been nearly eighteen years since Daniel died from cancer treatments in 1997.
Every single day my love has grown for him and for his siblings.
I know the ache of loss and absence and that both of these bring you to a new understanding. Love goes on after death. On and on. And it is a kind of love that can take your breath away.
I knew I loved my children before Daniel left us, but I wasn't aware of how pulsating and immense this love was.
If you have lost a child to death, you know just what I mean.
If you have not lost a child, you think your love is already great. It is, I will not deny that. It is growing as all living things grow. But you can not know how your love can make you yearn so much for one who is no longer there by your side. You cannot know the extent of longing for one you will no longer see----even if only at Christmas because he lives overseas. This love can only be experienced in this way after you have had to say good-bye.
There is something about the permanency of death that makes us realize how much we can love because once that child is gone from us, we feel the sorrow of life without a living person to give that love to. But it's more than that, we recognize how devastated we are without this person in our lives and now entwined that child is to us. Even in death.
What irony that it takes death to discover this love.
Is it true then? She/He who has lost much, loveth more? Or does she just understand the ocean-like quality of love more completely?
Hug your children.
Cherish the memories.