Today was Simon’s due date. I’ve thought a lot about him throughout the day, amazed at the gift he was to us, amazed that he is was joined by his sibling Grace on July 4, and amazed at God’s grace working in us. I’m not always ready and willing to accept that grace, but I know that I am able. And if I struggle to purify myself and ready myself for that grace, it will come.
I suppose there is no one right way to mourn the death of a child. All but a few people in the world never knew that Simon existed. Mourning in public would require too many explanations. Especially in our current culture. No, our mourning is largely in secret, thinking of the little boy who brightened our world in the spring and continues to bless us to the present day.
I think April 14 will be the day we celebrate Simon in the future, the day he definitively passed from this life. That Holy Week event, interspersed among so many solemn feasts of the Church, brought into relief the solemnity of life itself. And that realization remains with us today–that life is the most precious gift we can receive. That life is something we cannot take for granted. That life is worth fighting for.
I looked at my schedule in April when Simon passed. Due dates flank the 14th like enemy fronts seeking my attention. It was four days after one work deadline, one day before another. An application was to be postmarked the day before, and we mailed it on the way home from an ultrasound. An intensive two-week course had just ended and the exam was looming. And I had just been elected to a position that required seemingly endless meetings to learn the ropes of the job.
In all that, I was drawn away from the loss of my son, drawn away from mourning for him. That mourning has come over the last few months, but the pain remains. I have the consolation that Simon sees God face-to-face. I am consoled that Simon was welcomed for All Saints Day, to share in the victory of the saints even though he was spared the battle. It is a consolation, most of all, that he intercedes for us as parents, for his sister and her holiness, and for all of us to grow in the love and life he experiences fully in heaven.
Music seems to evoke a particular kind of emotion, and a new song by Stephen Curtis Chapman speaks directly to the loss of a child, the hope of a parent, and the grace God continues to pour out on His children. God bless.
And Steven Curtis Chapman’s explanation of the song is moving as well.