Faith as guidance

by Jim Young, Levine & Dickson Hospice House – Huntersville volunteer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy son recently got married.  What a joyous event it was! I was so proud of my son and daughter-in-law as they stood before God and claimed their heartfelt love to each other.  I guess you could say they put the cart before the horse, though, because they also announced they were going to have a baby.  It took everyone by surprise, for sure, but we were all on cloud nine (especially the parents of the bride and groom), excited not only for the newlyweds but also for ourselves as we thought about becoming grandparents for the very first time.

It is amazing when you receive such news as the upcoming birth of a child.  I found myself dreaming of a grandson or granddaughter, embracing future excursions, and having conversations about anything and everything.  I was at the top of the world knowing that our family values and heritage would go on. I looked forward to talking to my grandchild about the people in our family they would never meet in their lifetime and explaining how the love that these people carried in their lives is now carried in the hearts of those who remember them.

So much to share, so much to embrace.  But it was not to be because yesterday my son informed us that they had lost the baby.  In one brief moment, our world suddenly came crashing down.  One second everything was fine, and then everything went the other way.  I could not hold back the tears when I heard the news.  I cried not only for the loss that my son and his new bride were now enduring, but also for what was not to be — the bonding of love, a new life in a parent’s arms, two souls embracing feelings that go far beyond our humanity’s comprehension.  Now that tiny piece of creation is lost.  What could I say to ease the pain?  What could I do to help soothe the sorrow?  I looked for the answers to these difficult questions and the only place where I knew to look was inside in my faith.

Because I volunteer for hospice, I thought it would be easier to handle this loss of life.  I guess you never really know how you’ll handle something like this until it happens to you.  How I wished this was all a bad dream; that I would suddenly wake up and it would be all over.  But in reality, the truth is sometimes very difficult to accept.  Accept it we must, though, if we are to ever find any closure to the heartache we endure with death.  I truly hurt for my son and daughter-in-law as I pray for God to take this pain from them and give it to me.  Anything to ease their hearts.

How many times in hospice have we seen life taken too short or too tragically because of an unforgiving foe like cancer?  How many moments have we missed because a loved one faded away from life too early?  How many times have the whys overwhelmed the hopes and prayers of someone before hospice was called, a move that brought some clarity and peace to a painful diagnosis?

Difficult moments, some passing very quickly, and others feeling like an eternity, motivate us to find a solution to all the pain and heartache, and in the end, our faith may be the only hope we have in finding the peace we all seek, and want, for everyone involved.

Our faith is unique indeed.  Each person searches for answers to questions about life and death, but our faith is guidance.  It was this wisdom I shared with my son, assuring him that their faith will carry them through this tragic loss.  Just as my faith will carry me.

It eases my pain knowing my son and daughter-in-law both look to their own faith for guidance, and they will lean upon their family for comfort as we all grieve the loss of someone we will never embrace in this lifetime.  I know in my heart that my first grandchild, who never took a single breath, is waiting on the far side of eternity with all of our families and generations before us.  In the end, we will all carry this child in our hearts in remembrance.  Until then, rest peacefully, my grandchild.  Rest in peace.

Explore posts in the same categories: advocacy, awareness, end of life, grief, hospice

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2 Comments on “Faith as guidance”

  1. That was beautiful Jim, thanks so much for sharing this story with us and reminding us how important faith and family are so we don’t take it for granted… I volunteer at LDHHS and you are right.. while we face death daily, until it touches someone close to us it takes on a whole different meaning… I hope you let your Hospice family of volunteers know when perhaps another blessed event comes along 🙂

  2. […] has been quite some time since I have put my thoughts to paper, and the last time was when I lost my first grandchild.  There have been many joyous times since this loss: the union of family at Christmas, walking my […]

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