Tomorrow, if he would have been a normal baby, Henryk would be nine months old. I find myself wondering what special days they celebrate in heaven? Will they feel like it’s as significant as I will? It always has felt like a milestone – as much time out of the womb as in it. I remember at this age, Lily was saying, “Hi!” to everyone she met. I realized the other day that if he were normal he would surely be crawling by now. The baby gate would be up and I would be running around after him getting into everything! I was sitting on the couch when I thought of this and looked down and my floor was empty.
This week my mom is watching my nephew so Lily and I drove to Wisconsin to meet up with them and my grandma. I took the opportunity to go to Marathon to the cemetery alone for the first time. It is only the second time since we buried him that I have gone. It was just the most beautiful day out. The cemetery is up on a hill and the sun was shining and the breeze was blowing. The ground was finally dry of all the snow.
I cried as hard as I did the day we buried him. I am continually struck by the fact that he isn’t coming back. No matter how much we hurt we can’t get him back. I have heard that everyone who has a significant person die needs to deal with God’s sovereignty. I have very much felt the need to do that in the past months. I have been reading a lot about suffering and about God’s power. I have all of these questions that just keep pounding in my head. It has felt like a very lot of work.
These questions and resolving them have caused me to think about if I believe what I have believed in the past about Christ and God. It’s interesting, I fully understand that whether I believe in something or not doesn’t make it true. Lily has a way of arguing with us about situations every once in awhile. We will tell her that her bunny is up in her room. She will say, “No he’s not, he’s in the car where I left him.” And no matter how much I tell her that her bunny is up in her room because I brought him in myself when she forgot, she won’t believe me. But her not believing it doesn’t make it false. It’s still as true as it was before. So will I believe what I know is true?
Sitting there by his grave I told God that I knew He was true but I just hurt so much it was hard, too much work, to believe it. But where else would I go? And why not believe in what I have so much proof is true? Why all this work? Why am I not resting in Him and His character? So I believe. I believe that God is good. I believe that God is loving. God will not let me go. He knows that I cannot do life without Him much less death without Him. And in this belief in Christ there is hope in the resurrection and in hope there is joy. The possibility of joy again. I laid down next to Henryk’s grave on my side looking at his spot. Just me and him again. The flowers from the funeral are still there. The ground still looks like freshly dug dirt. It was wonderful to lay next to him again, even if only for an hour, even if it wasn’t truly him.
I laid in my own burial plot next to my baby’s. Michael’s is on the other side of Henryk. I think that it is good for us to know death as such a reality, so much a reality that we can lay in our own spot saved for when we too go away, so that we can somehow learn to make the most of the time here.