I found myself wondering recently if there is anything good about grief. I came up with two.
One, grief has strengthened my resolve to be a better mom. I have purposed in my heart to not let my son's death be in vain. One of the ways in which I see that happening is in improving my relationships with the rest of my children. My relationship with our oldest was not good, at least definitely not the last two years he was here. I yelled. A LOT. I honestly did not understand him. He was a complete enigma to me. I had, in fact, the contact information of a counselor sitting on my desk the week Matt died. I wanted so badly to have a better relationship with my son. But the opportunity here on earth is forever gone. I do believe that we would have eventually worked things out and gotten on better with one another eventually, but it is something I think I will always regret, not getting the chance to do that or see the results. We only get one chance. One. I am more convicted and convinced, too, that a lot of Matt's and my struggles were because of me. I know without a doubt, and without condemnation, that my response, and my actions, could have been so much better. I will not let my son's death not make a change for the better in me.
Two, the death of my son has left me with a longing for Heaven that would have never been there otherwise. Heaven, which is God's dwelling place, is promised for those of us who trust Jesus Christ as the LORD and Savior of our life. God's plan has always been for us to spend eternity with Him. And this world, earth, is not our home. It is but a poor reflection of our true home, Heaven, seen through the tainted eyes of sin, sickness, and death. Before the loss of my child, my thoughts about Heaven were pretty vague, more along the lines of, "Yeah. It'll be neat." But truthfully, there was no deep burning desire to really go there, no excited anticipation. Just more of a ho-hum, matter-of-fact, "won't that be nice" attitude. I can say with assurance that not a day goes by without thinking of my son, and neither does a day go by now that I also don't think about being in Heaven and living on the new earth, one without death, sorrow, crying, or pain. Eternity without sin, accidents, or sickness. Eternity with God the Father and Jesus His Son, who died for us, so that we might live forever with Him. Amen!