A heart grown weary,
A soul shattered by loss.
How can it be, that I still live,
And yet my son does not.

As mother Mary, “kept these things,”
I pondered in my own heart.
Did Mary know her Son would die?
As surely, I did not.

Mary cried,
for her Savior Son.
And I, for mine,
We have a mother’s heart.

Inspired by Luke 1:19, “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” (KJV)

The poem above is rough, but it says much about how Mary’s situation kept me going after Joshua died by suicide. When all I wanted was to be with Joshua, I would think of Mary. I’d read every scripture written about her. I would nod. “I believe, Mary, I know how you may have felt.”

In Joshua’s journals, he mentioned more than once what a burden he was to us with his physical disability. He wrote about how he wanted the best for his parents. I’d rather have had my son be my cross to bear, than to be with empty arms.

I wish, oh, how I wish, he would have understood how we felt. Did we give mixed signals? Did the times I was worn down with caring for him show?

I thank God that Joshua left us his journals. He cleared up several issues for which we felt guilty. We thought some of the decisions we made had pushed him to his death.

No. They did not.

Joshua even wrote, “I don’t know what will happen to me when my parents are gone.”

Before his death, I pondered much in my heart, watching Joshua deteriorate. And still, I ponder. What would life be like if Joshua had lived?

I’ll leave you with a scripture. Psalm 19:14. “Let the words of my mouth, and the mediation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (KJV)

Jean Ann Williams 2011


Jean Williams

Jean Williams, a freelance writer, lost her young adult son Joshua to suicide in 2004. She lives in Southern Oregon in a mountain valley community where she works on short stories for adults and novels for young people. She grows a large garden on an acre of land with her husband, who is a retired police detective. Jean is the mother of three grown children and grandmother of 12. Jean has been a practicing Christians for 38 years and owes her life to God. Many times after Joshua's death, Jean wished she could join her son in the afterlife, but her faith in God kept her on earth. The last few years have been filled with joy, as Jean reaches out to help others through their grief process. http://joshua-mom.blogspot.com

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