There was no rain, just some dark misty clouds. There in the sky was a beautiful rainbow. We were traveling home from the hospital after our son Lucas died, and saw the rainbow come from nowhere. It stayed with us 10 minutes or so, and I knew deep within me that God had sent that sight for me, to give me some sort of peace or hope for the future.
It has been over a year since we beheld that gorgeous sight, and every time I see a rainbow, I am reminded of it, and I have to smile. A sad smile, but a smile, nevertheless.
I have always had a very soft spot in my heart for someone who had lost a child. My kids were the light of my world, and I could not imagine a pain of that magnitude. July 30, 2008, that pain was mine. Lucas was 33 years old, my first born, a husband and father. He died after a short fight with cancer. There are many dimensions to his death, as some of us lost a son, one lost a husband, two lost a father, four lost a brother, and on and on.
At first, there was a feeling that this can’t be true. Sometimes that emotion still visits as I touch his face in a picture. Then, the knowledge and pain that mean he is really gone came to visit. Tears seem to come from nowhere, at times I would never expect. There is simply no description for the sorrow a mother feels when she knows she will never see her child again.
A few months after Lucas’s death, I visited a griefshare support group. All the members of the group had lost a loved one. As I sat and listened to other’s stories, I realized I was not alone in my pain. My pain was not diminished, but my heart was eased to see that others are making this same journey.
During one of the sessions, someone spoke of a “new normal.” All the experiences of our lives shape us, and this journey of grief is now a part of me. I knew at that moment that my life would continue. It would continue with a “new normal.”
I have been changed by this tragedy, and I am the only one who can determine what that normal will be. I cannot let my LIFE be consumed with Lucas’s death. My hurt will be with me until the day I die, but my life can still have meaning and purpose….meaning and purpose colored by the loss of a part of my being. I will still smile, I will still cry, I will still love, I will always remember, and the new normal will take its place in my life.Tags: grief, hope, signs and connections