This week it will have been 2 years since Christian went to be with the Lord.
In this second full year of grief, one of the things that I have missed the most has been saying his name out loud.
CHRISTIAN EDWARD DREWS.
I just miss saying it, y'all! I miss exasperatedly saying "Christian Edward!" as I would catch him outside with the waterhose again, after having changed his clothes 3 times already before lunch. Or whispering "I love you, Christian." as I would kiss his sleeping face before going to bed myself.
And I miss hearing it, too.
This past May, I attended a conference for mothers that have lost children.
(I hate to even use the word "lost" because Christian isn't lost... How can someone be lost when you know exactly where they are?)
Anyhow, at this conference for grieving moms we had a candle lighting to remember our children and speak their names out loud.
At this candle lighting, the darkened room was filled with moms lining shoulder to shoulder along the outside walls. We each took our turn to walk up to the table, light a candle, and say our child's name into the microphone.
Oh how I loved that bittersweet moment! I could say his name loud and clear and amplified!
Even if I choked up immediately after.
When all the mothers had taken their turn to say their child's name (or even children's names), we sang "This little light of mine." You know that children's song...
This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let is shine.
Some words were spoken as we stood awash in our own thoughts. The room became almost silent, punctuated with some sobs and one grief stricken woman wailing for her precious daughter that had died by suicide only a couple months before. (Oh how my heart went out to her!)
One by one, we blew out our candles.
I didn't want to blow my candle out. I was torn between practical and emotional. Practical said to blow it out, no sense keeping it lit since it's not like that little candle is Christian's life or anything. It's not like holding on to that flame would somehow be holding on to Christian himself. Emotional, on the other hand, wanted to pretend and put some sort of deeper meaning into the flame and light and believe all that craziness that Practical said wasn't true.
Practical won out and I extinguished the candle with a quick breath of air.
And the room became a little darker without the light that was born when Christian's name was spoken.
What a blessing it was to have been able to say his name out loud. And for his name to be received by the compassionate ears of mothers that understood me.
Say My Child's NameNever are the names of our children mentioned. A curtain descends. The moment has passed. A life slips from frequent recall. There are exceptions: close and compassionate friends, sensitive and loving family. For most, the drama is over. The spotlight is off. Applause is silent. But for me the play will never end. The effects on me are timeless.Say the name of my child to me. On the stage of my life my child has been both lead and supporting actor. Do not tiptoe around the greatest event of my life. Love does not die. My child's name is written on my life. The sound of the voice replays within my mind. You say he was my child. I say "is".Say the name to me and say it again. It hurts to bury the memory in silence. What is in spirit stirs within me always. My child is of my past but is part of my now. My hope for the future. You say not to remind me. How little you understand I cannot forget. I would not if I could. I understand you, but feel pain in being forced to do so.I forgive you, because you cannot know. And I would forgive you anyway. I accept how you see me, but understand that you see me not at all. I strive not to judge you, for yesterday I was like you. I love you; will make no expectations toward you. But I wish you could understand that I dwell both in flesh and in spirit.The mystery is that you do too, but know it not. I do not ask you to walk this road. The ascent is steep and the burden heavy. I walk it not by choice. I am what I have to be. What I have lost you cannot feel. What I have gained you cannot see. And I would not have you.Say my child's name for my child is alive in me. We will meet again, though in many ways we have never parted. Say the name to me and say it again. My child is my child and I love as I always did. Say my child's name.-Donald Hackett
Whether a child or a spouse, the loss of someone that you love deeply cannot be measured.
For my friends and sisters-in-Christ that have suffered loss, I want to say these names out loud to you.
Josh and Jennifer
Kelly Christine Fitzpatrick
Whether it has been 6 months or 16 years, I promise that the sound of their child's name will never get old to a mom and dad's ears. It will be music.
Maybe you should make music sometime soon. :)
*If I left your child's name out, sweet friend, I am so very sorry. Please send me a msg (and link if you blog) and I would be honored to say your child's name out loud too.