This past Friday ~ September 25th ~ was the six year anniversary of my oldest son, Philip's passing. Those of you who've known me for awhile know his story. For those of you who don't, I have a Dedication to Phil tab underneath my blog header. In the meantime, here's a photo of my sweet boy from when he was around 14 years old. I had this photo on my computer and it's not dated, so unfortunately, I can't remember exactly how old he was in this photo. He had the sweetest, gentlest, shy smile.
As usual, Brian, Tim and I spent part of the day at the cemetery. It's a beautiful, peaceful place ~ more like a park setting. It's one of those cemeteries that only allows the flat headstones and there's plenty of trees. Most of Phil's ashes are in an urn which is buried at the foot of my dad's grave. Brian keeps three folding chairs in his car trunk so we parked ourselves by Phil's burial spot and sat and talked for over an hour before we went out to dinner.
As we were leaving the cemetery, I noticed the stunning cloud formation above us and took a photo. It wasn't until I got home and uploaded the photo to my laptop, that I noticed the cloud was in a heart shape with a crack down the middle. WOW. How's that for a sign?
Now, if you'll indulge me for a moment, I'd like to share some words with you from a newspaper column that I just read this past Sunday. It's from the September 27, 2015 edition of the Chicago Tribune. A man named Matthew Walberg wrote an article called, "What 9 Years Since My Son's Death Have Taught".
"I am not without hope, and I know I will see him again someday. But who knows when that day will come, so I've had to learn a lot about grief in these years - or at least learn a lot about how I grieve. I've learned that you don't get to practice how you'll handle something like this....
I've learned that life can be fun again, and I can laugh and enjoy it. At the same time, grief is like a giant block of granite: The sharp edges may have softened with the passing years, but it remains as hard and as heavy as it was the day it first crashed into my life. But I've discovered that sorrow has its own beauty. It brings depth and context to all the blessings in my life."