Laying Him Down

(*repost from Caringbridge)

Dear Friends,

The boys and I arrived at the farm in Roseau tonight. They tumbled out of the van and began to play in the yard as they always do. I was keenly aware of the void (they possibly were as well but did not let on). This was not our first trip up here without Jeremy. We did it just a few months ago, for Easter, when he was still awaiting admission for transplant and the doctors required him to stay close to home. He did. And I was grateful for that, as today would have been much harder had I not already known what it feels like to be up here without him.

And grateful for a second reason, as Jeremy spent that Easter weekend home alone writing a letter to the boys and recording video clips for them and me with the possibility of death on his mind – just in case.

That possibility of death is now reality. He is gone, and the ache is so very deep. I don’t know how to explain it (and I know it need not be explained) – these days I often wish I were sixty years old and not thirty…but I am, and gratefully I have these boys who carry Jeremy’s blood –  so parts of him live on in these three little men. They are taking good care of me…

And so are you. Thank you. The encouragement and provision has been abundant.

For those of you who were able to attend the funeral, thank you for being a part of it. I hope it was a blessing. It was for me in many ways, though a touch overwhelming. To hug so many people in a greeting line only to find that when the service was over, most of the people I saw were not ones I had seen already. Then days after, realizing others were there whom I never even saw at all. Oh, how I wish I could have spent a solid amount of time with every one of you. Thank you for coming. It meant the world to us.

In the midst of that day, I found myself distracted by the thought that I wasn’t just laying Jeremy down, but so many of you – because it is history with Jeremy that has been your connection to our family. Not that I feared being abandoned (there are plenty coming to our aid and I know they will for years to come), but there is just too much history for one to try to grasp and consolidate…

But then I thought, what a great inheritance he left the boys and me. Far better than financial security, he (not even knowing), produced all these relationships in his short lifetime of which the boys and I will no doubt benefit from in unique and multiple ways in the years to come. God turns evil for good – the ache of loss into the joy of presence.

And so the healing balm of being in relationships I await (and strive for).

I mentioned to some friends that I wondered if God hadn’t let Jeremy in on seeing a bit of that service. The fulfillment he would have experienced in seeing those seats filled up, the worship, the tears shed, the memories shared – would have been a quantity only the heart of a residing citizen of heaven would have been able to experience. I do hope he was able to catch a glimpse…

Tomorrow there will be more finality, as we bury Jeremy’s body in the beautifully built casket made for him. And still my heart fights it. I don’t want this. I hate it. The hurt is more than we should be allowed to experience.

Yet, I know (and feel often) that I am loved even still by the God of the universe, who even still promises that the plans he has for me are good. I trust Him. I love Him. And I am (more than likely) more His now than I’ve ever been before.

– Jen