There Is Hope

Author’s note: I try not to write too frequently about my angel baby boy. Thoughts of him are constantly in the back of my mind exhausting my emotions. I don’t want to exhaust others with reading about him. But this week I found hope again in dealing with his loss. I know I wrote about him last week, but I had to share that hope without letting another week go by.

OK. Ill admit it. There have been times since the loss of my son that I have become frustrated with my religion. I have felt discouraged and disheartened as prayers and pleadings have failed to cure my broken heart.

This past weekend my faith in healing was renewed as I listened to a church leader, Elder Shayne M. Bowen, speak on the loss of his 8-month-old baby boy.

He spoke on Saturday, October 5, 2012, during The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, semi-annual conference. It was hands down the best talk I have ever heard on losing a child.

Unlike most leaders in the church, Bowen validated my loneliest thoughts as he spoke of his lost son, Tyson, who choked on a piece of chalk 22 years ago. He addressed his message to those parents who have lost a child and have found themselves asking, “Why me?”

For so long I have felt guilty for asking that question. I have felt guilty for questioning my beliefs.

Bowen’s words proved to me that I am not alone. He spoke of having similar feelings and thoughts. But not only did he speak about his grief and doubts, he shared ways that he worked through his grief and doubt.

Finally I have a strong example from a stalwart church leader to guide me on my path to healing my broken heart.

A lot of times members of my church attest to being thankful for their trials and the lessons those trials have taught them. I have felt alienated from my peers because I have never felt thankful for losing my son.

In his talk Bowen said he felt guilt, anger and self-pity after the death of his baby boy. He told about the doctor telling he and his wife that there was nothing they could do and then he wondered how he was going to tell his other children that their brother wasn’t coming home.

I have wondered the exact same thing.

He said others told him that they knew how he felt – but they knew nothing of how he felt.

I have heard similar comments.

After his son died he had many sleepless nights, some of them he spent wandering his house checking on his other children.

I have wandered a similar route.

It comforted me to hear that a spiritual giant from my same religious background experienced some of the same things as me – and that he too struggled with his testimony after losing his baby.

It made me feel “normal” for the first time in a long time.

My favorite part of his talk was near the end when he described how far he has come.

“Sometimes people will ask, ‘How long did it take you to get over it?’ The truth, is you will never completely get over it until you are together once again with your departed loved ones. I will never have a fullness of joy until we are reunited in the morning of the first resurrection.”

I couldn’t have said it better. I, like elder Bowen, may be able to be happy at times, but I will never find true, complete joy until I can hug my baby boy once again.

Bowen said that Tyson remains an important part of his family, and Luca is an important part of mine.

After feeling anger, self-pity and guilt, Bowen prayed that his heart would change.
He said that through very personal, spiritual experiences he was given a new heart and even though it was still lonely and painful, his whole outlook changed.

I feel like Elder Bowen is at the peak of his mountain of grief while I am still at the summit. I still have a long way to go to work through my sorrow. But knowing that others have crested over rough boulders and sharp slopes on their way to finding peace gives me hope, hope I haven’t had in a long, long time.

I am still waiting for my new heart, but now I believe it will actually come.

If you too are struggling while dealing with the loss of a child, listen to Bowen’s talk. Hopefully it can bring you peace and hope like it did me. If nothing else, it will show you that other people have been there and you are not alone.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: What Boogers Taught Me This Year « Boogers on the Wall

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