“How’ve you been?”, she asked. Then quickly apologised.

Last night I saw a friend that I hadn’t seen for a few months. Naturally, she asked about me, then remembered my new normal. I’m positive I would have done the same. I let her know that I get it, and thanked her for not giving me the “oh, look it’s Poor Abbie” greeting.

I don’t know how I would be if I encountered a woman who’d recently lost her child to death. I imagine searching her face for cues, how to appropriately proceed in the most compassionate, least hurtful way.

No easy task, I’m sure.

At any given moment, 94 days a.d., I may have my “happy and functional” mask on, or I might be struggling to keep my focus on the here and now.

I understand, now, why older folks often have watery eyes. I’m getting to where I can almost keep the rest of my face from giving my heart away.

Sometimes I can ALMOST hear his laughter. Other times I am standing beside his hospital bed as he gasps his last breaths.

I remember when my Dad died, many years ago, in his bed at home. When the last breath left his body, I heard a wail that I’d never heard before. Because we were at his house, it wasn’t a consideration, to be quiet. The sound that came out of me, was other-worldly. It was the sound of my heart shattering, my spirit felt like it had momentarily expired, with him.

When Benjamin left the bondage of his mortal shell, I was aware of the others there. My younger son. Benjamin’s wife. Our sobs were subdued, but not the agony.

I suppose on a purely spiritual level, our hearts’ cries exploded together, a blood curdling protest. The weeping was only beginning that day. I suppose it will end when our lives here are over.

I know when I see his face again my eyes will be flooded with tears of joy. I will see him again. Each day brings me closer to that glorious moment…

Anyway. I found this image somewhere online. It’s the artist’s conception of a parent, having lost a child.


I guess it’s different for those who lost a young child, adolescent, teenager. For me, I am eternally grateful to have been given Ben’s presence through his 25th year. I am so happy that he found his soulmate, Tisha, and made sure that she had a beautiful wedding. He left behind a life of laughter and compassion, touching so many people with his own, delightful, eclectic love.

Nonetheless. That hole will never go away. I’m willing to accept that.

God has promised to be near to the broken hearted. I can assure you, it’s true. I hope you never need to know.

I can’t be anything but grateful for how long Benjamin lived. His life was miraculous from the beginning and throughout. I can’t help but thank God for the joy Ben brought me, even praying for a brother who has been a constant delight, as well.

My story may seem to be remarkable to some, but the stories of my children and their lives are really the amazing and beautiful ones.

God bless you. Thank you for reading.



6 responses to ““How’ve you been?”, she asked. Then quickly apologised.

  1. Beautiful, heart crushing description of witnessing a beloved one die. Possibly the best thing you’ve written. Pain definitely takes us to the edge of ourselves. That’s where God lives. 💔🦋🦄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a sweet friend named Liz that I sent this to. She just lost her daughter. I hope she reaches out to you and you guys can be there for each other in some way. You both are amazing writers. My heart hurts for you both as I read your beautiful words. It’s as if I am traveling through the pain with you.
    You are in my prayers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for such kind words. I hope your friend will reach out to me, too. Liz and I have been commandeered into a position where you hope and pray there will be no others coming to join…but knowing there will be.
      Thanks again. God bless.