Just a few months ago, I was stunned to learn that a friend of mine had lost her 5 year old little boy while on a family vacation to Costa Rica. My heart immediately broke, that pit in my stomach returned, and a flood of emotions came rushing back in as I contemplated all that my friend would now be going through. A journey all too similar to my own lay before her, and all I could do was cry for her, over and over again.
We met for lunch, and I told her, “I’m not going to even ask how you’re doing, because I already know.” Tears came to her eyes as she said, “You know… I just miss him. I know he’s going to be okay, I know I’m going to see him again, but I just miss him.” We commiserated and cried together as we shared stories, finding it difficult to eat the food before us. As we parted ways that afternoon, that phrase, “I just miss him,” stayed with me.
It’s been nearly four years since my little boy passed to the other side of the veil, that beautiful partition between Heaven and Earth, and you know, I just miss him. Four years and I still just long to hold him. I know that his spirit is alive and well, every now and then I get a taste of his powerful spirit, but it’s only a glimpse. I know he’s close to our family and that he’s aware of us, but we are still so separate. Gravity holds me here while he is now boundless. Time keeps passing for me, while he has moved to eternity.
I know the separation is important. I know the veil maintains the test that is mortality. As the scholar Neil A. Maxwell so beautifully said, “Without the veil, our brief mortal walk in a darkening world would lose its meaning—for one would scarcely carry the flashlight of faith at noonday and in the presence of the Light of the World” (Patience, 1979). But sometimes the longing of a mother for her child is so deep, you just wish you could reach across if only for a moment.
I know I’m still a work in progress, and I’ve got a lot left to do here on earth. I’m thankful for the three other amazing children I get to raise. I’m thankful for the knowledge of a loving, wise, Father in Heaven, who has so carefully selected a particular course for me. I know “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28) and that in the end I will only see His wisdom and mercy. But for now….