“Sorry, but give it some rest. He was not Jesus Christ!”
This was the random comment left on my Facebook page last week when I said I had a new entry on my blog about grief. It ranks up there with the person who asked Mary Ann and I a few weeks after Oliver’s death, “are you done grieving yet?” Um…no?
I’m guessing this person has not read my blog because it really is not about Oliver, but about grief. Now, my CarePages were about Oliver and I’ve said before that I do believe God worked through Oliver in a special way (God has been known to do this on occasion). Was Oliver really Jesus? I think one of my more flippant comments was that I would have seen Oliver three days after we buried him, but that did not happen!
Was he perfect? Yes, a perfect 6-year-old. Which means he could be loving and angry within a span of seconds, once kicked a nurse he loved, and could give an glare that was, well, a little scary. And he could hug you and say his prayers and ask for yet another book at bedtime. And his hug when I came home from work was definitely divine.
But actually Christ? Trust me, random commenter, I know the difference.
This is Jesus Christ.
This is Oliver.
I went back and looked over some of the posts to see if I implied this, but I don’t see it. Do I talk about Oliver? Well, of course. Will I apologize for that? Nope. Not one bit. And if anyone thinks I’m obsessed with missing Oliver, they are clearly missing the point. I miss Oliver every day. I pray for him every day. I also pray for my other children everyday. And my grandchild. And my wife. And a host of others. I even prayed for the random commenter since I’m such a great Christian (and I’m sure God did not notice it being said between clenched teeth since Jesus [not my son], tells me to do these kind of things).
And no, I don’t walk around all day in a deep depression. I laugh, I work, I think clearly un-Christian-like thoughts, and I also think about Oliver and Dov and Gray and Maria and Scout and…you get the idea. But I do find it helpful to reflect on what it means to suffer a loss and maybe connect with others who feel the same loss.
So, what is this blog about. As the name so subtly implies, it is “after” Oliver. In other words, what is left behind when we lose someone we love. You could rename it “after [insert name here]” since those who grieve share something in common. I cannot speak for everyone else, but I can share my grief. My blog might use Oliver as a starting point for a conversation, but I hope to point to something more.
Last week I wrote about how sometimes it just does not seem fair — a feeling I probably share with anyone who has lost a child or a spouse or someone who is part of their daily fabric. The week before that I wrote about how we don’t have a first day of school picture to share not, as I pointed out, to make others sad but to let them appreciate what they do have. And for those countless parents who also feel a pang of loss on the first day of school, or Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, it is my way of letting people know they are not alone.
So, I’m not going to give it some rest. And I’m not even adding in “sorry” because I’m not apologizing for it. Everyone may follow along or not on this journey, read the blog or not, be a friend or not on Facebook, but if you want to know me without me grieving Oliver, it is not an option. Oliver and all my children will always be a part of my life.
I’m actually happy to be able to grieve, because it means I’ve been able to love. As such, I will likely grieve more in life because I love so many people. Grief comes from love, but love makes grief worth enduring.