Five Years

15 Apr

April 18.  This year, 2016, it will mark five years since Isaac’s death.  There is a popular saying that “time heals all wounds.”  I don’t agree with that statement, but I do believe that time provides perspective.

The first anniversaries of Isaac’s death were difficult to endure.  The first year we felt a need to get away for the day and try to focus on something else.  The second year was a much more quiet remembrance.  I really don’t remember the third and fourth anniversaries.

So why does this year feel different?  Maybe because five years marks a significant milestone in other aspects of our lives (i.e. marriage, employment).  Maybe because this year April 18 will once again land on a Monday, the same day of the week that it was in 2011.  I’m not sure which of these it is, or perhaps for some other reason, but this year the anticipation is slightly haunting me.

I mentioned earlier that I believe time provides perspective.   One way this is true for me is that the intensity of pain from losing a child has lessened.  The first year or two was just so difficult and painful, with so many thoughts and events triggering intense emotional responses.  As we have forged a new groove for our lives, we don’t carry the heavy burden of that pain or get lost in the cloud of grief.  We can remember good times with smiling and laughter and not focus so much on the events on and immediately after April 18, 2011.  We can focus on the eternal truths in God’s Word and look forward to when we will see Isaac again.

By God’s grace, we have moved forward with our lives.  We haven’t moved “on”, as if whatever happened before didn’t matter.  But we have chosen not to remain frozen in the past, where we could play out the “what if” scenarios in our minds (though this is tempting at times, but quite unfruitful).  Moving forward to us means that we still remember (how could we forget?).  We laugh, play, and work, while rejoicing in all these things.

Yet, while moving forward and rejoicing, there is a piece of my heart that is missing.  I am not always consciously aware of it, yet I feel that it is gone.  I can feel the void that Isaac’s passing has left.  It is difficult for me to describe that feeling.  I just feel like I am not an entire person.  The best physical analogy that I can think of is if one is missing a body part that they once had (which I’ve never experienced, so forgive me for taking the liberty of this analogy).  While I see (physical) and know (mental) that Isaac is not here, in my heart (spiritual) he is still with me.   These conflicting aspects of my being make me wonder if I am something less than a full person.

I am a new creature in Christ Jesus.  It is only through my faith in our loving, merciful, and just God that I can even stand where I am today.  I believe that Isaac is safe in His hands and I hold fast to the hope of seeing him again someday soon.  Yet because Isaac is there in Heaven and I am here on Earth, a part of me is missing.

May you be blessed this day and rest in the eternal hope we have through Christ Jesus our Lord.



Posted by on April 15, 2016 in Grief, Spiritual and Emotional


Tags: , , , , , ,

8 responses to “Five Years

  1. John Mallonee

    April 15, 2016 at 9:45 AM

    Thank you for sharing your heart, Brother. May the Lord continue to bring healing and peace to your hearts. We love you all!

    • Ephesians 5:16

      April 16, 2016 at 6:15 AM

      Thank you John for your encouragement and support.

  2. Elizabeth Martin

    April 15, 2016 at 12:36 PM

    I so remember fondly, his joy and enthusiasm for everything. He will always be in our hearts, but he is so rejoicing in the company of our Savior, where we all long to be someday. I am happy for you and your family. You are missed here on North St.

    • Ephesians 5:16

      April 16, 2016 at 6:16 AM

      Thank you Betty for sharing your memories. We can’t wait for that day! We miss you too.

  3. Lanny Millette

    April 18, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    Yes. I resonate with your thoughts and feelings as we commemorated 5 years without our Andrew in January It does feel like a different milestone. I never know what will trigger a memory (positive or painful) and have grown to appreciate the growth it has spurred in me. I so miss him and yet I see so many ways that God has used his passing to build His Kingdom. We won’t truly know the “why’s” until we are with Jesus ourselves. I’ve come to believe the “why” is not as important as the “what?” “What Lord do you want me to do now in light of this?” Whatever it is, make it count for your Kingdom. I continue to hold all of you in prayer as you walk forward in Him on this road none of us would have chosen but were asked to walk. May He bless you with peace, love and grace on this day and forward. With Christ’s love, Lanny

    • Ephesians 5:16

      April 18, 2016 at 11:50 AM

      Thank you Lanny for your thoughtful comment. We appreciated reading about Andrew’s legacy earlier this year in the local paper. We could see how God is using his passing to build His Kingdom. We will continue to try to make our “what” count for His Kingdom. We really appreciate you remembering us through this journey as we both miss our dear sons. God bless you and Debbie. ~Andy

  4. Claire

    April 28, 2016 at 8:24 AM

    I can’t tell you how sorry I am that I missed this post 😦 I would have loved to have sent you both my prayers and love over this time. Your family is so strong and positive to have come through the unthinkable with hope and a grateful heart. What a testimony. Andy, please give Brenda a hug from me 🙂

    • Ephesians 5:16

      May 1, 2016 at 6:07 PM

      Thank you Claire. Your long-distance support means so much. Hug given :-).


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