A simple phone call would set off a roller coaster of emotions, so much so that we gave our phones to family members to just take messages. We didn't want to seem rude but it was just too hard to relive it over and over again with each new voice on the line.
We managed, for the most part, to do fairly well when visitors came to the house. I think it was a mixture of shock and the comforting distraction of being at home. I was worried though how we would handle the hours and overwhelming emotions that lay before us that week. So I prayed for peace.
At that point, we had no answers. When you lose a child, even with answers, it never seems right - or fair - or something you feel can completely wrap your mind around. It just doesn't make sense, life happens in a sequence and this type of loss is unexpected, unnatural. I didn't understand, certainly didn't agree, but I knew we needed God's help to get through.
Without realizing it, I began to pray from a scripture. Prior to that point, I don't know if I really even knew the true meaning of it. It wasn't until later, when I saw the scripture again in print, that I remembered it being my prayer.
It always amazes me when the scriptures you've read over time come out in true form. That you not only understand them - but you live them.
People commented on how calm I was during visitation and at the funeral. I'm sure some thought I was medicated to get through it. I didn't take so much as a Tylenol through that time though. Me "getting through" that time was all God. He gave me peace.
And it was a complete peace. I felt it wash over me as we entered the funeral home. I didn't understand. I still hurt and grieved for my child but I had peace. I knew where Austin was, I knew he was safe and happy and healthy and watching over us. It was a peace that passed all understanding. It was amazing and God is the only explanation.
That peace helped me get through the most difficult journey of burying my child. It is a journey no parent should ever have to make. The peace helped my family as well. They all looked to me and my emotions; I set the mood. My peace carried over to them.
It didn't stay forever. There were deep, dark days of painful grieving. There still is. But that peace was there when I needed it most. For two days I had a glimpse of what Heaven must be like. That peace was amazing - there really are no words. That peace still helps me because I know someday we'll all have that,,,forever.
"Then God will give you peace, a peace which is too wonderful to understand. That peace will keep your hearts and minds safe as you trust in Christ Jesus."