I Found the Book
While clearing out some clutter in our home office I came across a book called, Food for the Soul – A “Best of Bereavement poetry collection.” I opened it to the page that affected me the most and began to read. The one that answered my questions and made me realize that I was very much-loved especially through my grieving. So I decided to share my story with you.
The book came in the mail during the first few weeks after my son’s death. It had no sender name or information. At that moment, I was grieving heavily and was upset that God had taken my child from me. I questioned God why did He take my child? What had I done wrong? My tears were tears of desperation. These tears came from within my heart and soul. The cry that was heard from afar as the pain tore through my entire body. I needed that cry, I needed to let it out. It was within that time frame when I received this book.
I opened the book wherever – not at the beginning. It happened to be page 44 where there’s a poem by Edgar Guest called, To All Parents. As I read, I felt the hand of God touch my soul and I understood many things. Even though I was still grieving I was able to understand many things in my life and my anger diminished. The more I reflected on the poem and compared it to my life, the more the anger diminished. My selfish attitude began to transform into one of gratitude. Yes, it is hard to understand how could I feel gratitude after my son’s death. Maybe, after you read the poem, you too will understand.
To All Parents by Edgar Guest
I’ll lend you for a little time a child of mine, He said.
For you to love the while he lives and mourn when he is dead.
It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or three,
But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for Me?
He’ll bring his charms to gladden you and should his stay be brief,
You’ll have his lovely memories as solace to your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay since all from earth return,
but there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.
I’ve looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true,
And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes, I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate Me when I come to call to take him back again?
I fancied that I heard them say, Dear Lord, Thy will be done.
For all the joy Thy child shall bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.
We’ll shelter him with tenderness, we’ll love him while we may.
And for the happiness we’ve known forever grateful stay.
But should the angels call for him much sooner than we’d planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.
Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart
by Debbie Centeno
The death of my son was the worst thing to happen to me. For the six months that followed, I felt numb, depressed and lonely. I didn’t want to continue living. Even though I had my daughter and younger son, it did not make me feel any better. I did not know what to do to make them feel better. How could I continue on without him? What would I do to become whole again? I had two choices. I could either succumb to depression or live for him. I decided to live for him. I decided that I wanted to do what he could not and so my journey began. I learned a lot from my son through the memories of our conversations. Even in death, he was teaching me what I did not know. I learned to live from my son. And, with this journey also began the spiritual connection between my son and me.