I once thought it would be impossible to survive the loss of a child. So after my son died, it seemed a wonderment that not only could I endure, I could learn to let him go.
There is no one who brings joy the way your own child does. You revel in the aliveness of your own child and the miracle of his being. You take pleasure in his pleasure and feel hurt when he is hurt. To lose a child is one of the most profound experiences of human life. — Freedom to Fall
A Mother’s Perspective
I have always believed that one of the highest expressions of love is letting go. I had approached motherhood that way—releasing my children a little at a time, encouraging them along the pathways of their own callings. But I couldn’t face the finality of releasing Chris to God, at least not alone. Through God’s mercy, a golden cord was forged between us stretching from Heaven to Earth, which could never be broken.
Letting go of Chris is a process for a lifetime. It comes with the simple intention to live again—with the awareness that life goes on. It means relinquishing my keep, while keeping alive the love that transcends distance.
In the beginning, my heart ached for Chris that he had not lived to experience many things, especially a family of his own. But eventually I came to believe that what matters most is not the content of experience but the experience of life’s essence—the smell of the forest, the laughter we share, the hearts we touch. Chris knew the feel of earth beneath his feet. He knew passion and love. One day is as much composed of essence as the next. A short life is as good as a long one.
I will always be Chris’s mom and his father his dad. On each anniversary of Chris’s death, I celebrate his rebirth into the spirit world, often taking walks in nature, where he felt most at home. I tell him my concerns and ask him to watch over his sister. Chris reassures me that everything is as it should be.
I feel inspired by Chris every day in the way he simply lived life. As Chris’s best friend remarked, “He just had faith that whatever came up for him would be right. He was always, This is my path; this is my joy….” I feel inspired by Chris’s gentle, calm nature and the love he had for all living creatures. Most especially, I am inspired by his life hand in hand with God. I send kisses to Heaven.
Excerpt from Freedom to Fall:
When a child is born, you hold that bundle of preciousness to your heart, and every day thereafter, you let go a little more. When a child dies, you unfurl your hands and blow, for the child, endowed with Spirit, is now truly free.
Through days of mourning the loss of Chris, I seek the guidance to release him. Each act of unleashing is an act of love. To encourage the freedom of our children is the greatest gift we can give. It requires seeing them, not as we wish them to be, but as they really are, and nurturing the heartbeat that is them.
There is order and beauty in the universe. Our children deserve to pursue their freedom—to die even—when God calls.