How Old Is The Boy From Heaven Is For Real Real Experiences Series – Meeting My Deceased Son

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Real Experiences Series – Meeting My Deceased Son

NOTHING could have prepared me for what I was about to experience. It was after 10 pm while we were waiting in the pre-operative room. Dancing between denials of the situation with the nurses, sometimes in absent-minded banter, some of whom were unconcerned, my wife lay there; her belly clearly shaped, so I could see the outline of our child, motionless, still for all time.

While I was talking to others, and as my wife lay shivering with shock and fever, from infection, I massaged her stomach; the shape of my son’s left side, hip and thigh, visible. I found myself strangely aware of everything that was going on; unusually calm considering my son had passed away a few hours before. Indeed, as I faced those endless moments, I found God, there, with me, giving me the strength to be real. And it wasn’t hard to be real. Through it all, my wife was also very real, despite the sudden onset of the fever.

And, “through everything” was a hymn for us, when this period could rather be an anathema to the enemy of God who would seek us driven into the ground; a time when God’s presence transcended all numbing abiding. “Through it all my eyes are on you… it’s good…” were the words of the song we played twice, during the birthing process, through the tears of eternal longing and through the fearful anticipation of what was before us as an experience without precedent.

I will never forget the moments leading up to Nathanael’s birth. It was a long c-section delivery procedure (compared to my previous four children). The mood in the theater was sharp. Silence, except for Kristen DiMarco’s voice and her ethereal music. No one wanted to mention the elephant in the room. My response was to issue grace – goodness knows, we all needed it.

Every time we saw movement from my wife’s stomach, as the surgeons manipulated the tissues, we prepared for the moment of Nathanael’s actual arrival. There seemed to be several iterations in which we were preparing. The medical team struggled to get Nathanael into a position where they could pull him out. When they finally delivered him, our midwife gave me a sign. She wrapped my hands in a towel. As I got up from the chair I was sitting on, I was greeted by the surgeon who gave me my son. As with the birth of all my children, nothing could have prepared me for the emotions I felt now. But this moment was different. There was no feeling of positive pressure amidst the joy of caring for the baby. There was no eye contact or interaction with the surgeon. He was asleep for a moment; without something. It was an incredibly sad moment that took courage.

I grabbed Nathanael with both hands – my boy, almost 8 pounds each, which was very healthy for 36 weeks and 2 days pregnant – and immediately kissed his forehead; a kiss of longing. His skin had a distinctive smell. He had a frown on his face. He looked like his older brother, who was just sleeping. I just wanted to hold him. I took him to Sarah and we both cried for a while. The operations staff just went about their business, leaving us alone. We were in no rush. We spent the first 3 hours with Nathanael, including bathing and dressing in my wife’s delivery room.

Moments like this life and time stand still. Nothing else matters. And you get a clear impression that your life has changed forever; a very surreal feeling that demands surrender. Yet, strangely enough, I was so happy to meet Nathanael in this way. God has been good at sustaining me and us when we could be so overwhelmed with emotion that we don’t take advantage of the moment.

Later that morning – literally just five hours later – the whole family was present as Heartfelt took photos for us. It was a difficult experience for several members of our family, but everyone did their best and that’s all that can be asked for. We were so proud of our family throughout.

***

One thing I learned in that darkest hour,

I definitely didn’t have the power,

By faith alone I had God’s grace,

Because I walked obediently and sought his face.

© 2015 SJ Wickham.

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