How Old Is The Boy From Heaven Is For Real The Voyage From Loss to Heavenly Reconciliation

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The Voyage From Loss to Heavenly Reconciliation

OCTOBER 30, 2014. That is the date of birth of our late son. We never met him alive.

Nathanael Marcus was fully pregnant, but he had two major challenges: a congenital diaphragmatic hernia that meant a profound compromise in lung capacity, and he had Pallister-Killian syndrome. The second half of my wife’s pregnancy was not just a week-by-week proposition, but was punctuated by eight amnioreduction procedures to relieve excess amniotic fluid production during pregnancy. The journey even to Nathanael’s birth was the culmination of months of grief.

It was almost as if his stillbirth was a sign of the journey we – as a couple and as a family of six – had begun. Until Nathanael actually passed we could not start the journey. He has not yet gone to be with God.

The destination of the journey is obvious: it is the heavenly reconciliation we seek.

So we embarked on this journey we didn’t want to take. And we are all required to eventually embark on such a journey.

Grief, in many senses, is a lifelong process; we just end up at ‘acceptance’ and stay there. Acceptance is still part of the grieving process.

While on this journey we long for the destination, but there are still too many reasons to enjoy the journey; the family is on board and we have things to do and accomplish as the waves lap the prow of the ship of life as it plunges through the whitecaps. There is a living hope to be enjoyed.

If we count where we are, we really haven’t passed the ports long on this voyage, if we’re going to see the end of our natural lives. We may not be reunited with our little boy for nearly fifty years (or more?). The one we always miss is with God, and while we know God is here with us, we cannot be with God in the same way as Nathanael. It’s not our time. Yet in eternity, where there is no time, our son waits without waiting.

As our vessel sails beyond the channel markers and into the open sea in the coming year (and year/decade) we hope that Nathanael’s memory will grow fonder and not more distant. We hope that the hope of seeing him one day will enrich the wonder in our hearts for the coming resurrection life.

The journey is not filled with sadness, although there are appropriate times to feel that way. However, the journey is fraught with emotional and spiritual significance; as deep as the land below. Every mile traveled, every month, every turning point in this life, is followed by the heavenly army as witnesses as life goes on for us, the living. They see what we cannot. Maybe one day we will see all that really was.

***

We are forever grateful for Nathanael. If we didn’t have it, the sky wouldn’t touch us because of its transcendence.

We are blessed to be on a journey towards Nathanael; destination, ourselves, to be with God and to be reconciled in heaven.

***

It’s all of us. We are all bound there. We are all bound to death and eternity.

© 2014 SJ Wickham.

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