Five Years

Five Years. I type those two words…and then I sit here. Speechless. Overwhelmed. And heartbroken. Can it truly be five entire years since our sweet Tyler breathed his last breath here on earth? Yes, he awoke to breathe new air (“and found it celestial” as the beautiful song goes) but he left us behind…and, oh my, how we have missed him.

Today my heart is full of a myriad of emotions. My brain races with so many memories – almost too many memories. And, yet…God has given me peace. And little glimpses of Heaven and sweet reminders of His continued presence, comfort and care for each of us missing Tyler.

I’m not sure I can correctly express my thoughts today (actually I’m rather positive that I cannot); however, I am using this post to “think aloud”…..and if you choose to skip it from here, that will not offend me. But God is so good and has been so patient – and I am beginning to see it as I think back over the past five years.

There was a time – in those first months…or longer – that Tyler was my motivation for living. The deepest and darkest pit of despair jeered and called my name and with ever fiber of my being I wanted to crawl inside, cover myself in a thick blanket of despondency and simply lie there. But I told myself every morning, that would not honor Tyler’s life. (Of course, there were other reasons this was a totally bad idea but the idea of Tyler being so disappointed with me truly was my reason.) Each morning, I pressed on.

Then I found myself seeking out and connecting with other grieving moms. Having someone “understand” me was enormous. Having someone who would listen to me talk about Tyler – and even wanted to do so! – was a true gift. Believing I could do the same for them in return, if just in a small way, was a tremendous gift. Some of these women were in my life for just a season and others remain good friends, but ALL of them are precious to me and continue to be inspirations.

And, for the majority of the past five years, I have been propelled by the idea of making Tyler’s life “count”…..trying to ensure not only that his precious life was remembered but the significance of that life would be recognized. It truly is a grieving mother’s greatest fear – that her child will somehow be forgotten. On even the darkest days (and there are still very sad days), this preserving Tyler’s memory has been my motivation to truly keep pressing on.

And here is where I’m not sure if I can express my heart. However, as I reflect on these stages, while none of them are wrong, I notice they are linked to “the past.” And God has been gently shaping (or reshaping) my spirit, molding my heart and giving me a new longing – with a new purpose – that turns towards the future. To be sure, my memories are a treasure. The impact of Tyler’s life on so many has been a gift. And while they continue to serve a purpose, these things do not have to be my motivation for living. Indeed, they cannot be for these things pass away. Heaven is my goal. Honoring my savior with my life is my motivation. Allowing Him to use my experiences to minister to others is cause to keep pressing on.

The beautiful thing is Tyler is also a part of my future!! I know – as sure as I know Tyler is my son – that Tyler was God’s child and he is now in Heaven waiting for that grand reunion by and by… day (maybe soon!) he will take me by the hand to meet Jesus face to face. What a day that will be! Truly there is no better reason for living than that!

12 thoughts on “Five Years

  1. Dear Jennifer,

    This is a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing. I cannot wait to meet Tyler, maybe our two redheads have met in Heaven. I like to think so.

    I like reading about him and hope you will share more memories of him.

  2. Oh Jennifer…..having not lost a child, I cannot truly know your hurting heart. But being a Mother, I can understand your pain. Your loss. Your grief. For that, I am so very sorry, and pray for your peace to come every day so that you can press on and honor his memory in the best possible way.

  3. Oh Jennifer how I wish I lived near you so that I could give you a big hug today. This post was soo good, and you expressed yourself so well. It just had me in tears. I won't pretend I know the kind of pain you are speaking of here as I have not lost one of my children, but I am very sure it is a pain that NO mother would ever want to know. How grateful I am that you know the Lord and He has walked you through each step and filled you with a peace that only He can give. I can just imagine how comforting you have been to other's who have found themselves in this position. The Lord has used your heart and will continue to do so I am very sure. Tyler's life has touched sooo many hearts for Him, and will continue to do so now through you. And what a joy it must be to know he is waiting for you there, and eternity together with our Lord awaits. BIG HUGS to you, Debbie

  4. I "randomly" stopped by, or so I thought! God is so good, and thank you for sharing about your 5 years. I would like to think that Tyler has met my Brandon (8/3 ~ will be 7 years). And yes, just like you…God has continued to show us his love, mercy, and grace…and the ability to keep breathing and pressing on! And I too LOVE that because of Jesus…our future is longer than our pasts with our sweet children!

    Prayers to you and your sweet family!

  5. Hi girlfriend, I stopped by to see your blog and realize an angel must have tapped me on my little head to do so. It's been five years? "5" in the Hebraic meaning for the number is GRACE. So we remember today God's grace in Tyler's life, your life today, and our reunion with him one day.

    Love you,

  6. Jennifer, you expressed your thoughts beautifully! I'm praying for you and your family right now, thanking God for all of your lives lived in and through God's grace and strength.

    I love reading about Tyler, and I look forward to reading about what God has instore for your future as you continue to press on.

    Well done, faithful mama!


  7. Such a sweet and meaningful post. God's grace is sufficient for you each day and I'm sure he has shown it to you.
    I'll be thinking of you today and praying for you.

    BTW..I e-mailed you!

  8. This a beautiful and meaningful post. One that only one who has experienced loss could have written. Can be fully know Gods grace and love for us? There are so many people who need Him and yet when we hurt we feel He is there only for us. What an awesome God we serve!!
    My prayers are with you as you remember your dear son and all he means to you and your family. May you especially today feel his strong arms around you – holding you close.

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