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  • Writer's pictureLiz Shemwell

Three years

Three years.

It’s been three years since I last saw your smile, heard your laugh, felt your arms wrapped around me.

Three years, and so much has happened. So much has changed.

Today brings somber reflection. Through the passage of time, life begins to normalize again, reset. Your name, and ours, are no longer headlines. People have long since returned to their daily lives, their own problems, grief, and pain. Ours is no longer at the forefront of their minds, nor should it be. Suffering is the thing we all have in common, there is no avoiding that.

There is pain and peace to the realization that life goes on. The world does not, in fact, stop turning because of our own personal pain and grief. Sometimes, I wish it would. Other times, I’m grateful that it doesn’t.

Oddly, today feels like any other day that I’ve had to endure without you. There are tears, there is a permanent sadness. The day you were taken from me was a hot, sunny, September day. I hate hot, sunny September days.

It’s raining today, and I appreciate it. The weather now, much like that on the days of your visitation and funeral, is indicative of my mood - sadness in the storm clouds, rain falling like tears. I said then that it seemed like God was crying with us. The collective sorrow we felt so overwhelming, our loving and compassionate Father moved to tears as well.

Most days I hold myself together, or maybe God does all the holding. Today, I allow myself to fall apart.

There is still joy and indescribable peace from an all mighty God. That doesn’t change. But today, I give myself permission to sit in my grief a little longer, rest in it for a while.

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matt 19:14).

These words of Jesus are written on your gravestone. It serves as a reminder to me that you are right where you should be, in paradise, and waiting for me there.

The last night we spent together, you wrapped your arms around my neck with a giant bear hug, and with your cheeks pressed against mine said to me, “Don’t worry, Mommy, I’ll take care of you. I’ll always take care of you.” I didn’t realize then how profound, prophetic, and comforting those words would become.

I miss you. I love you.

Until we meet again,



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