Love remains, even still

Grief is love with nowhere to go.

A friend shared that unattributed quote with me recently. I hadn’t heard it before, but it wasn’t a revelation or an aha moment – I was already well aware.

I loved to love Brody. I did my best to make his world wonderful. I sang of my love for that kid multiple times a day – made up songs of thanks to God, repetitious rhymes of affection. Sometimes I still hear Bryson sing: “Brody, oh Brody, you are such a joy,” x10. My version had additional lyrics, but that’s the line he repeats.

Our family gave Brody everything we could. We loved him well and it was an incredible gift to be able to do that. An incredible gift that we lost.

I mourn because I still love my son – overwhelmingly – but all that love can do is weep over his ashes and his pictures.

And that is not enough.

Shortly after Brody died, I prayed: God, what do I do with all this love? How do I show Brody love? I never want to stop loving him. How do I love him now?

God had such a simple answer: Take that love for Brody and pour it out on others.

God reminded me of the story in Matthew 25 when Jesus tells his followers that whatever they’ve done for those in need, they have done for him. We show Jesus love when we help someone, and I can love Brody that way, too.

I spent some time with a little five month old at a women’s conference in May. I bounced this blue-eyed boy around while his mom listened to one of the speakers. She said he wouldn’t go to me when I asked if I could take him, but he was happy in my arms for close to an hour. After I gave him back, I whispered, “I love you, Brody.”

It wasn’t how I imagined loving my child – really, really not – but it was the best I could do. It was powerful for me and I believe it was powerful for Brody.

I still got angry one night and complained to God that I can feel all my love for Brody, but I can’t feel his love for me.

Who told you that?, God asked me, and I realized I was wrong to believe that I was cut off from Brody’s love. Because love never fails, it never ends. It stretches from his heart to mine, even still. Even death doesn’t separate us from love.

I still mourn the tragic loss of goodnight kisses and bedtime prayers, first days of school and the beautiful sadness of temporary goodbyes. I fully expected Brody would look up at me one day and say, “I love you, mama.” He would make me Mother’s Day cards. He would sing me Happy Birthday. I have to wait a very long time for that now.

My love for Brody is a waterfall, and all I can do with it is give someone who’s thirsty a cold cup of water. But that is something. And until the day when I can swim in a lake with my gorgeous boy, I will keep loving him the best I can. I will keep giving my love somewhere to go.

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