Five years that you've been gone.
Five years of recycled stories and photos.
Five years lamenting the music, laughter and vibrancy missing from our lives.
Five years of shifting the weight of heart-aching loss like a bag of boulders,
from one side to another and back again, trying to find a way to get comfortable.
Five years trying to come to terms with the emptiness in the place that was once filled with you.
Five years of missing you every single day.
Five years of wishing this wasn't our story...searching for a different ending than the one we got.
Our faces are different now without you.
We are each so changed...weaker...stooped...aware of our frailty.
No energy for the superfical, shallow, or stressful.
We each have struggled to find a new way to live on.
We seem both hungry for and wary of happiness
Knowing it can be snatched away in the blink of an eye.
Loss hurts more than we ever knew.
Life is more fragile than we ever imagined.
Life is a house of sorrow and now we know it.
Faith is the anchor of the weary soul and we cling to it.
Our skeptical hearts have journeyed into doubt and nihilism.
Our pat answers have been ripped up like useless scraps in our hands.
Yet we've been opened to a world beyond, an unseen world of beauty and hope.
You have stirred in us a dream for a life to come.
You have pushed us into the deep waters of mystery, where we swim most of the time now--
not well, but these are our refreshing waters.
We go gentle into them. They are unfamiliar, but they are the hope that leads us forward.
Faith is the anchor.
Where are you now?
When you flew away on angels' wings, where did you go?
Where is that place where we feel you still alive?
You are not what the greeting cards say.
You are not the wind in the trees.
You are not the cardinals or the dragonflies or the butterflies that we love.
No. You are more than that.
You speak to us.
We hear your voice.
You meet us in our dreams.
Sometimes the brick wall that separates us becomes a gossamer veil and we are in the same place.
We hear you whispering words of hope and perseverance, comfort and the joy to come.
God is there in that place where time and space fade.
That is our secret miracle, our prayer closet.
That is how we live now.
All will be well. All will be well.
That is what we hear.
That is what we hear.
The light that shines in the darkness leads us.
Grace carries us.
Life is a raw, glorious mess, but
You told us so.
Five years ago.
Joseph Neal Johnson
Joseph= "He shall add"
We love you, beautiful son.
Thank you for adding your love, light and strength to our lives.
We will hold on to the hope of heaven-reunion day.
John 14:1-3"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
As always, beautiful. Simply beautiful. You seem to be able to say so perfectly how I feel about Ben. Somehow, I think he and Joey are friends up there. Even though I never met him, I feel a connection.
Karen, your post is just so beautiful and I feel you heartache in every word. I am so sorry for you not having Joey here even though he is in a better place. It is a hard time, each year we think it will be better, not sure it can get to that place. Love you dear friend. Sharon
Thank you for writing this and then sharing it. I have followed your blog via a friend. We will walk through our fifth anniversary without our son later this year as well. Your words and thoughts are appreciated.
And I am sorry for your loss.
Oh Karen, you paint amazingly beautifully with words and manage somehow to express the inexpressible. You and your family are in my prayers which are mostly wordless groans of the spirit.
Your words are so loving and eloquent. The world is a poorer place without your Joey.
Five more years of loving Joey and five more years of him loving you!
"The grass withers and the flower fades
but the Word of our God stands forever!"
Thinking of you, joe and your family. The words you shared are very meaningful to how God works all around us. He knows all.
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