Tuesday, February 23, 2010

His First Love

My heart was aching. My eyes blinked back tears, but I wanted to sob. I didn't dare.

"Pull yourself together," I told myself.

"You don't even know these people."

Jody and I had been asked by the funeral home to sing at a service. We do this occasionally and although I'm often touched at these life memorials of strangers, I've never felt my heart being ripped as it was today.

This woman was obviously a Believer who had lived a long, full, Christ-centered life. The speaker emphasized her faithfulness and the fact that she was now healed from her illness and was with her Savior in heaven was a comfort to her friends and family.

Except for this young man.

He didn't want Granny or MeeMaw or Pookie to be dancing with Jesus. He wanted her to be sitting beside him, smelling her familiar Charlie cologne.

He wanted to be curled up in her lap, stroking her white curls while they watched NASCAR just like they did every weekend.

His wails echoed through the chapel, almost drowning out the speaker, who was using a state-of-the-art microphone to be heard. It would be eerily quiet for a moment, just a moment, as the preacher tried to describe what a generous woman Sister Mary had been to so many, and then a heart-wrenching sob would ensue.

No doubt I was not the only one who was moved. The tears of the boy's mother would start fresh with every sob, until the child finally laid his head in her lap and surrendered to his grief. His body shook with pain as he revisited their favorite fishing spot, remembering the time she slipped and almost fell in the water as he laughed with glee. Possibly he remembered those mouth-watering cookies she would make; the ones he begged his mother to bake, but somehow she just couldn't get it right.

In contrast, the boy's older brother, about eight, sat silently between him and his dad. His red-rimmed eyes studied a pesky thread escaping his dress pants. As he played nervously with the thread he seemed torn between grief and embarassment, just wanting it all to be over. "When do we eat?" possibly running through his aching heart.

The postlude music began playing. The cold pink coffin, draped with red roses and pink carnations was wheeled down the aisle as the wailing took on a deeper resonance from a place that shouldn't be touched at such an innocent age.

"DON'T TAKE HER AWAY! We're not through! I'm not ready!"

Was that my words or the boy's? It didn't matter of course. I would not follow to hear the sobs at the graveside. I don't know if my heart could take the pain of hearing that child as he watched them lower her into the warm ground. The arms that had held and hugged, the lap that had been a place of refuge, the cheeks that he had splattered with kisses and the face that he loved so much...that it hurt.

They had only known one another for six or seven years. But in those short years he had loved so deeply, and lost so severly. I prayed for the family. I prayed for the friends. I prayed for the boy. I prayed for the next woman he would love. Because rarely does one fully recover from the loss of their first love.


  1. That was such a touching post!

    Thank you for visiting my blog on my SITS day. Hope you come back soon.

  2. You write beautifully. I found you via SITS and I am so glad that I did. I love your faith, your empathy and your writing.

    XOXO- Brigetta

  3. This is a beautifully written post! Makes your heart go out to this little guy who loved and was loved. Love hurts. I'm so thankful for the hope we have.

  4. That was just so beautiful, and so wonderfuly well written.
    Im sorry you ended up on my blog from sits... that must of been a shock.
    But I am a believer, and I have faith in my future.
    Thank you for sharing, thank you for your contribution to this earth.

  5. Shooting over from SITS. This post made me cry. I'm seriously sitting at my desk at work sniffling. You have a touching way with words.

  6. Great post! Thanks for sharing...I am stopping by from SITS. Just wanted to say hello and stop by my blog sometime, I would be honored...i am now following your lovely blog!Maybe you will even follow me, who knows! Happy Blogging!


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(No she didn't...yes she did.)