Four years ago my dear son Aaron died. Everything changed for me and my family that day. It’s hard to put into words. Perhaps only parents who have lost a child can understand.
Not a day goes by when I do not think of Aaron. Not an hour goes by.
In Lament for a Son Nicholas Wolterstorff wonders how his other children feel about the deep grief that has taken hold of him since the death of their brother:
Was he special? Did I love him more—more than his sister and brothers? When they see my tears, do they think I loved him more? I love them equally though differently. None is special; or rather, each is special. Each has an inscape in which I delight. I celebrate them all and love them each.
Death has picked him out, not love. Death has made him special. He is special in my grieving. When I give thanks, I mention all five; when I lament, I mention only him. Wounded love is special love, special in its wound. Now I think of him every day; before, I did not. Of the five, only he has a grave.
I preached the funeral homily for Aaron. It was the most difficult homily I have ever preached, yet it also felt as if my entire priesthood had been a preparation for it. I have not stepped into a pulpit since. This hasn’t been a deliberate choice—just the way life has worked out. Perhaps it is for the best. I poured my heart and soul into my homily for Aaron.
I ask your prayers for my Aaron.
May he rest in peace.
May his memory be eternal.
May he be raised by our Father into glory.