Lament for a son

Solemn words written by a Christian father over the loss of his son

Perhaps we all take each other too much for granted.
The routines of life distract us;
our own pursuits make us oblivious;
our anxieties and sorrows, unmindful.
The beauties of the familiar go unremarked.
We do not treasure each other enough.

He was a gift to us for twenty-five years.
When the gift was finally snatched away, I realized
how great it was. Then I could not tell him.
An outpouring of letters arrived, many expressing
appreciation for Eric. They all made me
weep again: each word of praise a stab of loss.

How can I be thankful, in his gone-ness,
for what he was? I find I am. But the pain of the
no more outweighs the gratitude of the once
was. Will it always be so?

I didn’t know how much I loved him until
he was gone.

Is love like that?

(Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a son)

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