March 31, 1988 – July 29, 2002
It’s been 12 years. But this day will always feel different.
It will never be just another ordinary Tuesday … or any other day of the week it happens to fall on.
July 29th will always bring with it memories. Good ones. Bad ones. And many more in between.
We all remember a little differently. And every year is a little different from the last.
Sometimes we look at old photos and reminisce, sometimes we talk about the impact of grief, sometimes we dream (literally. and some of those dreams are good, but some of those dreams make us re-live the worst moments all over again.), sometimes we confide that other days are harder than the actual birthdays or anniversaries themselves and that those days catch us off guard, sometimes we talk with friends and compare notes about what exactly we remember from that day 12 years ago, sometimes we ask questions without answers, sometimes we consider what might have been, and sometimes we just sit in silence.
Sometimes grief seems almost holy in the way it draws us near to the presence of Christ out of sheer desperation, and other times it seems most decidedly unholy as it seems to pull us away from that very same presence.
But grief is part of this life.
And this grief on this day, no matter what it looks like, is part of our story.
Even Jesus grieved during his days dwelling among us as the incarnate Christ.
And perhaps the most profound thing Scripture records about his grief is that in his humanity and out of his love, he wept.
So in our grief, we weep and smile and remember.
And on this day, maybe a little more than the one before or the one after, the boy who’s heart and flesh failed before we were ready or prepared is never far from our hearts and minds.
“My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Psalm 73:26 (ESV)