July 9, 2013

An Amputation

The best way to describe what it feels like without
Austin here with us is this ~ it's like we've suffered an amputation.
None of us has lost a limb, so I cannot say if this is an accurate analogy.
But, if we could imagine what it would be like to lose
an arm or a leg, it may feel something like this.

His absence has left a hole in our family.
We are used to being in constant contact with each other
in the comings and goings of day to day life and living.
We've never been away from our children for very long.
Howie's longest separation from us was on a business trip ~
he was away for eleven days.
I had the opportunity to go to Wales to help our precious
Uncle die at home ~ I was gone for two weeks.

Oh, how desperately we miss him.
It hurts.  We can easily be brought to tears.
Without warning, the sadness wells up inside and spills out.

Yes, life goes on.  But, Austin's absence is felt.  Keenly.
In the empty bedroom.  The empty desk.
The empty place at the table and in the van.
In my counting out five, not six, place settings.
In evening devotional times, and when Fraser plays the piano ~ alone.
In the violin sitting silent in its case, and the music on the stand unplayed.

I am missing...
Hearing his voice and feeling his hug.
Passing him on the stairs or in the hallway.
Seeing him drive up the street with a wave and smile.
Hearing him say ~ "Good Night", or "Good Morning".
I miss the connection with him in the sense of humour we shared.
I miss the thoughtful things he would say or do.
His quiet presence was precious.  I didn't realise just how much.

In all these ways, and so many, many more ~ 
he is missed.  Terribly.

~ L to R: Austin (9), Emma (2), Calvin (7), Fraser (5) ~

But, God is Greater than our grief.
He is Greater than our sorrow and even our loss.
He meets us in this journey and walks the path with us.  He goes before us.
Our loss is only temporary.  Our loss is Austin's gain.  He lives.
And, one day we will join him in Heaven to worship our Saviour forever.
Eternity is real and everlasting.  Time is temporary.
This separation is for such a short while, in reality.

Oh, that we would have eyes to see
and hearts to truly believe and comprehend these things.
By God's great and merciful grace, we do.  We will.
We must continually remind ourselves that
though we miss our Austin, he is not missing us.
He is HOME.  And, he is rejoicing.
One day, the LORD will take us Home as well.
Heaven is more glorious than we can imagine.
And best of all, the Lord Jesus is there.

"...Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
~ I Corinthians 2:9 ~

How precious it is to know that the LORD has Austin with Him,
and that he is well and free from pain and suffering and sin.
He is praising the God he loves.
These thoughts ease some of the pain of this separation.
It is a comfort to our hearts.

And so we continue on.
Moment by moment.  Step by step. With the LORD.
It's what we are called to do.  By HIS Grace.

Many Blessings,


Unknown said...

Oh my dear, sweet, friend words are not adequate. I am praying continually for you and your family.
I love you!

Farmgirl Cyn said...

Dearest Camille,
I can hardly bear to read your words...tears fall as I feel just the smallest part of your grief.
Know that our prayers are with you as you deal with such an incredibly terrible loss...

In Christ alone,

Patty said...

Sometimes I sigh heavily when I read what you have written. I know you understand. Still praying for each of you by name. Blessings and comfort from our Lord.

Justine said...

Oh Camille, I cant begin to understand what you and your family are going through at this terrible time. I will continue to pray for you all.

Heather said...

I feel like I'm reading a Psalm every time I check in on you, Camille. You begin with lamenting and finish with worshiping and honouring the Lord. I should just keep Kleenex beside my computer as I break down in tears but end up being encouraged by how great our God is. Joy comes in the morning and I'm praying you'll be able to feel deeply but not ache so badly, dear friend.

Kerri said...

Oh Camille, how I admire your transparency. The pain of losing a child made bearable by the love of God. I Thessalonians 4:13 "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." The hope of seeing our loved ones in heaven, what a day that will be! I pray for you and your family.

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

I haven't been by blogger for a while now - that's so unusual for me not to be reading blogs but I stopped by today and found your post. Hardly a day goes by when we don't think of you and ask the Lord to keep pouring out His love and mercy as the reminders of Austin are there all around you. What you have shared has reminded me of the scenes in the movie Courageous. They portrayed that situation that you are going through now so well. Not knowing how long any of us have left on this earth, that the Lord sometimes calls some home early in their lives makes me want to go and spend more time doing things with my children, even if it is only conversations with my teens or jumping on the trampoline with my younger ones. To make the most of every moment the Lord gives. Though I am with them most of the time I am sometimes 'not with them' as it is so easy to be distracted by housework, technology etc.
Which is why I need to close this comment and just say 'Praying'.

Camille said...

Dear Jenn ~ Love you, too my sweet friend. Thank you SO much for your prayers...they are a blessing to my heart. :)

Dear Cindy ~ I know you understand the grief my friend. Thank you for your prayers...the LORD is using them to bless our hearts. Love to you! :)

Dear Patty ~ I do understand my friend...I do. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for lifting us up in prayer. The LORD is carrying us. We are blessed to belong to HIM! Hugs to you! :)

Dear Justine ~ You bless my heart. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words. The LORD is Good. HE does all things well. Hugs to you! :)

Dear Heather ~ Your words are sweet and encouraging. May the LORD use us for HIS glory. HE alone is worthy. How precious HE is! Thank you for your kind friendship...I appreciate you. Love to you! :)

Dear Kerri ~ Thank you for pointing me to the LORD's Word. It's precious to belong to Him and be a part of His Family. Hugs to you. :)

Dear Ann ~ Yes, my friend...yes! Spend time with your children...it's a precious thing!! God is indeed Good and truly does all things well. We look to HIM each step of this journey...HE is Faithful. Thank you for your kind friendship and for lifting us up in prayer. You bless my heart. Hugs to you all. :)

With love,

Cinnamon said...

I read this post and my heart just ached with yours. It sort of reminded me when John was gone to Afghanistan. He was gone and we weren't sure if he would return (so glad he did!) but all around he had left his imprint on our lives. In the kids laughter, sense of humor or the smell of coffee in the morning. It was all him. It got us through and kept me smiling at times when I was so lonely for him.

In feeling Austin's absence God has left you with sweet memories to cherish and linger over. How sweet the reunion will be in Heaven one day!

My mama heart aches with yours and I cannot believe it's been 5 weeks.

I know God is keeping you all in His care and holding you closely. I am so thankful for that. That you have one another. I know it is not easy and I continue to pray for God to shower you with His love abundantly.


Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Your words are full of a mother's love. My heart caught in my throat when you mentioned the counting. One less in the van, one less at the table.

Your post makes me ponder heaven. A place where tragedy is not more. Pain is gone and replaced with perfection.

How I love to see you leaning on him. Enjoy your break, Precious One.


Trisha said...

I love you, my friend. I thank God that in the midst of unspeakable grief, you magnify His name. You are a constant encouragement to my heart and to so many others. I continue to pray for all of you. Much, much love...

Camille said...

Dear Cinnamon ~ Sweet words my friend...thank you! Yes, the reunion will be wonderful...and then there will be no more suffering, tears or sin...how amazing the thought! :)

Dear Stacie ~ Thank you sweet friend. Thank you! Hugs. :)

Dear Trisha ~ You bless my heart...thank you for praying! God is Good. Always. :)

With Love,

Mrs.L said...

My heart is so moved and my eyes are filled with tears. Your heartfelt love for your son and your steadfast love for our Lord is such an amazing witness! May the Lord continue to uphold and comfort your dear family!

Camille said...

Dear Mrs. L ~ Welcome here! Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. What a blessing to belong to the Wonderful Family of our Great God. May HE bless you richly day by day.

In HIM, Camille

Lipgloss and Cookies said...

I am so sorry to hear about what your are going through. As a mother I cant imagine how you feel but hold on to God's Word for He is there by your side and will never leave you. Reading your blog brings tears to my eyes but it also bring me encouragement to how Gods love can help us through rough times. God bless you and your family

Camille said...

Welcome here! Your words are a sweet encouragement to my heart. Thank you for taking the time to be a blessing here today. Hugs, Camille