God has told us to mourn and experience it in full. It is our own fear that keeps us from experiencing the full force of mourning a loss. And losing a ten year old child is the condition when we feel like ripping our clothes and falling face to the floor in anguish. But we have dared to love greatly, and it comes with the possibility of loss and sorrow. Our emotions are raw and throbbing in pain.
After I spoke with Phiona at seven fifteen this morning and she sobbed into my ear that we had just lost Boniface that I fell to a fetal position. “he’s gone!” I went prostrate and sobbed like I have never cried before. The truth is this is my personal first real loss of a close family member. My first reaction was denial, no, go back, fix it, that can’t be the way it is. Then the absolute truth of death hit me. We don’t face too many absolute truths in this life, death of a child is a big one. There’s no second chances when a last breath is taken. It is so final. So shocking. Startling. It took my appetite and everything trivial in my day along with it.
I am all fresh to the feeling of losing a loved one, and how agonizing to feel the loss of a child. As my friend Cindy said, “I’m sad but anger is not far behind when a vaccine could have prevented the loss.” I lean so heavy on God who put Boniface in Uganda with conditions God has allowed for his purposes, a culture not worse nor insignificant than any on this earth, just right for God’s purposes for his people there. I have decided not to look back at the “what if he could have been vaccinated” and rather face the lessons to be learned. A good soldier marches on with head held high.
Everything in me wanted to drive straight to the airport and board the next flight that would get me to Kampala while his body was warm. I felt God put his hand on my arm and steady me. I heard a whisper into my soul, “wait upon me”. I was reminded our ministry is Ugandans raising Ugandans for Christ. What did I really need to do? Stand by. Encourage with words. Send the money for burial. Pray. Communicate. Enlist prayer warriors. Was there anything I could really do there? I couldn’t even get there in time for the burial which will be in eight hours as I write this. Did I want everyone to wait for me and have to cater to my arrival? NO.
I called Craig at work which I NEVER do and if I do it means emergency. I was sobbing and barely understood as I told him Boniface had just died. The poor guy had ten hours of back to back meetings. He came home early and we held each other and cried. He mourned. He grieved the loss of a dear son. I sent my words of condolences and I’m in constant contact with the team but they don’t need the burden of my arrival, as much as I would like to sprout wings and get myself to the other side of this world to hug their necks and look into their eyes with love, they can handle this better than I.
As I spoke to Christopher, our intern, I asked him, “are you strong?” He said, “I lost my mom when I was a sophomore in college to cancer. I know what these children are feeling. I am prepared to minister to them through this.” Craig said tonight, after his tears had dried up and we were able to explore our feelings, “I think Christopher was sent to the Kirabo Seeds family for a time such as this, just as Esther.” That was a comfort. Yes, he can empathize in a way I never could, and reach into the hearts and minds of the children to help them grow their faith in Jesus through this loss. I am secure knowing God has it all arranged exactly according to his plan…even as Boniface is introduced to the glories of heaven. I think I’ll devote a whole blog to what he might see there if my imagination will allow me the joy.
I plan to blog daily for a little while as I explore the meaning of our loss and it’s impact on our ministry. I believe God has something for us to learn in this so we can do a better work for Him. My first heart awareness is the urgency of our salvation in Christ. Each day could be all we are given. What will we do with it? I also want to blog to encourage our family with my love, words and pictures. It is all I can do from here. And it is what I will do to share my love.
I’m surprised at myself for seeking the messages of love and support and sorrow. I have heard from hundreds of people today with words of encouragement. We are all craving your love at this time. Thank you.