Filling the Void When My Son Died

By Janet Perez Eckles:

A mother’s grief knows no bounds with the loss of a child, especially to murder. Only God’s love can bring true healing and fill that terrible void.

 

Image: stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Looking back at the night in that emergency room when the doctors walked in and asked, “Are you the parents of Joe Eckles?”

I jumped to my feet. “Yes, where is he? How is he? When can we take him home?”

Those questions carried my fear that something awful had happened when we received the call that he was wounded. But nothing, nothing, no amount of faith, knowledge of bible verses, of years of attending church could have prepared me to receive the doctor’s words that shook my senses.

“Your son has not survived the twenty-three stab wounds.”

Emotions? Feelings? None made sense. No mother can begin to comprehend the horror and grief that slices the heart.

Anguish jabbed at me when my son died: thoughts that I’d never be able to live carrying that pain. I’d never be able to face a world without my Joe. Weeks dragged back with sleepless nights and with days that made no sense.

And one dark afternoon, as I held his football jersey and pressed it against my chest, I realized that the void he left in my heart, my life and in our family was what ached the most.”Lord,” I cried out. “Will you fill this emptiness that sears in me?”

In the midst of my sobs, God’s voice whispered a question, one I’d heard many times before. But now it had a different message for me:

”Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” Romans 8:35.

I had experienced the sword of pain. But I lifted my head, wiped one more tear, and looked up. I chose to receive Christ’s love to fill the void the love for my son had left. I embraced Christ’s love to soothe the bleeding wound in my heart. And it would be God’s love that would touch the heartache and begin the healing.

Ten years have gone by since that day when my son died. And  looking back, I think of many who want to know how to commit suicide, how to end it all, how they can go on living when the anguish feels too much to endure, I understand.

But now I also comprehend that God’s healing is found in the love He offers, in the promise He makes, and in the hope that soothes each wound.

See more articles and videos by Janet Perez Eckles HERE, including how she not only lost her son, but also faced her husband’s unfaithfulness and the loss of her sight. Janet continues to rest in God’s arms and rejoice in Him.

How to Make it Through the Night

By Janet Perez Eckles:


Image by bulldogza / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 I tossed in bed. Those long nights, those awful nights that echoed what I lost. “If I could only make it through the night,” I thought between sobs.

But when morning light shimmered through the window, the reminder of my loss closed the drapes and to my dismay, sadness, deep sadness visited again.

Is that what people do when a child is gone? Is that what life will be from now on?

All those moments of grief plagued my days.  My family saw a Mom who dragged her feet, not walked with joy anymore. I had turned to a wife that sighed rather than laugh. And I saw myself like a discarded piece of garment in the closet of life.

But when the day came and God nudged, lifted my chin and whispered I wasn’t alone, I gave a long sigh, wiped my face, and brushed the self-pity from my heart. That was what I longed for—for company, for someone to walk with me, stay with me and give me encouragement. But the encouragement I thirst for was more than words. I wanted promises I could count on, that were solid and lasting.

And it was those promises through Jesus, which I let sink into my heart. I believed in the promise that He would provide the strength and energy to take that next step. They gave me the wisdom to know how to express my feelings and the grace to make it through the night into the next day.

Looking back, the fear I was alone in my pain was what brought added darkness to my grief. But when God’s promises danced in the sun rays coming from the window, my world changed.

The sun that shone was warm with God’s Word, His true Word that reassured He would be enough. His guarantee that He would not let me sink, let me drown in sorrow, nor stay down.

Instead, He would lift me up, and in a gentle voice, repeat what my soul hungered for—“you will never be alone.”

Fresh morning of freedom—His promises that prevailed brought down powers that pressed me down. And His constant companionship, counseled me with comfort. New confidence marked my days– joy trickled through, peace settled in, and laughter visited again.

For another article about Janet and the loss of her teen son (including a video) see Finding God in Grief When My Son Died.