RE: Prince of Peace

Where in I give up on my vision of God

The Problem

My son is dead. That’s the first problem.

Not 100% fair. What I actually mean is, if I can accept the plan was always for God to kill my son… I can see a great many kindnesses:

  • He survived in 2018. It could have ended there.
  • We didn’t know there was a ticking clock. We would have changed our behaviors and I don’t think he would have experienced as much life as he did.
  • I have crazy good insurance. That means the financial impact of this is minimal.
  • I managed to get a credit card. That meant the unexpected non-medical costs were easy to handle.
  • I work for a company that let me disappear.
  • We have a great community and lots of support for us. That included the people NOT in the hospital.
  • The kids have been doing online school. That means it was easy for them to keep up with “flexible schedules.”
  • Asher woke up. He started arriving to his life in a big way.
  • Every lab or doctors visit, I got to go with him.
    • Games while waiting
    • Jokes while getting stabbed to avoid looking at the needle.
    • Laughs with the doctors and nurses making everyone a little more at ease.
    • Deep talks on the drive about life, death and the spaces in-between
    • Donuts on the way home.
  • We have (2) cars, making it possible to move back and forth.
  • Oldest boy got a job that’s close enough to walk, making it easy to not need a car.
  • We live in the US which means we have access to modern health-care.
  • We weren’t traveling when he got sick.
  • We were able to cancel most of the plans for the summer without loss.
  • I was there during the ICU delirium, the depression, . I was able to be the voice he trusted. To calm him down.
  • 20x that during the crash carts. Because of the time we spent together… he trusted me and was more calm.
  • My sister bought a flight up the night before he passed. I didn’t have to drive home alone.

I’m sure there’s more. If I can get past the idea that God killed my son then I can see there’s been a lot of protection. A great softening of the impact of his passing.

The Salve

A lot of people have been saying, “We don’t understand God’s plan.” Those are stupid words. Words that are vile and nasty. Don’t say them. Somehow I have to come to an arrangement where the “plan to kill my son” is acceptable.

My counselor gave me a talk to listen to.

Here’s what I like. He used the word “program” when referring to God’s plan. I’ve long been thinking God does not interfere, not because he can’t but because he’s a greedy opportunist. Using all the terrible situations happening in our lives to teach us things. The sticking point is, “The plan was always to kill my son.”

Something about “the program” has changed things a little. An after-school program is like 90% improvisation. That means, maybe “God’s Plan” is more of a loose set of story arcs connected to each other with specific, hard guided, points. There’s space for interpretation and improv when we just have to get to an approximate goal. Then the question becomes, “Why did my son have to leave?”

An old friend of mine and I were talking. He relayed a story to me. A youngster in his life died and my friend was wracked with the pain of it. When my friend told old-person#2 about the pain, old-person#2 said, “What a lucky kid,” referring to the youth that died.

It’s a good thing that wasn’t said to me. Regardless of being at church or at the court house… I would have probably thrown a punch.

But that idea has sat with me.

I was talking with another person (almost-friend), whom I would like to call my friend, and was bursting out in pain. “I hope Asher doesn’t resent me,” I said. “He trusted me to bring him home and I couldn’t. I wasn’t enough. And he trusted me.”

almost-friend said, “He’s probably more concerned about ‘saving you’ and his brothers than the fact that you didn’t save him.”

And that idea has sat with me some as well.

And it has started to soften the grief. This idea of Asher… sitting at the “God Terminal” looking over the data from his parents, his brothers, his family, his friends. Looking at the data and only half jokingly saying to his angelic administrator, “So, is there a mod loader?”

It just makes me laugh.

Because of course he would want to save us.

And I shouldn’t waste one more minute worrying about it. I wouldn’t blame him. And he was better than me.

God didn’t kill my son. He asked him to come home. And Asher said he was willing to go.