The reading below is adapted with permission from TAKE COMFORT, MY HEART, Meditation on Visiting the Grave of Grown Children, by Rosalie Gottfried,
Message to my lost son

Message to my lost son

Peace be to the memory of your pure soul,
You, my delight, my loving child who filled my days and embellished my dreams,
You, in whom I rested so many of my hopes and ambitions -- my plans and visions.
You were entrusted to me by fate and I welcomed the obligation.

But fate has once again intervened in my life,
and taken you from me.
Oh, how beloved were your words to me.
Your name, your remembrance, were the delight of my soul.

But, then you came and then you vanished.
I called to you but you gave me no answer.
I came to you. I held you, but you did not breathe.
I spoke to you; I cried to you, but you were not there.
They told me to leave. I took a lock of your hair.

You were entrusted to me for a certain time and I cherished your time with me.
I felt blessed to have been your mother, dear Jos.
You came forth like a flower, blossoming in the morning, and promising precious fruits.
You were beautiful on the outside and beautiful on the inside.
But how untimely, how early in life have you been blasted by a scorching sun,
and crushed by a tempestuous storm,
Like a flower that is cut down in the morning, withered and scattered!

I, a sadly bereaved mother come therefore to the valley of weeping
to remember cry for mourn you.
May I find comfort and quietude in reflection of your many gifts,
and how blessed I was to share in them.
May the photographs of you that I take out and look at serve to help me heal the loss of you.
How grateful I am to have had you for the brief time you were here.

I think back upon the joy I experienced as I witnessed your growth and achievements.
Can the fact that you are no longer here remove those memories?
No. They are with me always...
The happiness I felt, the pleasure you gave me, the many moments of satisfaction.
Nothing can diminish that.
Truly, I wish it could have continued for many, many more years.

No parent should have to bury a child; rather life's order dictates the other way around.
This I know: Life has its own beat. It marches as it will.
No one can control what fate has determined.
Having done my best, having given my all, I can only stand aside and grieve.

I take solace in the fact that for whatever time you were here on earth,
you were given the best I had to give.
You had my love; you had my concern; you had my care.
And now, you have my sadness and my grief at your death.

Your memory will be with me always.
When I awake and when I lie down, I think of you.
As the seasons change and the years pass, I think of you.
In the million and one things that take up my day and remind me of you, I remember,
always I will remember---and always, I will love you, my heart, my Jos.

Thank you for giving me joy. Thank you for giving me happiness.
I was blessed to have had you with me for the time that fate gave us.

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