Two years ago on April 29, 2021, we said goodbye—for now—to our son Timothy Lee Taylor Jr. (Lee). Our journey through grief, though full of learning and enrichment, is one we would gladly exchange to have our son with us again, even for just a little while longer. And yet…not really, because we recognize God’s perfect plan is that we are all just passing through this life on our way to an everlasting life with God. Most of all, we know that Lee is now happier than he has ever been, physically, emotionally, and spiritually healed!
We often picture Lee’s entry into Heaven and Jesus’ presence. We imagine that while meeting Jesus was the center of his attention, we’re certain he also loved seeing his grandparents whom he was very close to. But even more, we believe he has full clarity of his suffering and all the confusion he experienced here. Wow, a complete understanding of his life here on this earth.
And even though Lee is not here face to face to talk about life with us, he is still here in so many ways. Hebrews 11:4 says, “And by faith, Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.” We can say the same about Lee. We still picture him and hear him often in our daily activities. We believe there really is just a thin veil between us.
Lee’s death was not the end of our relationship, only a temporary interruption. Our great reunion awaits us, and we imagine it with great delight. In the meantime, grief has become our teacher and God’s anvil to work on us. We have learned, first hand while Lee was here and since he left, the great value in the fellowship of suffering. Our understanding and capacity to feel joy, peace, and comfort have been expanded by our sorrow and grief. So has our capacity to empathize and grieve grown.
The Bible says it this way: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all”
Our deep pain in having to face this fallen world without our son isn’t just suffering for us to get beyond; it is suffering that is purposeful, achieving what’s of eternal value. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).