Dan Stringer

navigating the convergence of faith, culture and the common good

Grief journal (5 months)

April 20, 2011

“Sorrow is no longer the islands but the sea.”

–Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son

So this is it. Life without Vincent. Me no like. I still want him back. Everyday.

Next month is going to be especially difficult. Mother’s Day is May 8. Vincent’s birthday is May 10. My graduation is May 14. We fly out May 16 to visit Rebecca’s parents in the Philippines. Plenty of significant events in the month of May will remind us exactly how much our family shrunk on November 20, 2010. We’ll always be one Vincent short of a complete family. I’ll always be one Vincent short of being a happy daddy.

If the tears are supposed to be helping, I should already be fixed by now. Maybe this is as good as it gets. I suppose it could be worse. I have much to be thankful for compared with most others around the globe. On top of it all, some of my favorite people in this world are still alive. Just not Vincent. A lot will happen before I ever see him again. Too much, I fear.

If I could only catch a glimpse of how Vincent is doing up there in heaven. Even my atheist friends tell me that’s where he is. So it’s unanimous; Vincent is safe and healthy somewhere in heaven. But what exactly is he doing? Learning his ABCs? Riding in a golden stroller pushed an angel? I’d imagine the daycare staff in heaven must be top notch. The toys and snacks are probably phenomenal too. With all the children who have died around the world in recent months, Vincent probably has the most culturally-diverse peer group imaginable.

While Vincent is probably doing just fine these days in the celestial city, I’d still like a post card or a text message once in a while. I’m not expecting him to Skype me or anything ridiculous like that, just something to prove my little boy is alright.

You okay up there, son? What kind of music do they play? Did the angels give you enough blankets? I’m sure they did, but I had to ask since I’m still your dad and everything. Your mother and I miss you terribly. Your brother talks about you all the time. Say ‘hi’ to Grandpa for me. I’ll see you soon.

  • Well said. Although I’d still like a skype session with him!

  • Jana

    I’m so sorry Dan. I’ve been praying for Becca to have a glimpse of Vincent in Heaven, and I will pray the same for you.

  • zack wells

    Dan, I hope the lord does give you a glimpse of Vincent so you know he’s ok sometime when you guy’s are free come Visit Watermark Community Church and Come and See not our church but our Christ it say’s that on a Card miss ya guy’s
    God bless

  • jan waiolama

    so well said……hugs to you becs and theo…..

  • Cheryl

    Ugh. I can’t believe that this is your life. But I’m glad you’re writing about it.

    I was reminded of a line in a poem called “Distressed Haiku” by Donald Hall (former US poet laureate) who lost his 40-something year old wife to cancer:

    “You think that their
    dying is the worst
    thing that could happen.

    Then they stay dead.”

    It’s the staying dead that becomes so abominable. Miss you guys xoxxoo

  • Valeri Emosi

    Dan this is so beautiful. We completely understand how you feel. We are here for you guys. Hang on Dan. One day at a time my friend…

  • So sorry about sweet Vincent. I’m praying for you!

  • Lianne

    I think about and pray for you guys often. Much love and tears…

  • I read your blog as always. I wish I could express my feelings in words as well as you do Dan, instead I’m still expressing them in tears. I miss him too, a lot, and always will until I see him again. I hope that when you come here that some of that sorrow will…yea, what am I going to write…will what? It won’t be minimized but if knowing that its shared by us here will help in any way, then it will be a help for you because with all our hearts, its shared. Love you always.

  • Thanks everyone for your prayers and support. It means a lot.

  • Pingback: Grief journal (1 year) « The Common Loon()

  • Tom Hughes

    You’re correct; it never really goes away. While reading the part about day care in Heaven and the culturally diverse peer group I found myself weeping. I was shocked and a little startled because that hasn’t happened in quite some time. Thanks Dan, I needed that.