Monday, April 16, 2012


The other day I was standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes.  The heat of the sudsy water warmed my glove covered hands, and I stared out the window towards the snow-dusted mountains.  The task of washing dishes is so mundane and repetitive that it allows my mind to wander.  As I turned the brush, and rinsed each dish, I looked at the small figurine my mom gave me when I was pregnant with Jonah.  It is a sweet simple figure of an expectant mother.  I see it and can't help but remember the lovely anticipation of motherhood.  When I was pregnant, I would wash the dishes while my large belly became soaked by dishwater, and I strained to reach the items in the sink.  Now my hips rest flush against the counter, and my hands fish less-blindly through gray water.  When Jonah was alive his small, strong hands, used to pull at my jeans, longing for me to forget my daily task and hold him.  Often, while I scrub and clean, I can almost feel the weight of Jonah's busy body catapult into the back of my legs.  Sometimes I expect to turn around and see him smiling up at me.  But my mind reminds me that he wont be there.  Instead I see a floor that needs cleaning. 

I remember learning about the phantom pain of amputees.  Individuals who have lost an arm or leg often feel pain in their missing limb.  I feel like I understand a different kind of phantom pain. Part of my life has been removed, but I still feel him sometimes as if he is still a part of me.  Even in the midst of pain, I am grateful to feel him in any way I can.

Each night I pray that I will be able to feel Jonah's presence in my daily life.  In the beginning I hoped that he would come to me in a vision, or a dream.  A grand revelation would surely set my mind at ease, and make life more bearable.  I went to the temple and waited for his visitation.  I wanted a clear and obvious encounter so I could believe, without a doubt, that I would be with him again.  It hasn't come. 

Instead I am learning to rely on the subtle and simple moments of life.  Like the moments when I feel him at my feet while I do the dishes.  Or when I weep at night and the words come to my mind, "Mom, its okay.  It will all be okay."  Sometimes I find myself alone saying, "Jonah, I miss you, where are you?", and then a simple peace comes.  It is not grand, it is not intense, but these small moments give me hope.  They move me forward.  I don't know how I am supposed to interact with Jonah these days, or how to be his mother from an immeasurable distance, but I do believe that I can feel his presence.  Sometimes in my heart, in my mind, and in my home.  

I believe we move and have our being in the presence of heavenly messengers and of heavenly beings. We are not separate from them. … We are closely related to our kindred, to our ancestors … who have preceded us into the spirit world. We can not forget them; we do not cease to love them; we always hold them in our hearts, in memory, and thus we are associated and united to them by ties that we can not break. … If this is the case with us in our finite condition, surrounded by our mortal weaknesses, … how much more certain it is … to believe that those who have been faithful, who have gone beyond … can see us better than we can see them; that they know us better than we know them. … We live in their presence, they see us, they are solicitous for our welfare, they love us now more than ever. For now they see the dangers that beset us; … their love for us and their desire for our well being must be greater than that which we feel for ourselves.  Joseph F. Smith

1 comment:

  1. I know I told you this shortly after Jonah's death, but I had an idea (I wouldn't call it a vision exactly) of a grown up version of Jonah looking at you, his mother, and being so grateful for all that you gave him during his short time here on earth. All the love, the worry and concern, the tears, the joy, the countless hours of service and all encompassing devotion to his little body and spirit. It was a touching thought to me and seemed very real. I think you will probably feel him in different ways throughout your life. (((Julie)))