Matthew was the youngest of our three children, and he was a remarkable young man. He had a passion for life and music, and he loved playing the drums and learning to play the guitar, hanging out with his family and friends. He had a beautiful smile that could light up any room. He was loving, caring, compassionate and hardworking. Though his physical presence is no longer with us, at times, it seems like Matthew is more alive than ever. His memory is vivid and alive in our hearts, and we feel his love and energy every day. EVERY DAY.
This being said, as a father, the first thing that came to my mind was disbelief. How could this be possible? I just saw and spoke to him less than two days before he passed away. He was happy and excited and looking forward to the future. Matthew had just moved into a new apartment, and I had helped him move his belongings into the moving truck. The second emotion that hit me was denial. I thought that maybe it was a mistake, or that I was in a dream and would wake up soon. But unfortunately, it was all too real.
The weeks that followed have been a blur at times. The celebration of life, the condolences, the grief, it all seems like a never-ending nightmare. The pain in my heart has been constant. The anger that I felt, and it had no real direction it was just there, and now is subsiding. Every day, I wake up hoping that it was all just a bad dream, but it never is. I feel like I have lost a part of myself. My family has lost part of it’s collective soul.
As a father, I feel helpless. I cannot bring Matthew back, and I cannot turn back the clock, I cannot take away the pain from my family. However, I know that I have to be strong for them. I have to be the rock that they can lean on, even when I feel like crumbling. I have to find a way to cope with my grief, so that I can support my wife and family. These thoughts are echoed by my wife and son and daughter. It is as though we all take turns supporting one another when its needed most.
I am slowly coming to accept that Matthew is no longer with us in the physical sense. However, his spirit lives on through so many glorious memories and the love that he had for his family and friends. His passing has taught me the fragility of life and the importance of cherishing every moment.
As a Christian man, I have struggled with questions such as "Why did God allow this to happen?" and "How could a loving God let my son die?" With the help of my family and friends I came to realize these are natural questions to ask, and it's okay to have doubts and struggles with faith during this time. However, it's important to remember that God is with us in our pain and sorrow, and that we can turn to him for comfort and strength.
One of the most comforting things about being a Christian is the belief that death is not the end. We believe that our loved ones who have passed away are now in heaven, reunited with God and free from pain and suffering. As difficult as it is to let go of our loved ones, we can find peace in the knowledge that they are now in a better place. It's also important to remember that we are not alone in our grief. As Christians, we are part of a community that can offer support, comfort, and love during difficult times.
Losing a child is something that no parent should ever have to experience. It is a tragedy that leaves a void that can never be filled. As a father, I am struggling to cope with my grief and to be there for my family, but I know that Matthew would want us to stay strong and support each other. I also believe that God has a plan for us all.
Matthew’s passion for music and his beautiful smile and his deep love for his family and friends will forever be remembered. Matthew, you are missed dearly, but we feel your presence with us always.