by Kim Aasland, the first Christmas after Nate passed away (December 2018)
A young boy embraces his mother's swollen abdomen, full of love for his yet unseen sister. That sister, now a teenaged girl, wraps her arms around her mother's heaving body, aching together with her for the loss of her brother who is now the unseen one. I have joined an elite club which I have no desire to be a part of: those who understand deep loss. Why have I been given this undesired understanding? Now I know that Mary's grief went far beyond being an unwed mother. Her grief was giving birth to the One who would bear the sins of humanity, to the One who would die. She pondered this, she treasured it in her heart, and a sword pierced her soul. To all the impaled mothers, I say: I am now one of you. This is not what we asked for. This is something only heaven will heal. Now we know the way of the cross and we walk in the footsteps of our sister Mary. Now Christmas is no longer merriment. It is revelation. It is the Body and the Blood. It is the ultimate surrender.