Two Boxes

Written on the two year anniversary of my son’s passing (September 2020).

I cannot believe I have lived these past two years without my son. Only by the grace of God. I miss him every day, every hour. This poem came to me a few days ago as I was collecting some of Nate’s writing into boxes in case we had to evacuate during the forest fires in the mountains near our house. I took it as God’s word to me at this difficult time.

Two boxes, that's all you took with you.
And two boxes, that's all you left behind.
But oh what treasures lie in those boxes
 - hidden surprises, terrible agony, insights into your soul.

Sometimes we have to evacuate.
Sometimes this beautiful, warm, sunny, colorful world turns to ashes and scorched earth and disease and violence and darkness.
And you evacuate.

Right now it feels like beauty to ashes.
At the end it will be ashes to ashes.
But at the right time it will be ashes to beauty
  and we will receive oil, garments and garlands.
There is a time for beauty to ashes.
There is a time for ashes to ashes.
And thank God there is a time when we exchange those ashes for our crown of beauty and our garland of praise.

Two boxes of you.
Two trips around the sun without you.
Dust to dust.
Ashes to ashes.
In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life.