The Gift of Tragedy

From the Depths of Sorrow is a series in which I reveal my heart and personal journey through my grief. Our son, William, passed away at age 11 months and 10 days on April 24, 2012. He is dearly missed by everyone in our family and we hope to live a life worthy of reuniting with him and our first child that we lost through miscarriage.

 Tragedy A Gift?

When I am brought low and hurting beyond my imagination, I can have radical thoughts.  At least I consider them to be in that category. 

In eternal life when all is revealed, I will see how great it is that God changed our family in this way.  How He saved William from sin and death.  How it makes me want to live a holy life.  How we were given a gift and allowed to share in the Divine experience of Good Friday.  I know it is not the same, but we too witnessed a pure soul that brought love into the world die.  My husband and I held our son in our arms as his heart took its last beats. 

At this point, I don’t have any words of wisdom regarding tragedy.  It happens in this life and again a choice is to be made by those involved.  One can say that God is cruel to give us any sorrows or one can say God loves me and so I am given this sorrow. 

My tragedy is a gift from God.  A gift that I don’t understand, a gift that I am only beginning to explore, a gift that doesn’t feel like a gift, but I know that it is one to treasure.  Fortunately God has given us a guide, a crucifix that bears witness that tragedy is a gift.  One can take a good time meditating and looking at a crucifix in thanksgiving for the price that has been paid for our souls.  Now imagine yourself right up there on that cross; are you still thankful?  I hope you can be thankful.  It won’t lessen your pain or make everything “right” but it will give you something.  It will give you something to hold onto and something to share with Him who went before you.

Embracing the cross is a challenge.  It becomes even more challenging when that cross feels bigger and heavier than you think you can carry.  It may even feel like it is crushing you and you can’t bear its weight.  My advice is to allow it to crush you.  Allow it to be the gift that God wants to give you and don’t fight it.  I don’t want to run away from mine.  I want to learn to love it.  I’m beginning to see a small glimmer of what it means to love this cross.  I have a lot to learn.  There is a joy in suffering and a gratitude when we look at our crosses as a gift and not a burden.  The cross will still be a cross.  It will still be pain, hard, suffering, and more.  Carrying it or in my case lying underneath it will be my cross that I call my gift.

God makes lots of gifts.  Some of those gifts we get to cuddle and call them our friends and family.  Other gifts cuddle/crush us and make us part of another family- a heavenly communion.  Tragedy is difficult but when it is abhored it is wasted, when it is embraced it becomes a gift.


by Veronica Wallace


There’s nothing God has done to me

That he didn’t do first to Mary

No pain I suffer that is my own

Or sorrow that I bear alone

I see her heart encircled in flames

I feel it in my own the same

I know the tears that she has shed

I cry them to myself in bed

And yet I do not have it all

The grief she endured for the fall

A taste is what I have to share

Of her great love to not despair

For sadness great though it may be

God will bring joy eventually


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