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Mar 17, 2021 569 Connie Beckman,
Engage

The Boy on a Bike

Grieving over loss of a loved one? Here is a mother’s heartfelt account of how she found hope

even in the darkest valley.

We were blessed with two sons. David the oldest had golden blonde hair. Our youngest son, Chris, had dark hair.  David’s blonde hair would get even lighter during the summer months when he’d been out in the sun. Our boys were the joy of our lives.

When David was seventeen, life handed us a devastating blow. A catastrophic car accident killed him and a friend. Our hearts were shattered into a million and one pieces. We were in shock for weeks. Suddenly, our family of four was reduced to three as one was violently ripped from us.  My husband and I and our 15-year old son, Chris, clung to each other, our friends, and our faith. Taking it one day at a time was even too much, I had to take it minute by minute and hour by hour. I thought the pain would never leave us.

Visiting David’s grave provided some relief from the deep sense of loss. I would visit his grave at least once a week. The cemetery in our small town is beautifully maintained. Lovely grass and trees enhance its quiet tranquillity. The road into the cemetery follows a circular path. You can see anyone leaving or entering from any vantage point.

One day, as I sat on the grass beside my son’s grave, the tears began to flow down my face. I was very concerned about his brother, Chris who was having a very difficult time coping with the loss of his only brother. After pouring out my heart, I wiped the tears from my eyes and looked around the cemetery. A young boy, in a white tank top with very blonde hair, was riding a bike around the cemetery. He rode his bike so smoothly and effortlessly that I was captivated. I idly wondered why a child might be riding a bike in a cemetery? For an instant, I glanced down at my son’s grave, then looked back, but the blonde boy on the bike had vanished before my eyes. I kept searching around for him, but he was gone. I sensed, from the depths of my soul, that it was my son, David. The white tank top the boy wore was identical to one David had worn all the time.  It felt like David had visited me that day at the cemetery, to comfort me and let me know that he is at peace.

To this day, I cannot explain the encounter, but the memory is engraved on my heart forever by the Holy Spirit. I believe that God granted this heavenly encounter to assure me that I am not grieving alone. Jesus weeps with me and the Holy Spirit wipes away my tears, one day at a time. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1.

After this mysterious encounter, my heavy burden lightened a little.  Even though many years have passed since our David died, the sorrow of losing our child lingers in our hearts. Grief has no time limits. It lessens with time, but mothers and fathers mourn forever. I find comfort in the hope that we will see our precious son again one day.

When tragedy and death strike a family, everyone can become overwhelmed with grief. Processing loss is challenging, plunging us into deep, dark valleys; but God’s love and His amazing grace can infuse rays of sunshine and hope into our lives again.

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10

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Connie Beckman

©Connie Beckman is a member of the Catholic Writer’s Guild. She desires to encourage Catholic spiritual growth by sharing the truths of the Catholic faith. Beckman shares her joy and love of God at her website www.conniescatholiccorner.com.

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