On the Eve of Emerson’s Funeral

When my sister Anna passed away on June 12th 2014, I found myself sharing images and thoughts of her frequently on Facebook and other social media sites. I could not share her enough. It was healing to share memories of Anna.

So I find it interesting that at the passing of my son, Emerson, that I have disappeared from social media. Emerson passed away Monday 3/28 2016 around 6:30pm. His passing has caused me to collapse into myself. I have pulled everything in tight. I have struggled to follow-up with people reaching out even as I long for their support and love. Grief is unpredictable.

On the eve of his wake, I find that I need to break the engulfing silence of my grief. Over the last week, my husband and I have made a lot of heartbreaking, difficult decisions: we arranged my son’s funeral. Cemeteries.  Caskets. Flowers. Music. Readings. Pictures. Obituary. So many choices.

The pain I feel in losing my son is so raw and so immense that I don’t know what to do with it. I am in a cosmos of grief; it washes over me every moment–covering me in its enormity. My only life savers are my 2 remaining sons. They are my salvation.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in memories over the last week. I am trying to pull together every little piece of Emerson. Anything at all to remember every second of his life. My husband and I found a few unwashed articles of clothes and put them in a gallon baggie; we want to save his smell for as long as possible. We took out his bin of memories. It was too small. We printed pictures. There were not enough. We watched videos, they were all too short. There can never be enough memorabilia.

Tomorrow is Emerson’s wake; the day after, his funeral. I get to see my son’s body two more times before I never see it again. I will never get to stroke his hair again. Never get to kiss him. Never get to hold his hand. There are a lifetime of nevers ahead.

5 years ago, March 2011, I found out we were pregnant with Emerson. I did not know then what I know now. I didn’t know about the pain, the hurt, and the challenges. I also didn’t know about the love, the joy, and the treasure of being a mom- of being his mom. Emerson is the easiest person to love. He lit up our life. I am so grateful that God gave me Emerson. I wish He had given me Emerson forever. I wish the natural order of life won; that my husband and I died before him. But it did not. I do not regret my decision to have my son. I could never regret that. He has made me into a woman far better than I used to be. He has shaped my motherhood. He has defined my values. Emerson is my sunshine. forever.

I feel as though I’ve aged two lifetimes since that day in March when I first learned I was pregnant. I am not the same woman who I used to be. I hope, as the days progress, I can continue to share my love of Emerson. I hope that he continues to pour his strength into me and opens me up as he was open.

Emerson, I cannot express how much I love you nor how much pain this separation causes me. I miss you more than I can explain. I will always hold you in my heart and I will wait for you in my dreams Peanut Pie.

Emerson 1215 1 (7)



10 thoughts on “On the Eve of Emerson’s Funeral

  1. No words. Only tears. My heart aches for you as I read your words. Praying for your strength to keep moving forward as you cling to the sweet, sweet memories.

  2. My favorite Christmas verse is Luke 2:19 — “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” It ran through my mind as I read your words. I believe the love of a mother for her child is wondrous, private and divine. I wish you peace and love as you treasure and ponder Emerson.

  3. Words from the heart are so meaningful! Yours are beautiful for such a beautiful little boy!!!
    I have always enjoyed Todd and Margies post about Emerson.
    My heart aches for you all!
    I have prayed for Emerson many times in his young life. Now he is sitting on the lap of Jesus! Laughing, singing and telling Jesus all about his wonderful earthly family!!!
    Now I am praying for comfort you and the family because praise the Lord, Emerson doesn’t need them any more!

  4. No words I can say will ease the incredible void in your world. Emerson was a 100 watt bulb in a 50 watt world. Your life will never be the same-you will go on, but you will be a different person. Please know that so very many people care about you and Matt!

    Liz Greer-Hunt (friend of Todd & Margie Trueblood)

  5. Dear Maria, you have described your grief so well. These words will help others around you give you the support you need. Please take one day at a time and remember to take a deep cleansing breath every now & then. Tina D

  6. Your words are none that a parent should ever have to write. Your love for Emerson shines so brightly through your words. I know that those words are only the tip of your never ending devotion for him and your entire family.
    It is said that we are only given what we can handle. Heartbreak and pain easily questions that statement.
    These past days, I have secretly wished I could get on a plane and seek out 2 of my very good friends from years gone by. . Emersons grandparents, Margie and Todd. I want to silently hug each of you and take some of your pain away with me. It will never be that easy. . Nothing worthwhile ever is. Your miracle gift is wrapped in sorrow and endless aches. Deep within each of you. ..
    My love to all of you from many miles away in PA.

  7. Maria and Matt. Please know that you and the rest of your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I can’t imagine the pain and sorrow you are dealing with right now. I pray that over time the pain will go away and you will find peace. The one day that I met Emerson I knew he was an exceptional boy.

  8. Oh so true Maria and very well written. What I heard today made me think of you. A man lost both parents within two weeks. When someone asked him how he was doing he said, “I feel like I have lost part of my leg – it is healing but it will never be the same. And I will always walk with a limp.” This seems so true but even deeper when it is your child. It never goes away, but it does get easier. Love you, Aunt Doreen

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