Loon’s linkage (July/August ’11)

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  • Rebecca Stringer on what NOT to say to a grieving parent (and thankfully, what TO say)
  • Brett McCracken on lessons learned since his days as a Wheaton College freshman
  • Rachel Held Evans on 13 things she won’t do this election season
  • Jamie Smith compares post-Protestant skepticism and Catholic doubt
  • Ellen Painter Dollar on the valuable but complex role of personal stories in discussions concerning reproductive ethics
  • Tim Keller on a preacher’s call to evangelize while edifying, as well as edify while evangelizing
  • Napp Nazworth on why a willingness to compromise does not mean you have given up on your principles
  • Paul Loeb on flawed heroes, Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea), and the “perfect standard trap”
  • Michael Patton on the spectrum between Christianity’s theological essentials and non-essentials
  • Elaine Storkey on the life of egalitarian pioneer Katherine Clark Kroeger

Grief journal (9 months)


“Our lives can indeed be seen as a process of becoming familiar with death, as a school in the art of dying. I do not mean this in a morbid way. On the contrary, when we see life constantly relativized by death, we can enjoy it for what it is: a free gift.” —Henri Nouwen, A Letter of Consolation

Nine months before Vincent was born, I had no idea we were having another son. Nine months since his passing, I have no idea how to live without him. He was an unexpected gift; neither did I foresee giving him away. I figured he would still be here. Perhaps I assumed too much.

Strangely enough, I don’t want the pain to stop—not all of it, anyway. Tears and memories are my connection to Vincent, proof that he still matters to me. There are few things I dread more than numbness toward what I cherish most. To stop feeling is to stop caring.

I hope I never stop missing that little boy. I can no longer see him playing with toy trains, hear him laughing with his brother or pick him up when it’s time for a bedtime story. I may not enjoy the pain of living with a broken heart, but I hope to always feel something when I think of my son. The best gifts stay with you forever.

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