When our fourth (and last) child was born, my husband and I both commented on how our family had never felt complete before. It was like something was missing, but we didn't know what or who it was until she was here. My friend knows what is missing, what will always be missing... when they take a family picture, when they sit down to a family meal, when they go on a family vacation... her middle child will always be missing.
My consolation is what is said in the orthodox church... "May his memory be eternal." That is my hope and my prayer. But I want his mom to have more than his memory... I want her to have her son. I suppose Mary felt that way too, when she saw HER son on the cross, when she had to put him in a grave. The Theotokos (the Mother of God) has brought me much comfort over the last year. I've had a glimpse into her pain and she has comforted me through that pain and she's also shared with me that "Gone but not forgotten" is a falsehood. Nick is certainly not forgotten but he is not GONE either. His spirit is ALIVE, alive in those who love him and alive in those he loved. We miss his physical presence but he is still smiling from his heart and his energy still moves through our family.
As deep as our sadness on earth is, I can't even imagine the joy in heaven at having such a beautiful soul among the angels. With all my heart I pray "May his memory be eternal" and may his mom find comfort in the arms of the Theotokos.
In love and recovery,