Have you ever seen a huge river like the Mississippi up close and in person? The Saint Laurent river is near our house. In some places it’s so wide you can’t see the other side. For being so huge, the water is not often turbulent; it just has gentle waves. But if you were in that current, make no mistake, you’d be moving along at a great clip. It’s deceptive because it looks so peaceful but a monstrous power lies beneath and its job is to move forward at all costs. 

My life is that river.
Moving ever forward whether I want it to or not.
The sad part is that Tristan jumped out onto the shore and I am moving forever forward away from the place he got off. I see myself turning backward, arms reaching and grasping toward the shore where he left,  but to no avail. My place is moving forward, further and further away from the days God ordained for him on this earth.
My friend kindly tried to soften this reality by suggesting I think of it as moving closer and closer to the day I finally get to see Tristan in heaven. But I’m too close to the place he jumped out onto the shore, and too far from the day I go to heaven. His loss is too great a reality to take comfort in that day far ahead.  

One thing I can take comfort in: God says His hand is behind me, before me, and upon me (Psalm 139:5)  I can imagine the river water being God’s hand that is encircling me. And I know that Tristan is with God, so the same God that holds me, is the same God that Tristan is with right now. That is what connects us. No matter how far away I feel from Tristan’s given life on earth, I can be connected to him through our Lord. 

I can say to God, “Lord, please hug Tristan for me. Please kiss his left eyebrow that flips up so he knows it’s from me.”