The loss of a child is a pain that no parent should ever go through. We weren’t meant to see our children die before us, and the pain never truly goes away. We hope and pray that it has all just been some huge mistake. They can’t really be gone, right? For one mother, that hope came through…but not in the way that she expected.
This was the day I met my son’s heart recipient. My son, Thomas, died as a result of a traumatic head injury in August, 2008. He was just a few days away from turning 18. He had made the decision to be an organ donor when he got his driver’s license. We honored his wishes upon his death. Several months later, I wrote to all of his recipients and prayed that we would get a response. In the spring of 2011, I received the letter I had been praying for – from Derrick, my son’s heart recipient. With further correspondence, he was ready to meet us. That was in June of 2011. It was such a blessing to meet this wonderful, young man, who we now refer to as our heart son.
While it isn’t the same as holding her own son and listening to his heart, it helps to heal the hurt. It closes an open wound, knowing that her son’s tragic death meant that someone else could live. It helps knowing that her son’s death wasn’t in vain. That he helped more people than he will ever realize is like a balm to her broken heart. It won’t fix it, and it won’t bring him back, but it will bring her a level of comfort that can get her through the next day. And that is a beautiful thing 🙂
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