The best piece I have read on this topic is the work by Nicholas Wolterstorff, who upon the death of their one child, a boy at the age of 25 in a climbing accident, was absolutely devastated. He waited 12 years until he wrote the book Lament for a Son. And here is just a flavor from 12 years on from the death of his boy,
“Gone from the face of the earth. I wait for a group of students to cross the street, and suddenly I think:
I go to a ballgame and find myself singling out the twenty-five-year olds;
none of them is he.
In all the crowds and streets and rooms and churches and schools and libraries and gatherings of friends in our world, on all the mountains,
I will not find him.
Only his absence.
‘Was there a letter from Eric today?’
‘When did Eric say he would call?’
Now only silence.
Absence and silence.
When we gather now there’s always someone missing, his absence as present as our presence, his silence as loud as our speech. Still five children, but one always gone. When we’re all together, we’re not all together.”
And in his preface, he says,
“I am often asked whether the grief remains as intense as when I wrote. The answer is no. The wound is no longer raw. But it has not disappeared.This is as it should be.If he was worth loving, he is worth grieving over. Grief is existential testimony to the worth of the one loved.That worth abides.”
Alistair Begg – “Our Present Sufferings”