The day before Mitchell was discharged from the hospital, his neurologist came to say goodbye to him. She was the doctor who diagnosed him when he was 3 and monitored his muscular dystrophy growing up. She heard our little boy was suffering end-stage heart failure and she knew this would be the last time she would ever see him. 

While the practice of medicine can get caught up in chemistry, physiology and biology, this image shows the nobility of compassionate medicine. 

Visiting little Mitch was not easy for her. A few years prior her daughter had passed away and the rawness of her loss was still tender and returning to the CICU brought back painful memories. Yet she loved Mitchell more than her personal comfort and came to visit him anyway. She knew that a little boy was drowning in a sea of trouble, a sea whose undertow would pull him into the depths and darkness of beyond; and she reached out to him … to steady his worried mind and let him know she loved him. 

I don’t know what crossed her mind as she drove home that day. Perhaps she cried like I cried. Probably not. But, I suspect her heart was heavy with sorrow by the loss of her own daughter and witnessing the imminent death of a little boy she had grown to love and care for. I do know the look on Mitchell’s face after she left told me he took great comfort that his doctor took the time to see him and offer the best medicine in time and eternity: love. 

It has been almost 5 months since I lost my sweet son and time hasn't made things any easier. One thing I've learned on this painful journey is healing hurts. A lot. Not a day passes that I am not overwhelmed with the heaviest of grief and sorrow for having lost him. My daily commute to and from work is often accompanied by many, many tears. The deepest parts of my soul yearn to talk to him, to have his companionship, to hear his sweet voice and see his smiling face, and to let him know how much I love him. I never knew it was possible to weep so much, for so long. The wellspring of tears and sorrow seem to have an endless, generous reserve. Time grinds painfully by like sandpaper on an open wound. What I wouldn't do to have one more day with my son. There are times the ninth level of Dante's Inferno would seem a walk in the park. 

And while my soul writhes from a pain I can barely endure, the wound from having lost my boy would seem to be healing other aspects of me, broken parts of me. I’m starting to learn that pain has the capacity to heal – another heavenly paradox, if we’ll allow it. 

I wish I had the healer’s art; that I could have fixed his body. Yet, in all my efforts to save my son, I have begun to see that he’s the one who is saving me.