Note from Crystal: I think this is the most touching guest post I’ve ever shared before. Dana’s blog and the story of her son’s sudden death has had a profound impact upon me as a mother. I encourage you to take time to visit her blog and read through some of the archives. You’ll be moved, touched, and blessed.
Guest Post by Dana from Roscommon Acres
On December 13, 2010 we were faced with the most difficult decision of our lives: Did we want the white casket or the brown casket for our twenty-one-month-old son?
The following weeks were a blur of activity hidden in a cloud of grief. We went out to eat because we were out and the children were hungry and no one really ever thought about dinner. There were the funeral bills and the co-pays.
There was Christmas. And there were five children from whom so much had been taken that it was hard to say “no” to anything at all. To top it off, my husband didn’t go back to work for a month.
Before Mattias died, I had written up a Master Plan, a sheet of goals for the property prioritized by the expected return on the investment. It was a three-year plan but to cope with our grief and loss, the money belt was loosened as we ordered trees for our orchard, ducklings, keets, chicks, and bees. We started remodeling the basement, building a wall right through where the accident happened.
For a passing moment, it seemed to me as if we were running through money like water, but suddenly I didn’t care about the money that was being spent. In fact, for an entire month, we didn’t think about money because there were bigger things on our plate than a budget.
This was only possible because for fifteen years, we had thought about money. We have a credit card, but it has been paid off in full every month since I was nineteen. Our cars are old and a little beaten up but they are ours. We have a mortgage, but it is far less than the 25% of our income that Dave Ramsey recommends. And we had managed to save six months worth of expenses in our emergency fund.
For a month, we didn’t have to think about money, and could instead concentrate on wading through the difficult process of figuring out what comes next after burying a child because for fifteen years we had thought about money.
Dana Hanley writes at Roscommon Acres about life more abundantly, from the joy of a baby’s smile to the almost unbearable grief of losing a son. She is seeking beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of the spirit of despair (Isaiah 61:3).