Today Doug and I went for an easy hike along the shores of a peaceful lake in the White Mountains. As we walked along, a rhythmic phrase invaded my thoughts, “water and rocks, rocks and water, water and rocks”. I was lagging a bit behind and my attentive husband turned and asked, “Are you okay?” Amidst sobs and tears I said aloud the words that had been on repeat in my mind. “Rocks and water, water and rocks, rocks and water,” then paused and added “Rocks bruised and battered his body and water drowned him!”
As Doug hugged me I continued, “I know that in Jesus there are Rivers of Living Water and He is the Rock of Our Salvation. I believe that this was Evan’s final Baptism and Resurrection to New Life. But it’s just so, so hard!!!”
We were at an Arizona lake, not a Guatemalan river. I had expected myself to leave grief behind for a little while, but I’m learning that Lady Sorrow tags along whether or not she’s invited.
Doug is grieving too and we talked about how we grieve differently. “I’m not his mother”; his gentle reminder somehow made it okay to embrace the solitude of my grief. We walked on a little way before I asked his help looking for a comfy spot in the shade where I could rest as he continued the hike without me. He willingly accorded me private time and space in the shade of pines to take out my phone and pour through again the words and photos from those awful days while tears flowed freely.
This is the part of the Lanquin River in Guatemala where Evan’s boat flipped.
Here’s the place in the same river where the search and rescue team pulled his body from the river.
The fourteen year old sister of the friend who was on the river with him that day, made a little shrine here with a “vela” of Our Lady of Guadalupe