Phineas "Fyn" Bubna - March 15th, 2008 to March 16th, 2008

so many places to begin at this end.
i must write while the words are mine.
and i must write.
grief has always flown from my fingers
far better than joy.
giving birth to these words
like all birth
means letting go
of some safety
some control
that was probably never really ours.

he is already in my dreams,
just hours gone
and i see his face in my sleep
and feel his soft skin.

the end of one day saw his birth
the beginning of the next his death
one sweet, precious hour.
one sweet, precious hour.
he tried so hard to breath.
his heart was good and strong.
i could not be more proud of my son
or his mother.
at the end of such a day,
how she looked so beautiful,
how she was so tender and strong,
i may never understand.
miracles surround us here.

i would have torn down mountains for just that hour,
but You gave it, You just gave it,
the most beautiful gift,
the last thing i wanted,
so much i was afraid to ask.
but You knew.
oh my God, You knew!
that fear i had,
prowling about my heart,
terrifying in its strength and closeness;
that beast you slayed for me
when they placed him in my wife's loving arms
to die so near the hearts of us
who loved him most and knew him best,
save only You.

we sang that lullabye...
the terrible beauty of it
so fraught with joy and tears.
it took us both to sing it
louder than the sobs.
neither alone could have sent him off so well.
i didn't know those words could mean so much.
good night, my love.
i have seen the glory of the Lord,
even as we groan inwardly,
wait eagerly,
for the redemption of it all.

in the peace of my son's face,
the warmth of his rosy cheeks
and tender little movements,
so few.
in the love that sobbed
and ripped
and clawed
through our hearts.
yes, grief,
the most awful face of love
in this fatal world,
and still so beautiful.
this is holy ground.
we must leave changed forever.
such a terrible blasphemy
it would be to reject the power here.

it may be some time
before i can sing that lullabye again
without sobbing.
but i will keep singing it.

i thought i would be so angry,
but anger wanted from me
a pride my desparation
could not allow.
will it now?
i don't know.
but i feel no obligation to feel that or not.
only love demands life and voice here.
only love can.

"it is love who makes the mortar
and it's love who stacked these stones
and it's love who made the stage here
although it looks like we're alone
in this scene set in shadows
like the night is here to stay
there is evil cast around us
but it's love that wrote the play...
for in this darkness love will show the way"

i don't just believe that.
i don't know how not to believe it.
i never have.

so goodnight was goodbye once more.
i already miss him so
that it is hard to envision life without him.
don't read that wrong.
i mean forgetfulness seems
as impossible as it is undesirable,
which is a lot,
my heart will tell you,
but is not totally so,
my heart knows.

we do not grieve as those who have no hope,
even as we may grieve much more than they.
for our grief is the parting of lover and beloved,
and everyone who loves is born of God
and knows God.
my heart knows.
that, another miracle,
my God your grace is so unfair,
how can i bear the weight of this glory?

grief feels so like fear,
for it asks of me faith
that the end is not the end,
for it's not what He has planned.
goodnight, my love,
we will meet again.

i do not understand the joy in my heart
such a strange bedfellow for this awful ache
for all that is not and will not be.

before he was born,
i knew this as the worst day of my life.
never such pain before, never.
every muscle in my face hurts,
for sobbing is such an effort,
such a hard-won gift,
from the body to the soul.
but then my first son was born.
that was one of my best days.
"i have come that you may have life
and have it to the full"
it was a full day.

the sadness comes in waves.
reality is, as usual, so surreal.
how obvious that this is not our true home.
this is not how it was meant to be.

every person who visits,
every hug and kind word or silence,
these are mirrors to me.
i see our grief in the eyes of those who love us,
and it makes me cry all the more.

and i am still so glad we sang to him
that he died in our arms,
near our hearts and ragged breath,
hearing our voices,
feeling our touch,
not alone, never alone.
and then he slowly grew cold.
my son is gone. my son.
my son, i love you so.
i will trust your heart knows.
for our love comes from God,
who alone could speak and you understand.
what tongues do you hear now as you sleep,
waiting for the revealing of a
new heavens and a new earth.
your new body will have lungs that work well.

palm sunday.
how i long for Christ to come
and gather us beneath his wings.
shelter from this fatal world.
i will greet Him alone as my king.

in a few days, Good Friday,
what it will mean now
that we too have lost a son.
so too our hope is in the resurrection,
and i bitterly long for that day.
when there is no more hope,
no more faith,
only love remains.

come Lord Jesus, come.
and while we ache,
come Spirit,
be our comforter.
with your many hands and feet and tongues, yes,
but most with peace in our hearts.
and we cry.

my son, Phineas Bubna,
was born yesterday, March 15th, 2008.
my son, Phineas Bubna,
died in the arms of his incredible mother
as we sang one sad lullabye,
today, in the early hour of March 16th, 2008.
one sweet, precious hour was all.
one sweet, precious hour.
Lord have mercy on our bleeding hearts.

Phineas, we will miss you,
and we will not forget,
for you are very loved.
thank you for being our son,
and you always will be.

we will keep singing.


Achtung BB said...

This is Brian from home group. I just wanted to say that we are still thinking about you guys.

Aaron said...


I'm powerfully and incredibly moved by your writing about the loss of your son. I have never experienced pain like this, but it touches my deepest fears. I saw your comment in the rabbit room and found this blog. I haven't finished processing it all yet, but may God bless you and your wife as you continue to work through it.

Aaron Roughton