Your Name Means “Unwavering Faith”
Jacob, my cherished son. I named you after the prophet from three of the world’s great religions—Christianity, Judaism, and Islam—the one remembered for his great strength of character, his complete submission to the will of God and his firm and unwavering faith.
And now it is I who clutches for faith and struggles to submit, not to the “will of God,” because how can I believe in a God who’d have allowed you to die so painfully and so young? But to the reality of your death, the finality of the years that stretch out in front of me without your precious presence.
The Silence That Remains After Your Death
When I dare to turn off all the sounds of my distracted life, all I can hear is the emptiness that remains. I struggle now to live your fate, your destiny, your namesake’s example of submission and acceptance. I shake my fist at heaven and decry all notions of divine meaning; yet I find myself surrounded by a storm of words.
“All right!” I scream, inside my head, “I will write them.”
The Words Force from Me Like Another Birth
No need to worry about what the words will be or where they will go, whom they might offend or comfort. I just need to let them out of my self.
Just as I could not clench my legs together in a futile effort to prevent Jacob from being born, so I must let my words emerge from me and take shape in this world.