It has been exactly one week since the Lord chose to call my son Bryan White home to heaven. A week of shock, devastation and heartbreak, combined with visits with family and friends, hundreds of phone calls, funeral plans, viewing my son’s body, the actual funeral and now begins the aftermath.
My son Bryan was a very gentle soul. Fiercely loyal to his family, Bryan was also the most compassionate young man I have ever known. It was his compassion and empathy for the less fortunate, the hurting wounded souls that made my Bryan much like Jeremiah the Weeping Prophet.
Bryan did not just feel the sadness of others. He experienced it fully. He sought to understand it. In doing so he often created for himself a life of sadness and despair. If Bryan said he felt your pain, he meant it. He was in anguish for those who were hurting. This made him, at times, somewhat morose. But if you really knew Bryan you understood he felt the weight of the world on his shoulders. He wept and he prayed. He occasionally became angry with God over the suffering, but these moments of anger were brief, as Bryan understood that Jesus also wept.
Bryan had a genius level IQ. As a small child he would carry around a dictionary that weighed nearly as much as he did. He would read and study every single word. He would cross-reference the words defining a word. He was never satisfied until he had the complete grasp of every word in the entire dictionary. Needless to say he had an astounding vocabulary.
Bryan not only carried a dictionary but by the age of eight he had books on physics, chemistry, algebra, geometry, calculus, advanced biology, Spanish, history and a myriad of other subjects. When I taught him Koiné Greek, he devoured the subject and within a matter of days had mastered the alphabet and key components of the language.
Bryan wanted to be a biologist and researcher. He wanted to solve problems, cure disease and make broken people whole. He dreamed of counseling people.
Bryan was a first class musician. He taught himself to read music and play piano at an expert level. He could play classical, jazz, country, ragtime, gospel and many other styles. He played them all perfectly with passion and even empathy for the song or instrumental he was playing at the time.
His favorite musician, Keith Green was a Christian musician who also died young. Bryan loved his music. Bryan’s favorite Keith Green piece was The Prodigal Son Suite. He played it perfectly. It was this twelve plus minute song we played at his funeral during a slideshow of his life.
The world has suffered a great loss with the passing of my son. Sadly, they will never know the blessing he was or could be.
As a father I feel an overwhelming grief and sense of loss. There is a Bryan shaped hole in my heart. There is something so unnatural about a father outliving his son. It seems so unfair to have Bryan die before me.
But in a sense his death and departure has left me with another lesson taught by my son. Bryan loved Jesus as His Savior. Bryan has taught me the truth about God the Father’s agony as he sacrificed His only Son to save us all. I now fully understand the sense of loss, the agony, the despair of a Father giving His Son. I could not do it.
As I write this it will be exactly one week since his mother found his body. In only a few more minutes this anniversary will be realized. Soon it will two weeks, a month, a year and then years. The sorrow I feel now will not lessen with time, it will only become more appreciated by me as I remember my son and the void now in my life.
Poets write of joy and sorrow. For me it is summed up in one name: Bryan Thomas White.
Daddy loves you Bryan.