It is a harsh word.
I understand completely that some parents don’t want to use it to describe their child and I respect that.
I have chosen to use it often (not always-sometimes I say “left” or “ran ahead to heaven”) because what happened IS harsh. I don’t want to soften it because there was nothing soft about it for me or my family.
It is heartbreaking, lonely, heavy, hard and utterly devastating.
As a believer in the promises of Scripture, I use it because I want to paint a stark contrast between hopelessness without Christ and the hope I have because of the blood of Jesus applied to my heart and the heart of my son.
Without that assurance, the hopelessness would continue for eternity.
But because of Jesus, while this reality is harsh, hard and heartbreaking, I have an eternity of rest, renewal and redemption to look forward to.
I think each of us finds our own path through this Valley and should say or use whatever word is best for our own heart.
This is simply one choice among many.
I’m so sorry that we need ANY words to describe our child’s physical absence in this earthly journey.