But things are different now. Since Drey died I have a tight inner-circle that I can share things with. Very tight. In part because the depths of this pain is unreal. And in part because I’ve been hurt by comments and questions.
In January I was speaking with a customer at work and during our conversation I shared that my son took his life last summer. He said if one of his teenage girls killed themselves he’s pretty sure he’d be okay because he knows they’re Christian and they’d be in heaven. While he said this he shared about two ways – by visually demonstrating – they might kill themselves. “You never know, someone can hang themselves or shoot themselves…” He had no idea how matter-of-fact and cold his comments were. He didn’t mean to be hurtful – I’m sure of it. I was able to keep it together for the rest of the work day but when I got home the tears poured. I told Robbie I couldn’t be vulnerable anymore. It just wasn’t an option. Life looked different for me now. We have to be careful what movies we see, what restaurants we go to, what music I listen to, where we drive and on and on and flippin on. And now the reality that I couldn’t even be the same ‘ol open me hit me square in the face.
Since then I’ve thought a lot about the difference between being self-protective and guarding my heart. There is a difference… when I’m self-protective my focus is ONLY on ME ME ME. It’s an attempt at not getting hurt, of not breaking down. But I miss out on laughter, on being comforted, on growing closer to friends and family. So, little by little, I’m learning to guard my heart instead. For me that means I limit commitments around hard dates in anticipation of being emotionally exhausted. I’ve learned which friends are good at just listening and call on them on the super emotional days. I’ve learned seeing several people all at once that I haven’t seen in a while is hard so I’m cautious when making those plans. And yes, I’ve learned before sharing with someone the news about my son to quietly pray about it first.
Phil 4: 6,7 Do not be anxious for anything, but with prayer and petition present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”