I’m all over the place with my thoughts and emotions today. I hate this. From peace and excitement to dread and anger. It’s painful. It’s confusing.
I got to baptize someone this morning… what a wonderful honor and privilege to be part of Debbi’s life as she learns more about God. So it was an emotional morning… listening to people’s testimonies is always so amazing. But like so many things it’s different now… Now I listen to a 20 something year old’s testimony through a different lens. He wore shoes like Drey. He was a few years older than Drey. He was built like Drey. He’d gotten into some of the same trouble Drey had got into. But this young man chose a different path from Drey. And he was standing there right before my eyes thanking his parents for always being there for him – and they baptized him. My heart was heavy with grief as I quietly wept and announced silently in my mind that I sacrificed so much to YOU GOD! I’ve given up so much. I won’t get to baptize Drey. I don’t even get to see him. Period. And I feel the anger swell up and it’s directed at YOU. YOU allowed this to happen. Damn it. There aren’t words.
When I’m triggered like this and these feeling show up I can’t always tuck them neatly away. God has brought me so far in learning how to handle Drey’s death, his suicide. So, so far. I mean, it’s not like I go for hours without thinking of Drey. He is on my mind regularly. So I’m triggered a lot but can fairly often stay “in check” and in the moment without spiraling.
I continued on with interacting with people throughout the morning… so many happy people. Sometimes I’m happy. But when I’m not it’s REALLY HARD when others are. I was irritable, hurt, sad, lonely and mostly angry with myself for not being able to be happy. No one can possibly understand the depths of this pain. This wasn’t just a normal death – if there even is such as thing. Why do I feel I must defend myself? Explain myself? Yea – I’m sad. My life has been shattered and I’m still figuring out how to put one foot in front of the other. Why can’t I just give myself some slack and rest in knowing I don’t have to have the answers. I don’t have 100% control of when the despair portion of this grief wants to resurface. I’m still learning how to walk this out. It is what it is. And I try to tell myself I don’t owe anyone an explanation.
My son is dead. My son took his life. Jesus God I don’t know how I got here.
Happy is one of those words that is very similar to normal…there is really no such thing that is universal for any of us. We have to define these for ourselves pretty much everyday. You owe no one an explanation or apology for anything you feel. Those who love you understand enough to let you work this out in your own heart and mind with Gods guidance. I pray for the day when you can hold onto your peace for long periods of time.
My youngest son chose to end his own life just a little over three years ago…. There were no “warning signs”, nothing to help us understand why he did it. But these things I know: Our God is all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect in His love toward us, in His mercy and His grace. Like Job, we may never know WHY God allowed this tragedy to come into our lives, but we can TRUST that it was in His PERFECT love and mercy and grace. It did NOT take Him by surprise…. Yes, he could have stopped it. But it sounds like you know our Lord enough to know that is not how He works…. He alone knows what the future would have held for our sons–and he alone knows what griefs He may have spared them and us. I am comforted in KNOWING, too, that THIS LIFE is but a vapor, a brief moment, whether it lasts 5 years, 25 years, or 105 years. It is still brief…. We are here to live life and be conformed to the image of Christ…. It is NOT our life here that will be remembered, any more than you can remember your life in the womb as you prepared for life on this earth…. Take comfort in knowing that the lives our sons would have lived are, to them NOW (on the other side), of no more consequence than an episode of hiccups we may have had while we were in the womb…. This life, as precious as it is, is just “womb” time. Our sons were “born” into their new lives prematurely, and I know the grief and tears are very real. But take courage. They ARE in their new lives, and one day we will be, too. In the meantime, please try to really grab hold of how great and how deep and how wide is the love that the Father has toward you….. I am wishing toward God on your behalf….. cj
Thank you! Amen!