Last year: Well, it’s been a month. I don’t know what words to use to explain how I feel. Exhausted. I don’t want it to be real. I want to be with you. God help me to grieve your way. Help me to depend on you, I can’t always set my mind on the things above. I never can. God even this pen I’m trying to write with feels too heavy. I have nothing. Nothing but tears. God I pray for Mom & Gene’s protection as they drive on vacation. I thank you that my Mom has accepted the gift of Your son. Everything is so foggy in my head.
Today: Well, it’s been 13 months and 1 day. I still don’t know what words to use to explain how I feel. Confused I suppose. I still don’t want it to be real. And I still want to be with you, Drey. I look at pictures of your smiling face – what a great smile! It warms my heart to see that smile but at the same time it breaks me. Bethaney posted some pics I’d never seen of you on FB. You were so loved. You had so many friends. I will never understand why you did this. I don’t ask the “why” question as often as I did but it still lingers.
We have a new dog… his name is Duke. You would’ve liked him. He’s a cuddler. David’s birthday is today. He’s 15. You’re missing everything.
I’m attending a 2-day conference this week. It’s about suicide and engaging the bereaved. The speakers and topics look really interesting. This conference is a far cry from the retail and business conferences I’ve attended in the past. Life sure is different now. Family Needs Following a Suicide of a Teenager, Impact of Language on Survivors of Loss, Carrying the Grief of Suicide: Reaching out to Survivors Across the Lifespan. State Representative Marlene Anielski will be there – I’m looking forward to meeting her. She just championed the passage of the Jason Flatt Act here in Ohio… now educators, guidance counselors, etc. are required to get Suicide Prevention training. It’s the law. I want to understand who’s responsible for implementing that training. Is it just at the high school level? What about private and charter schools – are they required as well? What’s supposed to be included in the training? And I want to hear their plan for making it happen with deliverable dates. I can hear you teasing me, Drey… “Mom’s kicked into work mode again.” Yea – I hear myself, too. Perhaps I’m trying to take responsibility for something that isn’t mine to take. But I want to know what the implementation plan is for good and right reasons.
I ask God a lot what I could be doing. What would glorify Him. We moved to Franklinton to invest in an impoverished community. We wanted people to know about His love. Then you died. Now I think about the suicide community and who’s at risk. Generally it’s not people in Franklinton. It’s the middle-class – especially middle-aged men, it’s the military, it’s those who have been directly impacted by a suicide loss, it’s the glbt community, it’s teens. My heart goes out to those who have lost someone – so my focus has been on the bereaved. But as I engage more in the suicide community I’m drawn to prevention opportunities, too, specifically with teenagers and young adults. What does any of this suicide stuff have to do with Franklinton? I try to tell myself just because we live here doesn’t mean our ministry has to be here. But that was our plan… wasn’t it Yours, God? We prayed A LOT. We got input A LOT. So we moved. But then life happened in a major way. Now what? I guess because I may be drawn to a different ministry that doesn’t mean we have to move back to the suburbs. I can be such a black and white thinker – I wish I were more comfortable in the gray area. There are so many creative, out of the box things You may be doing. God help me to have a mindset of confident expectation of what is next! I know You’ve prepared good works for me.
And then there’s this business of a job… again – my black and white thinking kicks in. I’ve got it in my head that I must figure out what ministry looks like go forward before I decide what career to move towards. If I land in a ministry that takes up a big part of my time it’ll impact the # of hours I put towards my career. Can my ministry and career be one in the same? I don’t know if I could fill a role in the suicide community as my job. That feels like it’d be a lot – maybe too heavy for me emotionally. Will I care in a year as much as I do today about the suicide community? What’s just a phase vs. a true change in direction?
A day at a time. You are good, God. You know how dense and stubborn I can be. You also know I love You. Help me to rest in Your timing and help me to trust I will hear You. I praise You that I’m able to take this time and rest. I praise You for Robbie’s job. You have provided for us in so many ways. God thank You for bringing Mom & Gene home safely from last years September vacation. God help me to be grateful rather than only asking for more, more, more. Your timing, Lord.
A very heart-felt and compassionate post. Thank you for sharing.
I don’t know you but I appreciate your writing and thank you for appreciating mine. Your work is NOT in vain. Keep going….