Archive | April 2014

A Priest and a foul-mouthed soccer Mom walk into a Bob Evans…

    I had lunch today with Father Leo Connelly. Father Leo delivers death notifications with the Sheriff’s department – including in the case of suicides. As our work continues towards launching a first responder LOSS team I’ve met a lot of people I never imagined I would.

    Father Leo had a lot of good information. I learned more about how Law Enforcement is structured, other agencies I may want to connect with and about different scenarios he’s been in. Most importantly I learned to expect we’ll need to “prove ourselves” so to speak as valuable at a crime scene. Father Leo talked about the ministry of presence and how important it is. But that’s hard to understand unless you’ve lived through a tragic death of a loved one. There are no words to make it better. None. But knowing someone is there with you – some times perhaps just sitting silently – is impactful beyond words. Especially when the person sitting with you is also a survivor of suicide loss. Just small comments Father Leo said… like how sometimes when he goes to a scene he is initially an unwelcomed intruder that surely just told the family a bad joke rather than the truth. But by the end of his time there he is no longer an unwelcomed stranger. Most of the time he never knows if his presence was valuable in some small way. But that doesn’t keep him from moving forward in serving others in this way. What an important ministry. Through meeting people like Father Leo I’m becoming more equipped – and learning how to equip others – to be part of a LOSS team.

    I feel God’s hand in this. I can’t explain it but I do sense it… It’s not moving along in my preferred time table (we would’ve launched the LOSS team and hindsighted what’s working & what’s not by now – and you can bet the “what’s not working” part of the list would’ve been way longer!) I’m confident it has been God’s timing. I hope as people read this and other blogs about the LOSS team that they’re praying about it… that God would continue to open doors to these important Postvention efforts. I know this is my personal journey and my personal passion. Not everyone carries the same depth of concern for complete strangers that have lost someone to suicide that I do. We are all shaped by our own personal circumstances and experiences. I hope I can be a diligent prayer warrior for my family and friends as they pursue God and as they pursue the good works He’s given them to do.

    And for anyone reading this that knows me fairly well… Yes, I successfully enjoyed a meal and conversation with Father Leo without any colorful language 🙂

What I’ll say – if speaking is even possible – when I see God

Thank You God that it’s over!
Thank You for dying for me.
Thank You for conquering death for me.
I tried to stay in the fight after Drey died.
I tried to do that in dependence on You.
My motives were almost always selfish but I didn’t let that stop me from sharing You – sometimes.
I wanted to be a blessing to those who mourn.
I feebly tried not to be angry with You.
I made pitiful attempts to refrain from believing You owed me something since You took Drey.
I tried not to be bitter when everyone moved on with their life.
I wanted to enjoy and selflessly love who was left in my life.
I tried to strip off the filmy residue of grief that coated everything.
On occasion I won the minute by minute battle and chose Spirit over flesh – because of You.
I had no success apart from You.
I did nothing good apart from You.
Thank You God. Thank You!
I can’t believe You love me.
Amazing grace.

In the Spirit

I hold out my hands open to You. I close my eyes and I hear myself grasping for breaths. Not panicked… Just deep, grace-soaked breaths.

Oh I have so many plans. So many human, mortal plans. And You direct my steps. Help me Lord to die to my self-serving desires. Help me to move forward in confidence. Confidence that You are not a God of confusion. You care deeply for people who mourn. My man-made desires to love people who have suffered loss can be used by You. I desperately want to be a vessel You can use! Teach me. Don’t let a single tear be wasted.

Thank You for these upcoming meetings and conversations about suicide Postvention. Don’t let a single tear be wasted.

I am feeling so blessed. Thank You for eternity. Thank You for loving my boy far more than I ever can. Thank You for delivering the message of my love to him even now. I miss you Drey. I love you.

Dear Drey

Neither my words nor my tears adequately express how much I miss you. You weren’t just my son you were my friend. We laughed together. We shopped together. We listened to the same music. I know I embarrassed you sometimes – okay a lot. I became your friend as you got older but my role as Mom was always top of mind for both of us. I was home. I was safe.

You can see my pride in every picture of the two of us. I loved to watch you. Not just playing soccer, walking across the stage to claim your diploma or whatever. But just to stare at you. Sometimes when you were sleeping. Or when you were typing away at your laptop. It’s a Mom thing.

Do you remember how much fun we had getting your senior pictures taken? Well, I did anyway! I had fun watching you. Do you remember me dancing like a fool behind Kama so she could steal just a few pics of the real, genuine big smile? It worked. God how I miss that smile, that laugh.

This picture means a lot to me. I remember exactly where we were. I remember acting like a fool. And I remember the feeling of accomplishment when I succeeded in getting the real, carefree smile from you.

You are still my pride and joy.

Love him so

Love him so

20 months

When you left you took so much of me with you.
My life continues on. Without you. Without your physical presence.
It’s not fair you know. Not to me or your Dad. And not to Robbie or Kris. Robbie was always second to you. I always delighted in you, Drey. And Robbie was patient and loving while I continually put you first.
And now… Now even in death you monopolize my thoughts, my emotions.
I’m quite tired of this.
The person I loved more than anyone killed himself. What does that say about my love? I take what you’ve done very personally, Drey. Even though I know – with my head – that I shouldn’t. My heart doesn’t always cooperate with my head.
So… It’s April 3rd 2014. 20 months ago we went to lunch. That was the last time I saw you. We went to Barleys. I still remember what you ordered, what we talked about, the videos you shared.
Occasionally I’m angry with you. Sometimes I just question everything. And always there’s the ache of missing you. But today I’m just quite tired of thinking of you. You took so much of me with you, baby. Can you please just give a little piece of me back?