Sometimes the pain is hard to bear.
I’m very tired tonight.
This blog is for me. I share it for other survivors to read and hopefully interact with it. I have to remind myself of that… That I shouldn’t hold back because everyone that knows me will worry about me.
Friends sometimes say things that seem insensitive. I’ve been learning to forbear. I’ve been learning to be more realistic. I am blessed to be surrounded by so many loving people. How can they always know what the right (“right?” According to whom? Me apparently) thing to say is and more importantly what not to say? Their only child is not dead. How could they know? And even if their child was dead how could they know? The world does not revolve around me. Everyone is different. Everyone. They have their lens they view the world through. I have mine. Mine is no more right than theirs is wrong. So how do we get along? How do I respond? I can think of plenty of partial scripture verses that help answer that. I’m too tired to search for them in order to make them complete but I can let You lovingly challenge me nonetheless…
Let us regard others as more important than ourselves.
Banging (or is it clanging?) cymbals… All those gifts that mean nothing without love.
Jesus washing the disciples feet.
Bear one another’s burdens.
Encourage one another, forgive one another, serve one another… Lots of “one another’s.”
God told Job to pray for his lame ass friends. (Perhaps to keep his heart from becoming bitter towards them?)
I want to be free from all these rules I live by and I expect others to live by. The rules are an ongoing dialogue all on their own pinging around in my mind. Sometimes I’m not even aware of them until one is broken. It’s been like this to varying degrees for as long as I can remember. A new layer of complexity was added when Drey died. Now there’s the frequent dialogue that assesses if I’m grieving “right” or if my friends are supporting me “properly.” “How could they say something so insensitive. Don’t they know how they’re making ME feel?!”
I am so eager to pass moral judgement on every decision, action or comment. Why is everything always right or wrong? How sweet it’d be to just embrace some things simply as they are without giving them a pass or fail grade.
My friend was not deliberately trying to be hurtful. And I am not “wrong” for being hurt.
Here I am at Panera Bread. Again. God how I’m missing you baby. If I weren’t in public I’d cry. I have that choice this morning but sometimes the tears flow without waiting for my permission.
The change in weather triggers different memories. Soccer. Parent-teacher conferences. Field trips from elementary school. Halloween. School pictures. Warmer clothes. I can remember your clothes from elementary school. I see them hanging in your closet. I wish I would’ve saved some of them. But I didn’t know.
I didn’t know. I just didn’t know. Crap… Here come the tears without my permission.
Nothing can make it okay. I just have to live with it every day. I am grateful for the healing that’s come. Truly I am. It is God’s mercy. I don’t feel like I will die of a broken heart anymore. Or die from the heaviness. Or die from withering away.
There are three 60ish year old women studying the bible near by. I hear them… I hear the one who seems to be leading the discussion. Listen to her… all confident and full of advice. I remember thinking I knew a thing or two too. I knew God’s word. I knew suffering. I knew perseverance. Then 8.8.12 hit and I realized I didn’t know dick.
Lord how I wish this woman would shut up. Did I sound like that? Of course I did. And probably much worse. And I bet I still do at times. It’s amazing to me that You love us Lord.
Vaca was wonderful last week. A sweet time to enjoy good food, the ocean and a super slow pace. I knew I was coming home to a busy week. Busy from a time commitment perspective but also emotionally busy. I’ve taken steps to prepare. I’ve gotten up early to talk and listen to God in spite of the required hour for rising. I used to get up at 5:30 regularly. That seems like a very long time ago. Most mornings are harder now. We all wear our grief differently. Maybe if my son hadn’t taken his life in the morning they wouldn’t be as hard? Who knows. It doesn’t really matter now.
Yesterday was national suicide prevention day. I did nothing to recognize it in spite of its importance. And that’s ok. It doesn’t mean I’ve “moved on” or don’t do other things to honor Drey (she says silently reassuring herself). One person can only do so much in a week.
Over the last 3 days I’ve met amazing people. People who are dedicated to serving others. And unlike last years LOSS conference I couldn’t easily divide the attendees into 2 general groups. The first being the clinicians and the second being survivors of a suicide loss. The lines were more blurry for me. But someone made a comment towards the end of the conference mentioning they could see 2 separate audiences – so the makeup of the group wasn’t different this year. I just wasn’t as aware – I wasn’t as sensitive to it. This is God at work In a miraculous way! For me to not take notice of the clinicians unique language, questions, or approach is a miracle. I’m not the prickly survivor I was last year. The survivor that was irritated by their textbook knowledge but lack of personal traumatic experience. My quills are smooth and controlled along my body now.
All signs point to the Franklin County LOSS team launching very soon. I am guilty of continually looking forward at what we haven’t yet done instead of celebrating how far we’ve come. We started this work just one year ago – and now we’re about ready to launch. Wow. I never could’ve imagined it as I walked into last years conference not knowing a single person. God has opened so many doors and has given me the strength and wisdom to be obedient and walk through them.
So this September I once again won’t collect that big, fat bonus I used to get as a result of all the hard work through the year at marketing, leading and serving customers. Instead this September I’ve collected a team of amazing, sacrificial people who have raised their hand and said, “Yes. I want to help people who are facing a tragic loss to suicide. I can sit with them in silence. I can give them resources to leverage when they’re ready. I can even cry with them. I want them to know they are not alone.” I am grateful to this team of volunteers. Survivors, clinicians, hotline volunteers. We are all so different but share the same passion. It will be amazing to see what unfolds over the next year. And maybe maybe maybe some day soon there will be no need for a LOSS team.