Good, heartfelt advice.
So many people have made sacrifices in the spirit of helping me emotionally since Drey died. I wonder if other survivors of a suicide loss have had the same experience. Everyone’s situation is unique…. I have a stepson. My husband is Drey’s stepdad. Just today he got David up at 6:00 a.m. to go to band practice. No – practice isn’t that early. But both Robbie and David know it’s too much for me emotionally to take David to band this “anniversary” week because practice is at the high school. So many memories and triggers. So they don’t even ask me. They just know.
The changes in our movie and tv routines. Perhaps small in others eyes – but are a big deal to me.
The first time the three of us went to the zoo together. I had to stop, sit on a bench, and just sob several times. David had just turned 14 but even then he was able to just sit there until I was ready to start walking again.
The sacrifices my friends and my parents have made are numerous too. I’m not even aware of most of the sacrifices. And knowing that I don’t know makes me feel that much more loved. I hope I could be as giving as my friends and family are and continue to be.
So for now, the 2 year anniversary of my son’s last day of life, I am feeling blessed and grateful. Even if only for the hour.
It’s the dreaded week again already. The first week of August. Honestly time has flown by. The last day I saw my son was August 3rd 2012. The last day I spoke to my son was August 7th 2012. My son, my love, died on August 8th 2012. I can’t get my mind around the fact that it’s been two years. How have I lived? How have I continued to put one foot in front of the other? If I think about it too deeply I feel like puking. It’s my worst nightmare. It’s the rest of my life.
Truly God has given me strength. No one can deny Gods presence in my life, least of all me. How else is it possible that I am alive? That I am – dare I say – a contributing part of society? It is not by my own strength. It is not because “time heals all wounds.” Some “wounds” never heal. Your only child’s suicide is not something you get past or get over. Only God can take such a horrific, broken, fucked up level of pain and teach you dependence, teach you He is still a good and trustworthy God. Teach you that even in – especially in – those dark days of despair He’s holding you. Holding me.
I hate this week. I hate it. I hate that I remember what Drey ate the last time we were together. Our last words. His last text. I hate that I somehow didn’t see my boy was hurting. I hate that I remember the detective’s words. Those fucking words. How hot it was that day, the look on Jeritt’s face, the shape of David’s mouth as Robbie told him, all of it. Mostly I hate that my love was not enough for my baby to choose life. God how I hate this week.
Thank You God for hating this week – this pain – even more than I do. Thank you for sitting with me in the depths of sorrow.
I’ll never forget when Drey met Pierre. He had been at his Dad’s when I adopted him and I asked Fred to come over so they could meet him. I remember them walking in the front door… Drey was just 7. Fred looked at Pierre and said, “what is it” with a look of “wtf?” on his face. Pierre had huge ears – he was quite unique looking! Drey of course got on the floor with him right away to say hello. Sweet memories.
When Pierre got sick in May 2013 – I was dealing with my first Mother’s Day without Drey. And Drey’s first birthday in heaven and the first anniversary of his death were just weeks away. I prayed through sobs after leaving Pierre at the vet that God would give me just 6 more months with him. I just wanted to get through a little longer before I’d have to say goodbye to him. The next day I visited him at the vet. He still wasn’t himself but he was a little better. Day 2 they called and said I could take him home at the end of the day! I was sooo relieved! So I had my Pierre for over a year after that. God answered my prayer and I am very grateful I had my nighttime spoonapolooza buddy during the 2nd year of this heavy grief.
I love you Pierre. And I hope you, Rudy and Drey are together again.
As I reflect on past journals and blogs I see a woman who is shattered but is clinging on to hope – the hope she has in Christ. I wonder where she went? I don’t feel hopeful. I haven’t in weeks. Maybe months? I’ve lost track.
I miss my son. I don’t understand why he killed himself. I want God to sit right here next to me and audibly tell me Drey is with Him. I hate my unbelief. I hate it I hate it I hate it. Yes, my son told me he accepted Christ as his savior. But that’s not enough for my broken heart. I’m so sick of reading books about the basics in search of a glimmer of rock solid, beyond a shadow of a doubt proof that my baby is in heaven. The knowledge I’ve acquired is nothing compared to the faith I wish I had. The faith I wish I FELT.
My heart is broken. I don’t know who I am. I’m supposed to be making plans for my boy’s 21st birthday. Instead I’m sleeping for 10 hours straight then waking up exhausted. This is new ground for me. And I hate it. How can I still be confronting new emotions, new levels of apathy and despair after almost 2 years? Isn’t 2 years enough time to wring out every last drop of emotion possible?
I visited a youth grief counseling camp last month and saw the art therapy they were doing. Masks. Painted on the outside and the inside. The outside displaying what they wanted others to see. The inside telling the rest of the story.
That’s how I feel. The one who is confident beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man. He never sinned. He died for us. He rose! He overcame death! I can reference clear, factual proof for these things. Rejoice! Be glad! But the interior of the mask tells more of the story. It shows how little I care about the resurrection. The loss of my son is too heavy. It doesn’t feel like a “light and momentary affliction.” And I am so ashamed of my ungratefulness. God forgive me.
I’m still in the fight but I’m so weary.
I hear my breathing. That heavy breath that’s a borderline sigh. It’s the pain speaking. The stomach knots and the flood of painful thoughts aren’t visible. But anyone can tell when the intense rough times are coming by the breathing.
The shaking may come next – need to watch my caffeine.
Continually rubbing my leg with my hand is the scary place to be… The meltdown is close at hand. No that’s not where I am. No that’s not what I want to happen. But I want to be dependent on God as I move forward so if the outward physical response to this trauma I’m still learning to live with is what it takes well… Okay then.
It’s good I can see the outward signs before a meltdown. It’s taken almost two years to proactively notice them.
Do I hibernate? No. Not this time.
I go slow.
I allow myself to say no to plans. Even seemingly simple plans.
I talk to my inner circle. Those select few who sacrificially walk in the pain with me. They know I don’t need rescued. They pray and watch closely.
I pray. And if seconds after beginning to talk to God my mind is drifting somewhere else I bring it back again and then again. I listen. I try to be still so I can hear Him. I love Him in spite of this pain.
I am not weak.
It’s not explainable. Learning to move forward in pain. Choosing to move forward in pain. Addressing it as I go. Crumbling when I need to. Believing a glimpse of joy may be close at hand… But even better standing in His strength regardless of how I feel. I know Him more deeply because of the pain.
This is what it looks like for pain and joy to coexist.
2 Cor 12:9… My grace is sufficient for you Denise. My power is made perfect in weakness.
Goodnight Drey. Such a simple statement. Such a powerful statement. It sent me into tears Tuesday evening.
Robbie and I attended our first Compassionate Friends group. We liked it. We plan to return.
At the close of the meeting we all held hands and went around the circle and each one said goodnight to their child. I tear up just typing the words. I didn’t see it coming… but when I heard myself say, “Goodnight Drey” I just broke down. I haven’t said those words in almost 2 years. They were sharp words that used to be precious words. Endearing words. Words I took for granted. Who knew? Who could’ve predicted this is what the rest of our lives would look like? Apparently Drey could have.
I ache today. For several reasons. Wednesday’s are by far my least favorite day of the week. They don’t always bother me but lately they have been. (Yes – Wednesday is the day of the week my son took his life). I’ve had a few emotionally charged conversations in the non-profit suicide awareness space lately. They ended well but it’s hard to not feel unsettled. I put my cat down on Monday. I wasn’t that close to the cat so it hasn’t been super traumatic but he was part of our lives for 16 years. Robbie is taking a long weekend road trip and he and David (my stepson) leave tomorrow. I’m anxious about that. I fear something will happen to them. I’ve learned all too well life can completely change in a blink of an eye. It’s not realistic for me to not be anxious about the trip… I just have to let it be what it is and manage it rather than trying to stuff it.
I’m not thinking clearly. Everything’s jumbled in my mind. I took on too much this week. It’s been a long time – well a few months anyway – since I’ve had a week where I felt I took too much on. Still learning what this new life and new limits look like…