5 years


College graduations


New jobs

New apartments

You’re missing it all. I love you I love you I love you. The years are distancing us but you will always be part of me. Every day. Every. Fucking. Day. 

You’ve become more abstract. I used to hear your voice, your laugh, more readily. I could feel your hug and I could smell you. But it’s fading.  I guess that’s yet another layer of the grief. 

Father God, thank You for carrying me every day. Thank You for all Your blessings. Thank You for loving my boy even more than I do. Please tell Drey how much I love him.

Grief, Pride, and Scraping

One definition of scrape: to push or pull a hard or sharp instrument across (a surface or object) so as to remove dirt or other matter.

I feel that God is scraping away a thick layer of pride from my heart. I don’t like it and I am also grateful for it. I’ve sensed this now for several months. I don’t usually cooperate with Him when He’s teaching me humility. That’s when the painful scraping begins… when I’m fighting against Him. When I’m not trusting Him. He wants me to hold still and trust Him – if I submitted, the scraping wouldn’t be painful at all. Instead I’d begin to see glimmers of something lovely underneath. Something I’d know was clearly not of my own making. I’d even get excited and say, “take it all! Remove it! I want to be rid of this filthy layer of pride, autonomy, and judgement!”

Two of the best books I’ve ever read about humility are Andrew Murrays “Humility” and Thomas Jones/Michael Fontenot’s “The Prideful Soul’s Guide to Humility.”

Chapter 9 of the Prideful Souls Guide says God will bless my humble response to biblically based input from others even if the input I am given should turn out to not be the best. If he/she is missing the mark, that will become evident without me having to be defensive. I would be wise to listen, pray and seek to learn something about myself. 

I have found my grief and my loss are something I take pride in. Gross, right? There are many loving, wise, well-intended friends who try to journey with me but I dismiss them because “they just don’t get it.” What would it look like to respond to their loving attempts to journey with me in humility? It’s easy for me to be defensive and justify why it’s okay to dismiss certain people… they’re condescending, they think I’m weak. I’ll show them how capable I am! Often, usually, okay maybe even 99% of the time, their words are well-intended. Can I set aside my pride? Rather than dismissing them can I listen with gratitude? When needed, can I gently correct or clarify in love?

Eph 4:2 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” This scripture is for people I snap at, right? They should be patient and humble if I’m hurtful. But this scripture doesn’t apply to me, right? I’ve been wronged in a big way – my boy is gone. So that means I have “the right” to not be patient and humble with others as they attempt to journey with me? Well shit. I don’t like this scraping of my pride.

Integrating suicide loss into my life

I was with a survivor at Panera this morning. It was the first time we had met. She greeted me by saying, “I don’t want to be here meeting you.” I remember that feeling and I ache for her.

I remember the day. I remember the last hug, the last text, the last laugh, the last meal, the last I love you. It’s all seared in my mind just below the surface. Sometimes it pops out sideways and a reaction I have to a situation is disproportionate to the circumstances. Other times I sit in it… I may listen to The Fray to make myself cry because it helps me stay healthy or maybe sometimes just to torture myself. Sometimes it’s not even clear to me why I make the choices I do.

Telling someone safe about the “lasts” or about the signs I had or about the day he died is still helpful – even after nearly 5 years. Sharing was a big part of my processing in the first few years. It’s a smaller part now but it’s still important. I’m blessed to have dear friends who want to listen.

I shared a precious video with a few folks a few weeks ago. I had one friend I shared it with at lunch. She knew Drey and texted me later that night because she had been re-watching it. “He was so alive.” “This isn’t how it was supposed to be.” I had a hard time making sense of her text messages because there were so many typo’s… it was clear she’d been crying. Praise God for my dear friend who’s journeying with me.

I need my friends – my old ones who knew my boy and my new ones who are suicide loss survivors too.


Only the minority will understand this… the importance of making myself cry.

Drey died 8.8.12. I cried and often wailed daily. I had a constant headache, couldn’t eat, couldn’t make decisions, and took pills to sleep only to wake up to the same nightmare all over again. Then in January – 5 months after he died – I went 2 days in a row without crying. This wasn’t a bad thing and it wasn’t a good thing. But it was something I took notice of.

As the months and now years have marched on I experience longer “dry spells.” But I learned sometime during year 4 that I can only handle so much internally. It’s not that I deliberately hold in the tears. It’s a passive decision if it’s even an actual decision at all.  It just kinda happens at a subconscious level.

I felt it coming on over the weekend… the leakage. I had once again become so saturated that I started to leak. I told my new friend who lost her brother to suicide 37 years ago and she immediately understood. I imagine it’s a heavy grief thing – certainly not limited to just survivors of a suicide loss.

This morning my husband unintentionally set my wringing out process into motion. After his innocent sharing then realization of the full content, I shrugged my shoulders and gave him the “it’s ok. It’s just our life now” smile. But I got to wail after he drove away. I couldn’t absorb anymore. I was saturated and it was time to un-saturate.

I’m exhausted now. I may pray myself to sleep. And when I wake up this time there will be room to absorb joy and peace ❤️

Thank You God for Your constant care, provisions and blessings.

Grieving Mom Request

All the time, I just miss baby.

… and then I began praying for him again

I have prayer cards. Just little index cards I started writing several years ago after reading the book A Praying Life by Paul Miller.
Before he died, I prayed for Drey often. One prayer card included Ecclesiastes 1:8 “… The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.” I had been praying literally that Drey would “come to the end of himself.” I believed he was seeking something – unconditional and perfect approval, acceptance and security – from imperfect relationships and material things. I was praying he’d instead realize following God was what would free him from feelings of inadequacy. He knew God… but that’s different from actively following Him.

I also had a card that included Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

For a long time I fought with God to reconcile those prayers with Drey’s death. I would blame myself for praying Drey would come to the end of himself. Did I cause his death? I would plead, “But God you knew that wasn’t what I meant by that prayer right? Right?!” Then other times – or at the same time – I would lash out at God. “Really? Seriously? Are You fucking kidding me? This is Your idea of what it looks like to prosper him and not harm him?! Drey was better off under my care than he was with Yours!”

So my prayer cards for Drey were put away for a long time. Actually they’re still put away along with the memorial book from his funeral, his drivers license, his retainer and toothbrush and other special things I don’t look at anymore.

I’ve felt like I needed to pray for Drey in a different way for a long time. I needed to write a new prayer card for him but had no idea what that might look like. Well, I was finally able to do this last month while I was alone in Hocking Hills over the 4 year annv. And I smile every time I re-read it 😁

“Drey may you delight in Gods Word even now in His presence. Especially now in His presence. May you gloriously love Him with all your heart, mind and strength. May you dance, may you laugh, may you sing. Let your heart be light, carefree and full of worship and praise. Rejoice!”

Rev 5:13 “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them saying, ‘to Him who sits on the throne and to the lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever.'”