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Fighting for Joy

I don’t call it my grief journey anymore – it’s just life. I guess I’ve sort of settled into that. Or I’m at least trying it on for now.

I miss Drey but now I’m not sure what I miss. I mean… I miss what was but what should’ve been continues to be further out of reach. Would he be married? Where would he be working? Would he still be living in Columbus? Would he still be solid muscle or would he be sportin a belly yet? How can I miss what I don’t know. Instead I miss my 19 year old dude.

In learning how to simply live again, the fight to not feel sorry for myself can sometimes be an uphill battle. True confessions: “what’s the point?” goes through my mind just as often now as it did in 2012/2013. I’m sick of just getting by. I want joy. Real Godly joy.

Fighting for joy. It’s a theme in my life right now. Praise God He’s been chipping away at my hardened heart.

Currently my fave Christian song is Joy by King and County. Give it a listen.

The book I’m currently reading is When I Don’t Desire God: How To Fight for Joy by John Piper.

I know there’s nothing unique about what I’m feeling. Many of us go down this path at different points in life. “This world is ugly, what difference am I even making?” But I don’t think we have to stay there. I truly believe God wants more for us.

I pray that I would desire You God more. That I would feel the tension of real joy that has nothing to do with my circumstances and fleeting happiness that this world cannot sustain. I know if I’m not actively feeding myself quality time with You then I won’t experience joy. I have to choose against being busy with unimportant things, binging on Netflix (Dark Shadows is the current obsession), and apps (Simons Cat game is the current addiction). I also have to actively fight against “I deserve” thinking and chose joy.

I’m smiling. Lord Jesus thank You for loving me!

The Last Dance, The Best Laugh

I completed my certification in death and grief studies in 2016. Now I’m studying to become a certified Thanatologist. Whatever I do I go full steam ahead – I’m not always sure why.¬† But at least I’m consistent. So there’s that.

I’m studying tonight about funerals and body disposition (good times) and as I’m reading I can “feel” the picture on the wall behind me. I don’t want to look at it, I’ll cry. I just want to finish my studies. But I know it’s there. Me and Drey at Discovery Cove in Orlando under a waterfall laughing. He was 9. That was such an amazing vacation. One of my favorites – just me and my dude for a week doing whatever we wanted. We laughed so much that week. These are precious memories but they can still be bittersweet. My mind still goes to the dreaded, “when did things go wrong?” question. “What did I miss? Baby, I thought you were happy. When did it change? When you were 10, 13, 18?” There’s no answer to that question other than the Lord patiently and lovingly saying to my soul, “do you trust Me?” Always the same question I get in response to my questions. Yes, Lord, I trust You. I am confidant You loved and continue to love Drey more than I ever could. So much so that You came to earth – the perfect man God – to die for him. Even if it were just him that needed to be saved You still would’ve done it. You love him that much.

Study, study, study… “Linking objects” – any physical object or image that serves to connect a mourner in a comforting or constructive way with a deceased loved one. Some writers express the view that linking objects are a “chain” that should be broken. WHAT? Morons that think they are “grief experts” saying it’s not healthy to have linking objects. Others say, “…the use of linking objects in remembrance rituals can help individuals move from¬† maladaptive to an adaptive style of grieving. In effect, it is a form of directive mourning therapy that allows grieving survivors to take symbolic leave of the deceased.” If someone asked me how I was doing after Drey died I wish I could’ve told them I was embracing a directive mourning therapy using a linking object to take a symbolic leave of Drey. That’s just funny imagining the looks I would’ve gotten with that comment.

Okay… I made it through my reading. Now I can look at the picture that’s been “staring” at the back of my head the past few hours…

Look at that dude. We were so happy and carefree. What a great vacation. My heart. God how I love you Drey.

Denise & Drey Discovery Cove 2003

The Last Dance, The Best Laugh