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Being Present to Others

 

Seven years, 11 days and five hours. That’s how long I’ve lived without Drey’s physical presence. I spent a lot of time reflecting at the five and a half year mark and I’m finding myself revisiting these same thoughts. I re-read some of my blogs and I have been more deliberate and mindful as I have faced “mile markers.”

Last year LOSS hosted a CALM (Counseling on Access to Lethal Means) train the trainer workshop. That was a mile marker for me. I took that exact training in the Fall of 2015. It had been just over three years since Drey had died. I do not remember what I learned. Some things are vaguely familiar – like asking for my group’s role play to involve something – anything – other than a firearm scenario. Apart from this I remember very little. Clearly there has been continued healing, but unless I deliberately reflect on this I miss it. I miss the slow, steady movement from surviving to thriving.

Without taking time to occasionally reflect on these past grieving years, I also miss out on opportunities to be more present to others. My desire is to be mindful of each survivor and where they are in their journey. I don’t believe I’m naturally an overly empathetic person. I’m too busy much of the time doing who knows what. So unless I take the time to deliberately reflect on how God has brought me through these past seven+ years, I miss opportunities to be fully present to other suicide loss survivors.

Slow down. Breathe, love, laugh. Be content by simply being and not doing. Find joy in longer than planned on conversations. Take time to discover and even marvel over the courage and healing newfound friends are experiencing. Celebrate special occasions. Laugh together. Cry together. There are still blessings in every single day. Thank You God.

James, Ed, and Drey

I’m sitting here at an ed sheeran concert… no, he’s not on stage yet. I love music. I love going to concerts. As I scan the audience I see twenty something’s everywhere. Drey’s. It’s not upsetting to me tonight. That’s nice. Maybe it was that extra Wellbutrin I took an hour before the concert? 

James Blunt opened tonight. He called ed sheeran the little ginger engine. Flippin hilarious. 

I love lots of ed sheeran’s songs but one in particular is especially dear to me… photograph. I love you drey. 

Photograph

Ed Sheeran

Lyrics

Loving can hurt, loving can hurt sometimes

But it’s the only thing that I know

When it gets hard, you know it can get hard sometimes

It is the only thing that makes us feel alive

We keep this love in a photograph

We made these memories for ourselves

Where our eyes are never closing

Hearts are never broken

And time’s forever frozen still

So you can keep me

Inside the pocket of your ripped jeans

Holding me closer ’til our eyes meet

You won’t ever be alone, wait for me to come home

Loving can heal, loving can mend your soul

And it’s the only thing that I know, know

I swear it will get easier,

Remember that with every piece of you

Hm, and it’s the only thing we take with us when we die

Hm, we keep this love in this photograph

We made these memories for ourselves

Where our eyes are never closing

Hearts were never broken

And time’s forever frozen still

So you can keep me

Inside the pocket of your ripped jeans

Holding me closer ’til our eyes meet

You won’t ever be alone

And if you hurt me

That’s okay baby, only words bleed

Inside these pages you just hold me

And I won’t ever let you go

Wait for me to come home

Wait for me to come home

Wait for me to come home

Wait for me to come home

You can fit me

Inside the necklace you got when you were sixteen

Next to your heartbeat where I should be

Keep it deep within your soul

And if you hurt me

Well, that’s okay baby, only words bleed

Inside these pages you just hold me

And I won’t ever let you go

When I’m away, I will remember how you kissed me

Under the lamppost back on Sixth street

Hearing you whisper through the phone,

“Wait for me to come home.”