Wow… this is the 3rd Halloween without you baby. That just doesn’t seem possible.
I have dozens of Halloween memories…
Last year was nice – Robbie & I sitting out on the front porch passing out candy. I was more prepared than I had been the previous year…
2012 Robbie came home from work and found me on the kitchen floor holding a large bowl of candy. I was crying. The doorbell was ringing. I wanted to die. How silly of me to think less than 3 months after your death I could look at cute little trick or treaters.
I don’t remember which Halloween was what. But I remember you smashed pumpkins and when I found out I made you go back, clean it up and apologize to the home owners. Do you remember the woman with the arm in a sling? After you apologized we got back in the car and I asked how you were. You said you felt bad because you didn’t know she’d be “elderly.” It was very sweet. I remember you being the grim reaper, the Scream dude, a ninja – 2 years, right? A kangaroo (okay – you were just 2 then), an Indian (aka Native American), a knight, a firefighter, what else was there baby? Surely you were a Mario brother at some point weren’t you? Or Pikachu? I hate that I can’t remember. It makes me feel like a shitty Mom. Some memories are supposed to be locked in… and since you died I HAVE to lock them all in. They have to be safe and secure and immediately available when needed because there won’t be anymore. I have to replay the same ones over and over. Just 19 years worth. I’ll be 80 and you’ll still be 19. I’ll still just have the same stupid memories. I want new ones but you’re gone. I want new ones but I’m not ready to look at pictures and remember.
Does Jesus tell you I love you? I miss you? Sometimes I ask Him to tell you that. Sometimes it’s peaceful knowing you and I can both talk to Him. We still have that. We always will. But sometimes even that doesn’t help the pain. So I cry it out until I get that sickening headache to match the heartache while I ask all the “why” questions over and over. I replay our last lunch, our last conversation, the last back rub I gave you, the last pair of shoes you talked me into helping you pay for. What didn’t I see? What didn’t I say? How could you have been in so much pain and I didn’t know? What the hell Drey? I put you ahead of everything – Robbie and even God. How could you not have known that? I flippin delighted in you. Maybe you did know that but it didn’t matter. There are no answers. But sometimes I still have to ask all the questions till I exhaust myself and fall asleep.
Lord I pray for all my grieving friends tonight. Lord help us rest in You.
A parent feels responsible for their child. And to some extent for their child’s choices. That’s normal.
A parent who loses their child to suicide has an especially heavy burden. It can eat them up – literally destroy them from the inside out.
For several months this burden took a subtle, general role in my grief, in my thoughts. “Why didn’t I drive to his Dad’s that morning?” “Why didn’t I see his anger was a sign of depression?” “Why didn’t I talk to him more about Alex’s death?”
As time has passed the sharper thought is “I caused this because I moved from Worthington and because I quit my high-paying job.” As I was trying to follow what I thought was God’s will for my life I put a spiritual target on the whole family. It’s my fault you’re gone.
I read the last four months of your tweets yesterday. I haven’t decided if that was a smart move or not. “My parents are telling me I have to learn to be financially responsible but you quit your job because “god told you to” fuck you.” Wow. Really Drey? My worries that my decisions had impacted you negatively – at least in your mind – were now confirmed.
So did you see me sobbing after reading that, son? Did you?
Did you hear me call your Dad asking him if I had been a good Mom?
How about when I asked him if he thought you knew how much I loved you? Did you hear me ask that question?
Did you hear your Dad choke back tears?
Did you hear the song lyrics he shared with me?
Did you hear the other things your Dad said, son?
Do you see the lives you nearly ruined?
Do you see us fighting for air? Trying not to drown in this?
What an entitled, privileged, spoiled man you had become. It was probably just a phase… You would’ve matured. But you robbed us of getting to see that.
Dear God help me rest in You during this new, lovely phase of grief I seem to have entered. My son – the person I loved more than life itself – was at times a little jackass. Grace abound. Thank You God.
I am still at the beginning of my new life without Drey – my 19 year old son who took his life 16 months ago. In these short 16 months I have wrestled with God and for the most part clung to Him. And (not but) there’s a subtle, quiet undertone that creeps up making me realize how fragile my faith is.
Just a few days again my husband and I were at the downtown Columbus Christmas lighting celebration. It’s amazing I even wanted to attend! We were freezing our butts off standing in the hot chocolate line when a bundled up little boy with glasses turned and looked up at me. My immediate thought was, “Why are you mocking me God? You know it’s a big deal that I even wanted to come out tonight and this is what you allow? You know little boys in glasses are a huge trigger for me! Why would you, God?” In my rawest most impromptu moments I still blame God for my baby’s death. It’s my default setting. And I can’t help but wonder what other ways is my unbelief popping out and I’m too numb to see it?
But I won’t beat myself up for my seemingly pitiful faith. I will return again to God and praise Him for having shoulders big enough, patient enough, merciful enough and loving enough for my doubts.
I pray someday my knee jerk reaction will be to blame satan and this fallen world – not my holy perfect Father.