Tag Archive | christian


Sometimes the pain is hard to bear.
I’m very tired tonight.
This blog is for me. I share it for other survivors to read and hopefully interact with it. I have to remind myself of that… That I shouldn’t hold back because everyone that knows me will worry about me.

Friends sometimes say things that seem insensitive. I’ve been learning to forbear. I’ve been learning to be more realistic. I am blessed to be surrounded by so many loving people. How can they always know what the right (“right?” According to whom? Me apparently) thing to say is and more importantly what not to say? Their only child is not dead. How could they know? And even if their child was dead how could they know? The world does not revolve around me. Everyone is different. Everyone. They have their lens they view the world through. I have mine. Mine is no more right than theirs is wrong. So how do we get along? How do I respond? I can think of plenty of partial scripture verses that help answer that. I’m too tired to search for them in order to make them complete but I can let You lovingly challenge me nonetheless…

Let us regard others as more important than ourselves.
Banging (or is it clanging?) cymbals… All those gifts that mean nothing without love.
Jesus washing the disciples feet.
Bear one another’s burdens.
Encourage one another, forgive one another, serve one another… Lots of “one another’s.”
God told Job to pray for his lame ass friends. (Perhaps to keep his heart from becoming bitter towards them?)

I want to be free from all these rules I live by and I expect others to live by. The rules are an ongoing dialogue all on their own pinging around in my mind. Sometimes I’m not even aware of them until one is broken. It’s been like this to varying degrees for as long as I can remember. A new layer of complexity was added when Drey died. Now there’s the frequent dialogue that assesses if I’m grieving “right” or if my friends are supporting me “properly.” “How could they say something so insensitive. Don’t they know how they’re making ME feel?!”

I am so eager to pass moral judgement on every decision, action or comment. Why is everything always right or wrong? How sweet it’d be to just embrace some things simply as they are without giving them a pass or fail grade.

My friend was not deliberately trying to be hurtful. And I am not “wrong” for being hurt.

Fall, Panera Bread and God’s amazing grace

Here I am at Panera Bread. Again. God how I’m missing you baby. If I weren’t in public I’d cry. I have that choice this morning but sometimes the tears flow without waiting for my permission.

The change in weather triggers different memories. Soccer. Parent-teacher conferences. Field trips from elementary school. Halloween. School pictures. Warmer clothes. I can remember your clothes from elementary school. I see them hanging in your closet. I wish I would’ve saved some of them. But I didn’t know.

I didn’t know. I just didn’t know. Crap… Here come the tears without my permission.

Nothing can make it okay. I just have to live with it every day. I am grateful for the healing that’s come. Truly I am. It is God’s mercy. I don’t feel like I will die of a broken heart anymore. Or die from the heaviness. Or die from withering away.

There are three 60ish year old women studying the bible near by. I hear them… I hear the one who seems to be leading the discussion. Listen to her… all confident and full of advice. I remember thinking I knew a thing or two too. I knew God’s word. I knew suffering. I knew perseverance. Then 8.8.12 hit and I realized I didn’t know dick.

Lord how I wish this woman would shut up. Did I sound like that? Of course I did. And probably much worse. And I bet I still do at times. It’s amazing to me that You love us Lord.

Man I gotta find somewhere else to sit.

Amazing grace!

Suicide, God, Robin Williams.

It’s hard when someone dies by suicide. And when it’s a celebrity it hurts because of the hard and often times hateful things that are said. “You can’t rest in peace if you killed yourself.” “Suicide is the most cowardly, selfish thing anyone could do.” And so on. So many of us are suddenly so self righteous and in a position to judge others motives and state where they are eternally. How did we get that power, that knowledge?

For me personally it’s yet another aspect of learning to live with my sons suicide. The scab ripping off from the little bit of “healing” as the comments and social media frenzy ensues.

It’s hard because I want to defend my son and others who make this dreadful choice.
It’s hard because it’s not fair for us to judge motives or where someone will spend eternity.
Do we believe our sins aren’t as wrong? Aren’t as offensive to our perfect God? And that He judges on a sliding scale? The top 10% get to go to heaven?
On God’s sliding scale do some of these keep us out of heaven while others “aren’t that bad?”

When you overreacted with harsh words.
When you were a toddler and ripped that toy out of your little sisters hands.
When you were jealous of your friend.
When you killed yourself because you were mentally ill.
When you killed yourself even though you weren’t mentally ill.
When you refused to forgive the co-worker who talked about you behind your back.
When you stole that candy bar.
When you said that hateful thing.
When you thought that hateful thing.
When you got that abortion.
When you avoided eye contact with your neighbor because a conversation would’ve disrupted your personal peace.
When you fantasized about your married co-worker.
When you got high.
When you got drunk.
When you gossiped and called it “praying for your struggling friend.”
When you lied to your parents about where you were going.
When you called that stranger “dumb ass” on Facebook in response to their rude comment about Robin Williams death. (Even though it still feels damn good that you said it!)

Or do we become self righteous and judge because we can’t believe in God’s love and mercy that He did ALL the work Himself to give us an eternal relationship with Him? There’s NOTHING for us to do to “earn” our way into heaven except acknowledgeconfess – we are sinful and He came Himself – in the form of a human being – to live perfectly, to die unfairly, and to be resurrected FOR US. He overcame death for us.

Do I believe suicide is wrong? Absolutely. Do I believe all sin is wrong? Absolutely.

James 2:10 “for whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.”

Romans 3:23 “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Ephesians 2:8,9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

I don’t know… It’s hard to get my mind around. Why would God love my son enough to die for him? He knew Drey was going to kill himself – it didn’t take God by surprise. He loves Drey that much? He loves me that much? I can’t wrap my finite, judgmental, human mind around it. It takes faith… Not blind wishing, fingers-crossed, “I sure hope it’s true” faith. But genuine biblical faith – something only God can provide.

I’m just going through the motions

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.

Joy and pain can coexist for the survivor of a suicide loss

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.

Suicide, guilt and God

Did I contribute to my baby’s suicide?  On the one hand I think of course I did.  I was Mom.  I was responsible for him.  God was counting on me to raise an emotionally healthy boy.  Somewhere along the way I failed.  How can a parent – any parent – not feel responsible?   I worked too much.  I didn’t make Drey stay involved in church when he hit high school.  I didn’t act with urgency when I knew he was drinking.   He grew up in two homes instead of one because of my selfishness.  I didn’t pray enough.  I didn’t create a home where he wanted to bring his friends over in the high school years.   I didn’t drive to his Dad’s house that morning.  I did too much for him.  If he would’ve had to work harder for the things in his life he would’ve had more of a sense of accomplishment. 

What do I do with this knowledge?  How do I sort through true guilt from the false guilt?  

David had a bad day last Friday.  He came home and I listened as Robbie told me about their conversation.  I listened as my husband parented his son and I struggled to recall a time I was there for Drey at the end of a bad day.   How many times did I fail?  The weight of it is too much to carry.  This guilt has become a frequent companion.   I know these thoughts are not from God.  But taking my thoughts captive is very challenging sometimes.  As I’m driven repeatedly to my knees I’m learning to love my God more than ever.  A depth of love I never could have experienced apart from this depth of suffering.  He lifts the weight of this load in indescribable ways.  Ways I experience yet cannot comprehend or articulate.   I go to Him in the depths of despair and sometimes within minutes I am praising Him for hundreds of reasons all at once. 

What do I do with this knowledge?  How do I sort through true guilt from the false guilt?  I take it to God.  The One who never tires of my tears, my pain, my need for reassurance.  The One who can point me perfectly in the right direction.  The One who delights in my dependence on Him.  The One my son can now see.  God please tell Drey I love him.  I love him so.

Doubts, pain and Trazadone. Journaling from Sept 12, 16, and 17

September 12, 2012:  “… I keep seeing pictures and moments with Drey in my mind.  They won’t stop.  I have no control.  Should I try to make them stop?  They hurt so bad.  I don’t know how to grieve.”

Sept 16, 2012:  “I’m sitting here by myself this evening.  The person who signed up for bringing dinner forgot.  People just go on with their lives.  It hurts.  It hurts that this ache I have is so deep and so real and others just forget.  You alone are my God, my Lord.  The One who will never forget.  My life feels purposeless right now.  Not because my only purpose in life was to be Drey’s Mom but because I’m so sad.  So sad.  Trying to find happiness or fun in the stupid things of this world is so wasteful.  There’s just no point.  All that matters is God.  How can I glorify You in this, Father?  How can I point others to You?  Help me to set my mind on You.  I wish I could know with even more certainty that Drey is with You, Lord.  Thank you, God, for the goal Drey scored at the Senior night soccer game.  Thank You that he prayed before the game.  Thank You for honoring his prayer.  Thank You that he told me he had prayed.  Thank You I was there to see that game.”

September 17, 2012:  “… I wish I didn’t have to take trazadone to sleep.  It makes mornings even harder.  I hurt deep down.  And then I’m foggy on top of that.  It’s a bad combination.  Drey told me he accepted You… he asked You into his heart as a little boy.  You love him perfectly.  I want to believe that he is with you now!  But I fear it’s only wishful thinking.  I have doubts.  I hate my doubts.”

Today:  Hebrews 11 says that faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  Sometimes it’s hard to have assurance about what we cannot see, about what we do not understand.  Drey told me he had accepted Christ as his Savior.  He confirmed that as recently as June before he died.  What more assurance does a Mom need?  Maybe he was just telling me what I wanted to hear?  No… that’s not it.  He told me all kinds of things a Mom does NOT want to hear!  We had a special relationship that way.  If he wasn’t sure about being a Christian he would’ve told me that, too.  He tweeted a cool bible verse graduation weekend.  He prayed – and what’s even more cool is that he remembered that he prayed and God played a role – that night at his soccer game.  I see from really old journals where I made comments about him reading his bible and praying for his friends.   So again – what more assurance does a Mom need?  Isn’t that enough evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence.  But I want more assurance.  I want God to stand before me and tell me He’s got my baby.  It’s not that I think suicide is an unforgivable sin.  It’s that I didn’t know my baby’s heart like God did when he made this decision.  Did he really, really, really, truly mean it? 

God loved my son more than I did.  Verse after verse makes that clear to me.

God please help me in my unbelief.  Help me to trust You.