Tag Archive | death

Personalized 1 Corinthians 13

If I devote myself to ’round the clock service to others, but don’t have Jesus, my service is meaningless. If I have full knowledge of all circumstances, motives and intentions leading up to 8.8.12, but I don’t have Jesus, my knowledge is but dust. If I have the power to turn back time and undo what’s been done, but I don’t have Jesus, my power amounts to nothing. 

Jesus is patient and kind; Jesus does not boast or envy; Jesus is not arrogant or rude. He does not force His way or His perspective on me. He is not irritable or resentful; He never rejoices at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Jesus does not compare His suffering to mine; He does not discount my pain. Jesus does not keep score. Jesus stays alongside me in all things. He bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Jesus never ends. As for good works, knowledge, and power they will pass away. For without Jesus I only work and know in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a woman, I gave up childish ways. And so there will be a great transformation again… For now as a grown woman I see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And this transformation will be greater. 

So now faith, hope, and Jesus abide, these three; but the greatest of these is Jesus.

Thank you JRue and CT Teacher for your sharing.

1 Corinthians 13 (ESV):

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

49 and 3

My birthday. 

You’ve even tainted that. Which is damn hard to do because I’m a princess that loves attention. 

Each birthday is now a remembrance of how many years it’s been since you and ally surprised me with a cake.

The tears flow freely.

The confusion remains.

How was my love not enough to choose life?

I live. I take steps. This new life of police academy visits, sharing at twhs, and suicide scenes.

“What did you do in the war?”

“Before or after 8.8.12?” Those are very different answers. Very different times.

Priorities have been rearranged.

Pace is slower. 

Mercy is no longer a foreign spiritual gift.

Dependence is no longer weakness, it is strength.

House isn’t as clean. 

Bank account’s not as fat. 

Marriage is stronger. 

Vacation more often.

Pain deeper than I ever thought possible. Surely no suffering can be worse than this heartache, can it?

Don’t kid yourself Denise. Things could always be so much worse. Drey knew You. I am blessed. 

To hold you. To hear you laugh. To scratch your back.

Learning to live with the pain brings out a strength. 

And the strength brings joy. 

The joy fades and turns to quiet peace.

Peace that lives alongside the pain.

I have no choice. You took that from me.

Insensitive

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.

20 months

When you left you took so much of me with you.
My life continues on. Without you. Without your physical presence.
It’s not fair you know. Not to me or your Dad. And not to Robbie or Kris. Robbie was always second to you. I always delighted in you, Drey. And Robbie was patient and loving while I continually put you first.
And now… Now even in death you monopolize my thoughts, my emotions.
I’m quite tired of this.
The person I loved more than anyone killed himself. What does that say about my love? I take what you’ve done very personally, Drey. Even though I know – with my head – that I shouldn’t. My heart doesn’t always cooperate with my head.
So… It’s April 3rd 2014. 20 months ago we went to lunch. That was the last time I saw you. We went to Barleys. I still remember what you ordered, what we talked about, the videos you shared.
Occasionally I’m angry with you. Sometimes I just question everything. And always there’s the ache of missing you. But today I’m just quite tired of thinking of you. You took so much of me with you, baby. Can you please just give a little piece of me back?

As time moves on its a blessing and a curse

I just went through all your FB pics again baby. I do that every so often. In part because I still haven’t looked at any of the pics or videos I have of you here at home. It’s still too much to handle.
As time keeps marching forward I’m slowly integrating this – your very short 19 years and 21 days of life and your horrible, tragic death – into my life. Others who are further along than me in their grief journey tell me that in time I will slowly absorb you into my very being. The pain, the happy memories, everything. I’ll absorb it. You’ll just be part of me. I don’t fully understand that. But I might be getting slight glimpses into it now that the acute pain doesn’t throb 24/7. Over time it’s becoming a dull, lonely ache with the sharpness only flaring up instead of being a constant. As I look at your FB pics on my iPad I zoom in and touch your face. I play out memories of your laughter, our conversations. I try to remember your smell. The acute pain feels real good sometimes. Necessary. The sobbing flows freely. I wish I could hold you.
One of my favorite memories was our last vaca – especially of riding the go karts. I remember you asking me about the cost of all the park tickets – Disney, Busch Gardens, Sea World. You chuckled and said it was amazing how much less expensive the night racing go karts was but it was your favorite night of vaca. I wish I would’ve taken a pic of you racing – but I was too busy trying to kick your ass on each course! I’m grateful for the pic Robbie took just as we were leaving though. It captured a precious memory. Your smile was genuine. It was a great evening. I love you.

One of many wonderful memories of my boy.

One of many wonderful memories of my boy.

“I’m calling to see how you’ve been doing since graduating high school…”

I got a phone call yesterday.  Thankfully I didn’t hear the phone so it went to voice mail.  The message was for Drey.  It was from a Marine recruiter… “This message is for Fred Meine – I’m calling to see how you’ve been doing since graduating high school…”  Stop.  Delete.  Not sure what else was said after that.  I talked my lunch into returning from my throat back into my stomach.  Then somehow by the grace of God I was able to thank God we don’t have a landline that Drey would’ve shared with people.  Thank You.  There are so many hard circumstances we are faced with daily.   But I can be very grateful that telling a stranger over the phone that Drey’s gone is not something I’ve had to do since those first few months.  Thank You, God! 

I so want to be a grateful person.  Truly I do.  God is it ever hard.  It’s hard not to question You.  Sometimes I wonder if I failed to meet Your expectations somehow.  What other logical explanation is there for why a good God would allow the one thing I love above all else in this world to be taken from me?  To teach me a lesson?  To teach me YOU are my God and not my son?  To teach me my husband is more important than I ever treated him?  I fight these thoughts.  At the root of them is not only a lie about You but I’m also blaming myself for Drey’s death.   I fight these thoughts with gratitude.  I fight these thoughts with the knowledge that evil does exist.  We do have an enemy.  He plants lies – accuses You, God, of wrongdoing.  I fight these thoughts with the knowledge that this is NOT our permanent home.  Eternity is a long, long, time and in light of eternity this pain will be a “light and momentary affliction.”  But God I get so weary.  So discouraged.  It’s stuck to me.  This loss, this horrible tragedy.  I physically wear it, carry it on my shoulders, my neck, sometimes my face.  It’s like a scarf.  It’s everywhere I go.   Sometimes it’s so tight it’s suffocating.  I wear it when it’s appropriate but also when it’s not – but I have no choice because it’s part of my very being now.  I wear it when I go swimming.  People look.  People wonder.  That’s odd – why not take that off?  It’s heavy and cold around my neck when I get out to dry off.  Other times it’s veil-like.  Everything I look at is muted – tinted in sorrow. Will it ever come off in this lifetime? Or will I just learn how to wear it with grace and beauty?

Wow. I am really melancholy today. It’s time to go for a run…

Who am I. God I miss him.

My mind is swirling this morning.  It swirls in so many different directions.  I don’t understand how I got to where I am.  It’s still surreal.  When to sit in it, to contemplate it vs when to change my questions, my mindset.  Always a balancing act.  

I look at your picture taken on graduation day.  The picture of you and me.  I’m in my heels but you’re still taller than me.  You always thought you were so short.  But not to me.   How did I get here?  Why am I left with only memories of you?

This week is intense… Survivors of Suicide Group, GriefShare, speaking at the Helpline annual meeting, a meeting with Rep Anielski about the laws around Rx meds given to minors, then the Memorial Bench dedication at the zoo.  All in 4 days time.   All important things I want to do.   I was in control of the timing for the Wednesday commitments.  When I looked at Wednesday it was open so I scheduled them.  New Lesson:  Part of my “new normal” is learning to look at the entire week’s events before making plans.  Learning to consider the emotional strain of the week is important before saying “yes” to something else.

I used to do so many things all at once.  Achiever.  Accomplisher.  I got so much done in a week.  I’d run from meeting to meeting, prepare for a home church teaching, hang with friends and attend both soccer games of the week.  I wonder what the cost was?  The cost in my marriage.  The cost in my relationships.  Robbie’s told me – and I even remember – making Drey a priority in spite of other things I was responsible for.   I didn’t do this perfectly but Drey knew I loved him.  And he knew I loved the Lord.  I won’t allow the voices in my head to tell me I failed him.  Not this morning anyway.  I delighted in my boy more than anything else in my life (not that my marriage and my relationship with God shouldn’t have been first…)

Losing Drey has meant digging deep into my identity.  Deeper and deeper.  At first it was “am I still a mom?” And how do I answer the, “do you have kids” question?   Then I realized I hadn’t – and couldn’t – look at myself in the mirror.  I would look at my hair, at each eye to put makeup on.  But never at my full image.  I knew I was losing weight, I knew the dark circles under my eyes were there.  But I couldn’t bear to look.   It took about 4 months before I actually looked in the mirror at myself in total.  And all I saw staring back was Drey’s Mom.  I saw the pain of a broken woman who loved her son so dearly that she would’ve given her life for his.   It took a few more months before I could begin looking in the mirror without becoming nauseous. 

But even now – especially now –  this identity thing keeps going deeper…  “I am a daughter of the King.”  Blah blah blah.  To know this intellectually is one thing but to really get to the root belief and meaning of who I am is risky work.

I’ve KNOWN intellectually for a long time that cookies, bra’s and panties (I worked as an Executive at Cheryl’s and at Victoria’s Secret), my ability to do 20 things in a day:  attend soccer games, teach the bible, keep my house clean, go on college visits, lead DivorceCare, call a friend, buy that book for a coworker, etc. did not define who I was.  But now that those things don’t fill up my time…   I sometimes find myself feeling worthless.  So the deeper journey into CONSIDERING who I am began on August 8th, 2012.    I didn’t know it at the time.  I didn’t know much of anything on that day or for several weeks afterwards – everything was foggy.  But nonetheless God was and still is at work.  He is the ultimate multi-tasker.  Not only was He comforting me and carrying me in my grief but he was teaching me about who I was.

Fourteen months later I don’t have a new, magical answer to the “Who am I” question.   I am a daughter of the King.  I have been since 1987 when I realized I wasn’t perfect and needed a Savior – and that Savior was Jesus.  What’s different now is that the journey to CONSIDERING myself a daughter – chewing on, meditating on, ruminating on –  that I am a daughter of the King became real on August 8th, 2012.  My supposed ability to attend soccer games, clean my house, and teach the bible, were stripped from me.  I could not breathe without God.  My journey into CONSIDERING my true identity began when I realized apart from my King I was but dust.