Tag Archive | joy and pain

For Such A Time As This

Hi honey. I think of you all the time but I don’t write as much as I used to. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s the tears.

The LOSS team launched last month. It’s difficult to describe that experience. I hate that I’m there at a scene yet there’s nowhere else on earth I’d rather be. I hate that I’m qualified for this work yet I feel my life has more purpose and meaning than it ever has. The day you died… that indescribable horrible day… “For such a time as this.” I couldn’t get that bible scripture out of my mind. I’m still learning to live this new life. This life that in large part you choose for me. People say things like, “Drey would want you to be happy,” “Drey would want you to put up a Christmas tree” and so on. I frankly don’t give a shit what you would want, kiddo. Your choice not only set my life on a completely new trajectory but it also cut off any say you now get in how I move forward. The fact that you likely never intended for our family to be as devastated as we are is not something you have any say in. Your voice is gone. We’re left to pick up the pieces without you.

I start working part time on January 5th. I’ll be the Executive Director at Cornerstone of Hope Grief Counseling Center. I never imagined I’d be so passionate about something… I never imagined my passion and ministry would merge and they’d then become a career. Between LOSS and Cornerstone I’m quite busy doing something I love. Someone suggested that God calls on us to be good stewards with all our resources – and that includes our pain. For me being a good steward of this pain means having a voice for the bereaved when they can’t speak, only groan. It means helping them grieve in whatever way works for them. It means journeying together as we discover how to integrate this pain into our lives. This journey includes a lot of tears but it also includes learning to laugh again.

I think of you all the time. You may not have an audible voice in my daily decisions anymore but your final choice screamed loudly enough to last a lifetime.

So Merry Christmas, Drey. You are the love of my life whom I still delight in. And, well, you suck.

It’s all mine. And his.

Do you miss him?
Sure.
Do you think of him?
Yes. Probably once a day.
Once a day? Wow. I wonder what that would be like.

My son remains very much part of me. Every song, smell, movie, car, roller coaster, commercial, meal, joke, click of our thermostat, race, graduation sign, and every reference to suicide and it bubbles to the surface. In other words it’s always at the surface. Mostly the shock of it, the confusion of it. His life is present too – but still not as much as his death, his absence. I’m told in time it’ll be his life and sweet memories that are front and center and not his death. “Its been nearly two years??” “That’s okay. A lot of people I know who suddenly lost a child take five years before they’re able to think more about their child’s life instead of their death.”

Sometimes it’s lonely. Being divorced and not being able to grieve with Drey’s Dad can be hard. But I also know “what might have been” is just an illusion. Drey’s Dad and I are very different and we would probably be in frequent conflict if we were grieving “together.” We do keep in touch (which sounds superficial but what we share is anything but). We had lunch just before Mothers Day. In spite of our differences the pain is the same. We share stories of our grief experiences and of the responsibility we continue to carry. And we share what we’re doing to try to cope. We’ve both learned skills we never imagined we’d have to. Learning to live without our son is indescribable.

Am I ever happy? Joyful? Sure. I am even capable of having fun. But it’s never instead of the pain. It’s always in addition to the pain. I don’t think it’s possible to understand what I mean by this without experiencing it. Again… learning to live without Drey is indescribable.

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“To Drey…”