Tag Archive | joy

Year 4 is coming to a close

Well… it’s August again.

I didn’t start dreading it until July 27th. That’s pretty good.

I seem to be functioning “okay” today… but it’s only August 1st so I won’t get my hopes up that the next few weeks will be easy.

I don’t have much scheduled this week and I leave town Sunday – no contact with anyone again till Wednesday. I dread it and I look forward to it. Maybe I’m finally learning to walk in these big clumsy grief shoes? I don’t fall so often now. And I know a little better about when to get down on my hands and knees and crawl instead of attempting to walk every day.

I do still hate when I mess up things that used to be so simple. Being organized was like breathing before 8.8.12 but even now – 4 years later – I still get so confused over the simplest of things. But what’s cool about this grief brain is that as I’m typing and looking outside I see our grass needs mowed and the entire yard needs weeded; but the word “needs” is no longer accurate because the yard just isn’t important. I think my husband likes that grief brain also means laid back brain when it comes to many things.

I used to ask God, “Is this as healed as I’ll get?” I don’t ask that question so much anymore. The realization that I’d always carry this pain sunk in sometime during year 2. And I discovered joy more frequently during year 3. And during year 4 I stopped searching aimlessly for permission to laugh and just began to laugh. And most recently I’ve slowly been learning to let tears flow whenever they need to without apologizing to anyone.

It is possible to miss my baby terribly, to sit with another survivor and cry with her, to laugh hysterically at Angie Tribeca, to read a volunteer report about a scene LOSS attended, to pray for those left behind and to smile at the thought of seeing my baby again in heaven all in the same day. How bout that?

Angie Tribeca Trailer – Flippin Hilarious show 🙂

 

Prom, Pain and Peace

I trace the outline of your face in your prom picture. There’s a pic I remember from that day… Of you and me. I’m looking at you with overflowing pride and joy. You in your tux and me in my Mickey Mouse tee shirt from our last vaca. I’d like to see that pic but it’s with so many other memories that I can’t unpack yet.

God what happened? What the hell happened? That was a happy day. How’d we go from that to such intense pain? One decision. One phone call. One instant and it was gone. Life as I knew it was over.

Jesus God give me the strength, hope, wisdom and courage to fight till the finish. To perservere. To experience joy with gratitude. To praise You continually. Thank You for all I’ve learned and continue to learn about You since Drey died. I have faith and hope like I’ve never experienced before. Even when – especially when – I have mornings like this. The peace that overcomes me as I write, read, cry and rest is unexplainable. I know I’m a walking miracle and I say that in awe of You. You are God. I’m just a person. David wrote, “…to know that You are mindful of man…” I get slivers of understanding the awe and overwhelming gratitude and humility David may have been feeling when he wrote these words. And You preserved those words for such a time as this. Holy shit! I can’t help myself! Even in my deepest sorrow I must also praise You! And I know this desire to praise You is coming from You – not me – and that makes me want to praise You all the more! God I bask in these moments when You turn my deepest wails into peaceful tears of gratitude! 

 

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.

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.

What I’ll say – if speaking is even possible – when I see God

Thank You God that it’s over!
Thank You for dying for me.
Thank You for conquering death for me.
I tried to stay in the fight after Drey died.
I tried to do that in dependence on You.
My motives were almost always selfish but I didn’t let that stop me from sharing You – sometimes.
I wanted to be a blessing to those who mourn.
I feebly tried not to be angry with You.
I made pitiful attempts to refrain from believing You owed me something since You took Drey.
I tried not to be bitter when everyone moved on with their life.
I wanted to enjoy and selflessly love who was left in my life.
I tried to strip off the filmy residue of grief that coated everything.
On occasion I won the minute by minute battle and chose Spirit over flesh – because of You.
I had no success apart from You.
I did nothing good apart from You.
Thank You God. Thank You!
I can’t believe You love me.
Amazing grace.

Dear Drey

Neither my words nor my tears adequately express how much I miss you. You weren’t just my son you were my friend. We laughed together. We shopped together. We listened to the same music. I know I embarrassed you sometimes – okay a lot. I became your friend as you got older but my role as Mom was always top of mind for both of us. I was home. I was safe.

You can see my pride in every picture of the two of us. I loved to watch you. Not just playing soccer, walking across the stage to claim your diploma or whatever. But just to stare at you. Sometimes when you were sleeping. Or when you were typing away at your laptop. It’s a Mom thing.

Do you remember how much fun we had getting your senior pictures taken? Well, I did anyway! I had fun watching you. Do you remember me dancing like a fool behind Kama so she could steal just a few pics of the real, genuine big smile? It worked. God how I miss that smile, that laugh.

This picture means a lot to me. I remember exactly where we were. I remember acting like a fool. And I remember the feeling of accomplishment when I succeeded in getting the real, carefree smile from you.

You are still my pride and joy.

Love him so

Love him so

Hell

Remembering is hard.
Remembering helps me see Gods faithfulness through tragedy.
Remembering sensitizing me.
Remembering cultivates gratitude.
God help me with this balancing act of Pain and Joy

Busch Gardens Tampa May, 2012

Busch Gardens Tampa May, 2012


TWHS Rock

TWHS Rock


Choose a funeral home.
Breathe.
Write an obituary. What days?
Call dad.
Cremation?
Choose an urn.
Call doctor. Get sleeping pills.
Viewing first?
Pray.
What will he wear? Oh God no make it stop. This isn’t happening. I just bought him those shoes. No. Not for this. No God.
Pull weeds.
Crack jokes.
Self protect.
Photo boards.
Songs.
Where to have the funeral.
Breathe.
Call Nissan.
Paycheck arrived. Fuck. Already closed bank account online. Cry hard at Huntington. Hate seeing people. Write “deceased.”
Pamphlet. Pictures.
Visit dad.
Write down medicine consumption.
Too many questions. I don’t know what I want to eat, who I want here, if I want the blinds open. I don’t fucking know. Stop asking so much of me.
Cancel phone.
Delete from favorites? Fuck. Not now.
Call dentist. Oh God.
Call Fidelity.
Cancel auto insurance. Explain why. Fuck.
Candle light vigil. Can I handle it? I’ll decide just before it starts.
Can’t shave my legs. Too shaky. Call mom – need nair.
Can’t answer phone.
Want to let people know I’m grateful they’re reaching out. Can’t talk. Send an email?
Read the cards or wait?
Where do we want donations to go?
People saying stupid things.
Will I speak at funeral?
Who will do funeral?
Soccer game memorial.
Don’t throw away milk carton. Drey held it.
Smell his clothes. Breathe him in.
Pray.
How’s Fred?
Cobalt. Fuck.
Too many decisions.
It hurts bad.
It can’t be real.
Make it stop.
Let me die.