The Year In Grief Pt. 2
Another year can be a relief- another year survived, another year closer to reunion with our child. Another year can also feel like the tiniest step in an infinite trial. Here is part 2 of some observations from 2018.
My Living Children Are “OK” Right Now.
After a recent conversation in our parents group, I have decided to edit this section a bit. I want to be optimistic about the well-being of my surviving boys however I cannot let my desire for them to be ok blind me from their reality.
Originally this section was titled, “My living children are OK”. I realize now that I don’t know that to be true. Appearances can be deceiving. They are at college, they are boys, I have one who won’t speak of it. So if I’m to be honest, I’m praying they are ok, but listening to another’s experience with kids in the same stage of life as mine, I know this trauma is there, and will be with them always.
There are no words to accurately describe the possessive, protective, crazy I felt for my living children after losing their brother. My instincts screamed to gather them tightly into my arms and hang on to them for dear life. Literally. I needed to see them, to hear them, to touch them. I wanted to smother them physically because I was incapable of helping them emotionally. Swallowed up in my own pain and that of my husbands, I don’t remember what I may have done to save them but we Mothers take on the pain of our children. Separation from them and the angst I would feel until they were back in front of me was unbearable.
I was so lost and so inadequate. We were all so desperately vulnerable.
I’m so glad I didn’t have to be all things for everyone. I see so clearly now how the Hand of God (and the people he placed in our lives) was over them and under them in the weeks and months following, doing what I could never do. Their strength and ability to overcome and thrive has not just brought tremendous relief and pride, but has shown me they are gifted to survive. I know not all are, and many don’t. I have no guarantee for their lives-none of us do, but I can breathe for now.
They are “OK” right now.
Thank you Jesus. Please sustain their minds and their hearts, Lord. Please don’t allow their broken pieces to tear into any part of their future. They deserve peace and happiness and a zeal for their future which is so bright.
Our Marriage Is Going To Be “OK”
I often think about a photograph someone had taken of my husband and I at our engagement party in my parents back yard, 1992. We were so happy and so deeply in love. All we could see through the stars in our eyes were the dreams and the future we spent so many hours talking about.
This never would’ve crossed our minds.
When we gave our vows to love each other in sickness and in health, in good times and bad, for richer and poorer, we were too naive and too hopelessly idealistic to ever imagine that anything could cause us to have to hang on to our marriage by its trembling, weakened grip. We never would’ve conceived of a time when the only thing binding us would be the words we would speak that summer.
We could never have imagined a love so profoundly bright as the one our son brought to us and a darkness so desolate as was caused by his death.
Sickness-yes. Bad times-you have no idea. Poorer-yes, that too. Tragedy took it all and there were more than a few days I thought it was going to take our marriage as well, but it didn’t.
Our marriage is going to be “OK” and not all of us can say that either. I am blessed and grateful for a love deep enough and a committment strong enough to endure even this.
“OK” Is A Relative Term.
All that being said, you have to understand is that it’s all relative.
What must be understood is that nothing will EVER be “OK” again by any reasonable standard. You cannot white-wash any bereaved parents experience by thinking any of us can be ok with one of our children gone. We can’t, and that expectation isolates you from us and us from you.
We are “OK” but we exist in a world without our son, all our life would’ve been with him here and all his life should-be.
We carry a burden and a heaviness every single day no parent should have to.
We are “OK” for people whose very soul is draped in a fog of sadness and loss. Not just on birthdays and death-days, but every day.
We walk a path with very few others and so very few understand our ways or speak our language and that is a lonely existence. We need other parents like us because they see that “OK” is relative.
Being “OK” is a testament to God’s sustaining grace and mercy because we could never continue to carry this load and thrive in this world without it. “His strength is made perfect in our weakness” is never truer than in the life of a bereaved Mother or Father.
Seeing us “OK” is also seeing our sheer will to survive and a parents power of love for their living children. We push through this for them and each other.
“…and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place.” – Deuteronomy 1:31
No year is like another, but a constant ebb and flow of experience and understanding. Thank you for listening to this Mom’s observations. May they help another feel more understood.
For “The Year In Grief Pt. 1” click HERE.
For scriptures on how God carries us in times of trouble, click HERE