The past. The present. The future.

So I have been thinking a lot lately about life and in looking back at my past life it seems like it belongs to someone else. Even as I browse through my old blog posts, it’s as if I’m reading about someone else’s experience. I get lost in the memories and confuse them with questioning whether it was a reality or a dream or a nightmare. I can quickly get myself upright when I look at pictures of me and Brittany or watch a video of her – but still it seems like it happened a lifetime ago.

Then I realize that the same thing is happening to me that happened to me after I lost my mom. My best friend in life. I began to forget her voice and what it felt like to be hugged by her. It’s happening again and it’s so hard to digest it all. I’m losing the ability to remember Brittany’s voice and her laugh. I can see it pictures or hear it in videos – and I’m so grateful for that. But losing the ability to recall her in my life has been a bit startling to me.

In the early days of my grief I could still feel her and sense she was around. I longed for her, to hold her and get my little hugs at the end of a long day. But now, I can’t even feel it. Even when I try to feel it. It’s just gone. As if she never existed. How can that be? Why does that happen? How does one reconcile that? I do not know. I know I have been dealing with loss for a long time but this one is just so hard.

It used to be so hard to live in the present  because I wanted so much to go back to the past where we had each other. Even though life was hard dealing with chronic illness and the financial woes that came from caring for her – I’d never trade for anything. Never. But living in the present is easier now – it’s a distraction – a means to distance myself from that painful event, like so many others. Don’t get me wrong, I still consider myself blessed for all that I have been given and still receive today. I’m loved by many and feel that love every day. It has been my life line. But not one day doesn’t go by without understanding the void that resides in my heart. Not one day!

The future, my hope has always been grounded in Christ and knowing one day all this pain and sorrow and loss will go away and we will be reunited again. This is how I have made it this far and how I will continue to love, cherish, extend grace and walk in the light of Jesus. Helping others with grief. Still not sure what that looks like but this blog is part of it. My book will be part of it. My life will be a living offering to my fellow grievers and I hope in some way I am helping you by sharing my story and the story of unimaginable grief and unexpected blessings.

I can’t help but think about the many people who join this journey without ever asking to. My heart goes out to those parents and families of those who recently lost their children, their husbands, fathers, and friends to such a violent act. My heart is broken for them because this journey is not easy. It’s hard. It takes a village to carry them through it. I pray for them daily and I know God is walking beside them and I’m fairly certain carrying them in the most darkest of moments. May God bless them and wrap his arms around them as they begin to navigate their grief.

Until next time,

M

Advertisements

The Evolution of My Journey

In the hours, days, weeks after my daughter’s death I wasn’t sure how I would make it through each moment. Every moment that I thought about my daughter, I would feel such anguish that felt like a crushing blow against my chest. Some days I could not breathe and all that I could do was fall to my knees and pray. I prayed for relief of my pain and sorrow. Honestly I did not care how the relief came just that it would. 

The relief came but not how I might have envisoned it nor on a timeline that i found appealing. It’s taken many years to get to where I am today. And honestly where I am today will be very different from where I’ll be tomorrow. Each day that passes brings new expereinces that help me heal. I find the more I help others the more I heal. I will admit I did not ask for that role. It was given to me and after many attempts on my part to avoid what was clearly enevitable, I accepted the role of writing my blog and who my audience might be. Mourning parents.

Now this journey has not been easy. It’s been fought with struggles that would cause many to faint and walk away. But God has been very good to me. He has always provided the means by which I would succeed. I only had to believe and step in faith on what was presented to me. I’ve not always believed I could write or that anyone would read what I wrote. I orignally started out writing this blog as an on-line journal. In fact, I was shocked when people began to comment on my  blog. I then started slowly but surely to see how my journey, telling my story could help others.

I had no issue spelling out my pain for you. I was painfully honest just as I was with God. I belted out my anger, my conflict, my sorrow and my tears to God and to you. God listened and so did you. I have been blessed by your readership over these past eight years and yes you, have also contributed to the healing that has taken place in my life. I have been in awe of your stories, your tears, your comments and your dedication to my blog. 

It is my hope that this blog continues to bless others and if you know of someone who needs to read the words that we all know they feel, please pass it on. I know in my early days I did not have this kind of media nor did i even know where to find it. I barely found books that were written in a way that was helpful. As many of you may remember the early days are hard fought and are often blurry at best. Those who have found there lives disrupted, turned inside out and upside down and most of all their hearts ripped out because they lost a child, need us the most.

Thank you again for allowing me in and showing me what love truly is.

Until next time,

M

The Long and Winding Road

I have sat many a long night not knowing where I’d go or how I’d get there after my daughter’s death. I found God’s word to be the only truth I could find to help me see what I had to do to keep moving forward. My marching orders so to speak where very simple, finish well.

While I know that this term “finish well” may sound daunting to a person who is fresh in their grief, but for those of us who are earning our way through the journey, one day at a time, “finish well” carries a very important message. One that we forget when we hit a bump in the road. When life gets turned upside down and we look all around us and cannot find our way.

What does finish well look like? John Terveen said it very well in his book “Hope for the Brokenhearted”. In chapter 12 he reminds us of Paul’s journey and encourages us to finish the race as he finished his. Terveen states that “whatever length our life’s course may be or however challenging the terrain, each of us is called by God’s grace to finish the race of faith, hope and love set before us.

I think about this race I’m on daily and some days I get it right and other days, when the days are dark and I miss my daughter so much and I grow tired of the race; I know that if I give in, I have not finished what God has asked me to do. I have to keep my eye on God and my faith in Him to make the distance. And while I’m on this race, the race I did not sign up for, I am also given the instruction to extend love, grace, prayer and mercy to those who have joined me on this journey.

I find that in the times when it is dark and I have lost my way, it is because I have let the light flicker and lost the sight of my way because I lost my faith. Without my faith, I have nothing. Without my God  I would have finished far too soon and the task that I have been given unfinished.

Often I have been tempted to abandon my faith because I got tired and became weary of the long journey of sorrow. Just as a runner who prepares for a marathon, you have to prepare mentally and phyically for the challenges a long marathon will have. The punishment to your body that will result. You need proper nourishment and hydration to maintain your ability to finish the race. It is the same for us on this journey in life that has dealt us a devastating blow like death of a child. We have to find our nourishment and maintain good health to finish the race. We have people to love, grievers to hug, be the hands and feet of Jesus during our race.

In order to keep the faith and press on, we need to take care of ourselves first so that we can care for others, the ones that are put in our path for a reason. To care for and love. To mentor and walk with when they fall. So if you find yourself in a place, like I do, remember to pray this prayer:

Dear Lord: In the face of my suffering, sometimes I question you and your ways. I am troubled and I find it hard to keep going. When this happens, please help me to remember that your love never fails and it never gives up and it never runs out on me. – AMEN

My dearest followers – I too find times when it’s hard to see the path, to find my way – the road looks dark and the weariness of my soul speaks loudly so that I cannot hear what I know is true. God’s love never fails, it never gives up and it never runs out on me. So take great faith in God will not run out on you or given up on you or never fail you. Press on…..

until next time,

m