This week I have been searching books, the internet, for anything written about the loss of a child. There is tons out there for grieving parents of infants, not too much for grieving parents of adult children. It is almost like the loss of an adult child is not as tragic. I did find one site that had some insight about the loss of an adult child that really rang true, they stated that often when you lose an adult child you also lose a friend, because the relationship has morphed into something different than just parent/child. I think this might be even more true with single parents. I know in my case, Jason and Chelsey were/are my friends as well as my children. We have always been close, but as they grew into their teens and then adulthood, our relationships changed. We became friends also, I watched Jason and Chelsey’s relationship change from sibling to friendship. Chelsey and I not only lost a child/sibling, but a friend too. There is not much out there on this and I wonder why? Even so, this past week I have found many articles and have had conversations that are helping me sort out these new feelings/symptoms.
I think this may be a bit of a disjointed post hopefully you will bear with me, I would like to put all of this down in one spot, sort it out and look at it. Help me make sense of these new waves of grief. I came across an online magazine called Still Standing, I was interested just because of the title. It is kinda my motto right now, I am still standing. I might get knocked down from time to time but in the end, I am still standing. There was an article I read this morning called Learning to Grieve, it really confirmed somethings that I learned or rediscovered this week. Grieving is not something we really know how to do, it is something we have to learn. It is different for everyone and every situation. It talks about the waves of grief that hit us. A quote from that article hit home:
I feel gratitude to my own little girls who taught me to fly as I learned how to grieve them. It is a skill that makes me a better person and hopefully a better friend. It my greatest joy to share my girls with others who are in pain so the lessons they taught me can help me to help others. Our losses are our most painful gift. They are our most bittersweet blessing and I believe that when they are done burning through our very souls, they leave among the ashes little flames inside us. Flames that can ignite into fires that have the power to truly change the world. – Standing Still, Learning to Grieve by Tova
So, I wonder if the grief ever really goes away or if it just takes different forms and it becomes part of who we are. I wonder if I will ever be able to count it as a blessing.
My sister-in-law, Mendi, and I were “talking” this week by email and messaging. She likened the physical symptoms I seem to be having now to tsunamis. I really grabbed on to that, that is what felt like this week, that I had been hit by a tsunami and I was barely keeping my head about the surface of the water. If I am honest I was completely underwater. This is what I came away with after processing that word picture and after reading many articles on grief. Jason’s death was an earthquake, an off the Richter scale earthquake, and the waves that are hitting me now, the tsunami and aftershocks, should be expected. They are natural consequences of the disaster that occurred These waves will continue to come, and I will be knocked down, but I know that if I ask for help, and I turn to my heavenly father, I will get up and stand again. And as with all aftershocks, they will eventually get smaller, and easier to withstand. They will become normal tides where I can wade with out fear of being overcome.
I also realized this week that I was letting my mind fill with lies, lies that I should be stronger than this, I should be further along than this, I must not have enough faith, belief, etc. . . . . Thursday I went back to work, I turned the pages on my Dayspring devotional calendar, this is what was on Thursday’s date:
The lies pile up until I stop believing and finally knock them over. The tower of deceit crashed down. Not with my faith or my hope or with anything but with my blessing. Saying the name of the Lord over and over:
Jehovah Jireh – God our Provider
Jehovah Shalom – God of Peace
Jehovah Rapha – God who heals
Elohim – God Almighty
Emmanuel – God with us
Ancient of Days.
What power in just a name!
Arianne Segerman – To Think is to Create
So, I say these names, Jehovah Shalom – God of Peace, I need that, peace of mind, Jehovah Rapha – God who heals, I need this too, healing.
At the end of this last week and the beginning of the new, I am thankful for all of the grace shown to me this week, for the lifelines thrown out to me. I am grateful for all the others who have shared their experiences so that while I travel this road I have a map of sorts to help me keep my bearings. I am thankful for my husband who holds me and just lets me be and do what I need. I am grateful for a daughter who just comes to spend time with me, for my sister-in-law who helped me sort out my “crazy” feelings. I am eternally thankful for a heavenly father, who asked only that I stand, and carries me like a lamb through the dark places. (Isaiah 40:11)
At the end of this week and the beginning of a new – I am not quite flying or soaring yet but – I stand.