Friday, June 6, 2008

How do you cope??

Sunday a week ago my family and I went to the neighborhood pool. It was a beautiful day, and we were having a great time, just relaxing and laughing, and playing. There were several other families there, but none we knew. We were friendly, said "Hi" introduced ourselves to a few, no big conversations, but shared pleasantries. we were there for several hours, when a young woman maybe in her early 30's approached me.

"One of the neighbors said you lost a son recently?" she stated with a questioning tone.
"Yes, I replied" tears welling up instantly with the reminder of my loss. expecting to be met with condolences or perhaps understanding of the pain, I was surprised when she said this.

"Oh, I could never live through that, I think I would just lay down and die, I don't know what I would do, I just couldn't do it, I couldn't go on. Oh how awful, are your other children healthy?"

I wasn't sure how to respond, but I did, as quickly and patiently as I could muster, I mumbled something about having to go on for the others, and quickly dismissed myself.

This is what I heard my neighbor say, although I want to believe it is not what she meant.

I could never live through that(you must not love your children as much as I love mine), I think I would just lay down and die(how can you just come to the pool and laugh and have fun, when one of your children is dead?)I don't know what I would do, I just couldn't do it, I couldn't go on(because you seem to be coping, there must be something wrong with you).

Grieving is a deeply personal thing, and everyone approaches it differently. Each one of my children is coping in their own way. We can help each other out sometimes, but mostly, it is something we must walk through on our own.

Some days, I can barely function under the cloud of pain, and the slightest thing will start the tears rolling.... a tiny sock goes through the laundry, a sound causes me to look to Crockett's chair and it's emptiness is overwhelming, ElizaJane speaking of Heaven (her favorite subject these days, mine too), a picture, a smell, the unopened boxes of Pediasure on the porch, the extra seat in the car, the empty crib in the room at the end of the hall.....lots of precious reminders.

Most days, I hold it together, because life goes on, and the world keeps spinning, and people need to eat and live and laugh and play, because this world is a terrible place full of pain and sorrow and anger and tears.

Yesterday I was driving down a busy road, and from the passenger side I heard my sweet Haven say "life is good". I followed her eyes to a vehicle in the next lane and that was the slogan plastered on the wheel cover attached to the back. We drove silently for a few moments, and then I replied, " I don't think life is good" I said, "I think life is hard.......but God is good" "Yea" she responded "I think so to".

I have been pretending for twelve and a half years that everything is OK, and I have gotten pretty good at it. But the real truth is that when all is said and done, everything really is OK, even though its not fair, or fun, or good or happy. He with the capital H is in control, and if you know Him, it's all going to be OK.

So, to the Lady at the pool, I wish I had told you how I am coping, and why I can play at the pool, and why the death of my child has not defeated me.....maybe I will get another chance.

My Father God ABBA(Daddy) is the only one who truly understands.

He is the one I hold on to,

He is the one I run to,

He is the one I cry out to.

He is my comfort,

and most of all He is my hope!


Dawn said...

Well said, Amy.
I pray you do get another chance to talk to the "pool lady." She has an obvious need for what you have.

thehomespunheart said...

I agree with Dawn - this gal clearly needs to know why she can have hope beyond life - if our hope is in this life, we will be disappointed and filled with despair.

Lisa writes... said...

What an honest and poignant post. I appreciate your heart here and I pray God continues to grant His grace as you testify of His faithfulness to you even in your heartbreak and grief. Life is indeed hard, but He is good!

Thanks for your comment and visit at my site...


Chrissie said...

Beautiful, honest words. So well said. Sadness can be so heavy, so palpable. And it looks different for everyone.
I agree, that amidst all the brokenness and grief of this world, there is still beauty and joy to be had. These are the blessings from God that He gives us to keep us going.
I praise God, ABBA, with you, that He is your comfort, your strength, and the one who holds you when you feel you can't go on.
I don't know. I am just grateful for your words and your faith.

Lee said...

This stings. You have written such honest words. A truly beautiful post. ((((HUG)))
This woman clearly does not understand that there your beautiful boy waits in paradise. We will know the instant of our last breath that this life was pale and brief in light of eternity. May she, too, know our Savior Jesus. You are being given these moments, new friend, to understand our Father's heart. Don't waste this pain. God is making you so beautiful.

randi said...

So sorry she said this to you. (((HUGS))) I imagine that she felt compelled to let you know that she cared, but was unsure of how to go about it. I have a friend whose daughter passed away a few years ago and she got a lot of the same thing: well meaning people saying hurtful things.

I think it is wonderful that you are living the life that God has given you, in spite of the pain you must be feeling. Joy will be found in the days ahead as you walk this road with your family and with God. He is good, even though life can be very hard sometimes!

I feel compelled to leave a few more (((HUGS))) for you!

Jenny said...

We lost our son in August and I know that people want to convey their feelings, but often it is so awkward for both of us. By God's grace alone do we get through each day. That is what I try to remember to tell them.

We lost our son to something called SUDEP. He had epilepsy. I found your blog this morning and wanted to let you know that my prayers are with your family today.


Debbie said...

Beautifully written. I don't yet know your story, although I'm going to read your blog shortly. I think sometimes people just don't know what to say, so they just jump right in and put their foot in it. In my (different) situation, I like to reply with the fact that I wasn't given a choice, I just do what God calls me to do, which is to just be her mom. And then I add what an amazing job He's given me.
Peace and prayers.

char said...


Ravenhill said...

You have left me such lovely comments on my blog that I have wanted to read more on yours too. Here I find such a wonderfully open and loving person. How good that you can talk about these difficult things. I live in Norway and people rarely talk about death or other negative topics. It is so healthy thought to talk about your feelings as it is not only helpful for you but to others because then they can also see that we all have similar feelings.

In any case I just felt compelled to write you to tell you that my heart goes out to you - for the loss of your child and for your worry about your father. I hope that he can live to enjoy more time with you and the rest of the family.
~Emily xxx