Saturday, August 5, 2017

Sleep Feels Impossible

It's nearly two o'clock in the morning.  I am past the time where sleep will come.  I will be up all night at this point.  I have tossed and turned.  I have closed my eyes and laid completely still.  I have prayed away the minutes and now hours.  I am no longer praying for sleep, instead I am dedicating this evening of prayer to a dear girl's family...since sleep will not come.

I cannot stop thinking about the pain so many around me are feeling.  I cannot stop thinking about the ribbons all over town.  I cannot stop thinking about the family that has a room that is now void of their daughter; a room full of her life that they walk by and sit in and maybe even avoid.  I cannot stop thinking about the need we all have to help or do something.  I cannot stop thinking about how I want to rewind time now for someone else.  I cannot stop thinking about the friends that now have an empty seat at their lunch table or their dance class.  I cannot stop thinking about the teachers that have a picture of a sweet girl in their class but can no longer talk to her or ask her if she understands.  I cannot stop thinking about how unfair this whole thing is for everyone.

There is never a life taken out of order that makes sense.  There is never a time when a tragedy reveals its "why."  So instead of asking why and instead of insisting God rewind time, my prayer will continue to be that God would stay close to the brokenhearted.  My prayer is also that the rest of us can be God's hands and feet to the brokenhearted when they need us most.  While there are no words and there are not even any actions that will change what has happened I pray we continue to be a refuge for the family and friends running, walking, and even barely crawling through this storm.  There is no end in sight, I realize that, but I pray they (and we all) cling to our heavenly Father.  

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Grief Takes You Back

Grief is triggered by something that cuts you deep to the core.  It takes something away that you weren't ready to let go of and it makes you rethink your everyday life; the way you walk through each day ahead of you.  Blood drips from the wound for what seems like eternity.  And it almost always leaves a scar.

I suppose the tragedy that just coursed through the veins of our community has me reliving my own journey; from the moment Charlie took his last breath to the funeral to the three years later walking down a road I didn't want to travel.  A road that seems "less traveled" until you walk down the lonely path and find people literally everywhere that can understand a small piece of your story; your grief.

I have thought about what happened and how her loved ones feel all day today and all day yesterday.  I am not sure a moment has gone by that my heart didn't physically hurt; specifically for her mom.  It may be because I am also a mom that now lives with my baby in heaven instead of here next to me.  I know how a mother's heart can ache.  I know our bond with our children is something that can't be replicated.

I have prayed many prayers over the past few days.  I have begged God for things for this family.

I pray we can all remember that grief is hard.  It is excruciating, near impossible, for her mom and dad.  It is devastating and pain filled for her brothers and other family.  It is sad for her best friends.  It doesn't feel real for her acquaintances.  It is "hard" and unnatural for every single person involved.  And every single person that knew her are grieving differently.  We will not see anyone follow any stage of grief in an orderly or predictable way.  We will instead see something unpredictable, involuntary, and downright terrible.

As someone on the outside, it may be helpful for you to acknowledge the situation and express your concern but it is not necessary for those actually grieving.  They may not even understand what you are saying or be able to comprehend its worth (especially so soon), instead they will know you are present with your words.  They need to know they have a support system if they do need or want to say something.  They just need to know you are there.

I pray those in a different place than her family can pick themselves up and go do something.  (...not everyone needs to bring them will go bad and they will throw it away.)  They need someone to mow their grass.  They need someone to feed their pets.  They need someone to make sure her schedule for school does not come in the mail (not yet).  I pray we can all think about our gifts and how we can use them to be what they need right now without asking.

I hope and pray each and every person that was touched by Michelle and her life can grieve in their own way.  I pray the class of 2021 can hold one another up as they walk the rest of their high school days missing their friend.  It true it is a tragedy and nothing will make it go away for now or maybe ever.  She will always be missing from her family and from her community.  

Monday, July 17, 2017

3 Years, 3 Reasons I Am Thankful Today

1. I am thankful for new beginnings each morning.  Without the sun coming up every morning it would feel like I could not ever close the door on the previous day and all of it's crap.

2. I am thankful for the small kiss my husband planted on my forehead yesterday during church.  It may have been a small gesture for him but it meant the world to me.  It meant that he cares and he loves me.  It was a "I will take care of you" kind of kiss.

3.  I am thankful I get to spend so much time with Macy and Johnny.  Our plan today is to live it up at Coney Island today.

Now, someone tell me to get up!  The time is now!  I need to face this day.  I need to celebrate Charlie!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

July 16, 2017

July 16, 2014

We knew Charlie wasn't going to live much longer.  They hadn't told us just yet but deep down we all knew.  It was a mother's instinct, I guess.  Or maybe it was the way the doctors and nurses looked at us, or didn't look at us rather.  I am willing to say this day is just as painful as the 17th; the day Charlie went to heaven.  We had to live through so many emotions we had never felt before.  We had to keep moving forward knowing our child would not get his miracle this side of heaven.  We had to fall asleep in a chair in his hospital room so that the next day, with as much courage and faith as we could muster, we could hold Charlie while he took his last breath late in the evening.  July 16, 2014 was one of the worst days of my life.  Even as awful as it was, I want to go back.  I want that last evening back with him.  I don't think I would do anything differently, since much of it I don't even remember, but I would cherish it more now.  I would hold those moments so close to my heart.  I would breathe him in and hold him close.

July 16, 2017

You would think three years would make the pain hurt less.  It doesn't work that way.  In fact, I think this has been the hardest year yet.  The first year I was in shock.  I can look back at the entire year and recognize that I was not fully present.  The second year I was trying to not feel "stuck in grief."  I made myself feel a certain way or do a certain thing.  And then this year, I can't help but just fall apart.  I have had headaches.  I have struggled to want to get out of bed.  I have believed lies Satan tells me about it all.  And I have finished MANY projects.  I have gone new places.  The two latter in an effort to figure out how to face this day and tomorrow as well.  How do you keep on going?  How do you celebrate your child being in heaven?  And then in the same breathe I would say how can you not celebrate your child being in heaven?!

So it's July 16th.  Here I am, laying in bed with a headache feeling like I would like a third ice cream cone for the day.  Instead, I will probably close my computer and fall asleep praying for peace and hope and love and grace to fill my heart and soul.

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