Unique

A gal commented on something I posted yesterday.

She was trying to tell me that I cannot really be okay, not yet. She was responding to my articles “Healing” and “Dream”. She said I might be okay…some day. But I cannot be okay yet. Some day I will “wake up” and realize that I was not actually okay, but was in a sleep-like state for years. I would see that I had not really been functioning or living. This sleep will be God’s way of protecting me from all the pain. She knows. This is what she experienced. She was in a sleep-like state in her grief. She “woke up” seven years after her son’s death. She said she prays that I have more “sleep” and rest.

I don’t know her family well. I don’t know all that she experienced. I don’t know what it was like for her as her ten year old son died of cancer. I do not know her grief journey. I am sorry she had to walk that path.

I do know my family. I do know my experiences in the months before and since The Accident. I do know what it was like to have my twenty year old son killed in a car wreck. I do know what my grief journey has been. I wish I did not have to walk this path.

I responded to her comments that I believe I am awake and living now. I do not want to “sleep” through the years. I see my grief differently than she described hers. She was offended.

I am not saying I am better than she is. I am not saying I am better than you are. In saying I have experienced healing, I am simply saying that I am better than I was a year or two years ago. I am recovering.

Am I done? Have I arrived? No. I have a way to go on my grief journey. I know that. My healing is progressive; it will continue over time. I know I will still have hard days, but I believe those hard days will continue to become less hard and less frequent as I choose to do the rights things for my soul care. I know I will have times that I struggle, but I can continue to recover. I hope that five years from now I will look back and see that I have continued to experience recovery and healing. I hope I will see how far I have come.

As I continue to experience healing in Christ, I live. I live an eternal life that begins today. I laugh. I have joy. I love watching my grandsons grow. I enjoy seeing my adult children becoming what God designed them to be. I spend time with friends and loved ones. My husband and I have adventures.

Even when the day starts out hard, like it did yesterday when I woke from an ugly dream, I can have a great day. I spent time dealing my grief then I talked with a couple of my kids. I took care of some paperwork. I got a manicure. My friend Jean brought me a plate of hot brownies which I ate while reading a good book. Does it get any better than that? Is that sleeping? I don’t think so.

May I submit to you that my experience may be very different than yours?

Even if we are both bereaved moms who believe in Jesus Christ. Even if we both have a house full of children. Even if we both have amazing husbands to love us and help us. Even if we have very similar lifestyles. Our grief journeys will be unique.

Our children were unique. Their lives were unique. Their deaths were unique. We are each unique. And our grief is unique.

One parent may seem to heal quickly. Others of us may seem to take longer. Our “healing” may look very different. I write publicly about my grief. Another parent may be more private. I have one friend who started running with her husband after their son’s death. They now run marathons!  I didn’t do that. Not yet anyway.

This gal from yesterday asked me to consider that maybe I don’t know what it will look like seven years out. Maybe I am asleep and don’t know it. Maybe I will wake up in five years to discover that I have not been living.

Maybe. Maybe all that I do is really just a dream. But I doubt it.

I do not know what tomorrow will hold. The Accident taught me that truth in a very clear way. I have no idea what my journey will look like in five years or ten.

What I do know is that I love my life now. I am living today. I am making memories and loving those around me. I choose life. I choose forgiveness. I choose joy. I choose Christ.

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5 thoughts on “Unique

  1. We are all unique people in unique situations. No one knows what another has experienced. My nine year old passed four years ago in an accident. I will never be completely healed, but I am doing my best. That is all anyone can do.

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  2. Miss Kathleen ~~ I am sorry that your stage(s) of grief upset the other mother. You and I do not know what it is like to loose someone we’ve only had in our lives for seven years, nor do we know what it is like to watch our child endure the treatments and then succumb to this ugly disease. (Although I have sat with my mum and helped her in her times of trouble and last weeks and days.)

    I am sorry, along with you, that this mother is negating that all of us grieve differently.

    We may all go through the 5 stages of grief, but not at the same rate, not at the same intervals, and not necessarily in the same order. Unexpected deaths hit us differently than those deaths of those we know have a good chance of not living a certain length of life. Suicide and murder also rob us of the semi-adjustment period that an illness “affords” some.

    I miss my Ethan every day. I, like you, have good days, bad days, and days that either start out good and have grief bumps in them and others that are going along swimmingly and grief can hit me out of left-ish field and make me curl up in a ball. Other days, like if Ethan has come to me and asked me ‘to come home with him’ as he has a couple of time over the last five years, I struggle to turn my focus around to something positive. But, alas, I too have been blessed with support and God makes a way for my day to be turned around – most days now.

    I have not been afforded the luxury of sleeping my way through any of the days in the last 5 years. My momma numbness was short lived and hidden from many, including me as I was forced to take the Head of the family roll once again (because my husband/kids’ step-dad did not know what to do; not that I did either). I had to take care of my other children who are still grieving the loss of their brother and father-figure for his youngest sister. I had so much to deal with with the court issues as well. I had to lead by example.

    Not to overlook that the grieving process was halted and stalled as it is with most all murders and suicides and accidents that leave a multitude of questions hanging in the air.

    Miss Kathleen, I, like you, have made a conscious decision to live and honor my son’s life by not dying with him — okay, not all of me has died, just some of me. After all, that is how I raised him and his siblings.

    And to the Other Mother ~~ I am sorry for you loss and your broken heart.

    Sincerely,

    Kathleen
    Mum of a Murdered child
    Ethan May 21, 1991 – Sept. 8, 2010

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  3. How tragic to fail to live life for seven years. Her pain must have been so intense that she “slept” through it and did so as an escape. Clearly, there was grief going on, and healing as well, that she may not have recognized. Just hurts my heart.

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    • I am not sure what she went through. I will not judge how she handled her grief. And I hope she will not judge how I handle mine.

      I imagine she was exhausted in every way after her son passed. She had been caring for him through cancer for a few years. Yes, her pain must have been intense. I hurt for moms and dads who have to go through that.

      I rejoice that she woke up. I rejoice that healing was happening even when she did not see it.

      Liked by 1 person

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