February Favorites #7: Shame on the road to a place called Healing

The Accident took place around 11:45 pm just outside of Dumas, TX. The cast and crew of the outdoor musical TEXAS had spent the day at a BBQ celebrating the end of another successful season. Six people loaded into a Ford Taurus to drive the hundred miles back to Canyon, TX. As he pulled onto Hwy 287, the driver ran a stop sign. An 18-wheeler broadsided them. Five people died that night.

Many of our friends rallied around us. They prayed for us, cried with us, and celebrated our son’s life with us. One friend, Julie Mills, had lost her son two years earlier. She was part of a faith-based support group called While We’re Waiting. She sent me a Facebook invitation to join the ministry’s closed group page. I don’t know where I would be in my healing without WWW.

In my selfishness, I did not tell the parents of the other four about the group. I realized how wrong that was just before the one year anniversary. I wrote about it in Shame on the road to a place called Healing.

2 thoughts on “February Favorites #7: Shame on the road to a place called Healing

  1. I think I would have given just about anything for support after Jason died. It’s not that I didn’t try to find support; what I really needed just wasn’t there.

    I went to a Compassionate Friends group a month or so after the accident, but was really put off by them. One gal asked when Jason died, and then proceeded to dismiss me by saying, “Oh, you’re just a newbie.” Someone else asked a followup question and then proceeded to tell me they had seen the article in the paper…and then started to talk about the “poor family” of Jason’s friend who died in the accident, too. They had lost a son in an automobile accident about ten years earlier, so it seemed to be the greater tragedy than our loss. Everyone agreed at what a terrible loss the other family had gone through, but I felt invisible. Perhaps they didn’t mean to be as harsh as I perceived them to be at the time.

    I called Jason’s soccer coach, who had lost two children in a fire and was also on staff at a church, and left several messages. No response. I just wanted someone who had “been there” to tell me I would survive this horrendous loss. Perhaps it was too hard for them to call me.

    I reached out to friends, fellow homeschoolers, church people. I tried to act “normal” and hide my grief so that people would want to be around me, but that didn’t work, either. I suggested to one gal I’d known for a long time and considered a good friend that we go for coffee, but she went into an uncomfortable excuse mode and said was busy “the rest of the summer and would be busier once school started.” Her kids were not small and she didn’t work!! I felt like I got my hand slapped. We had no family close by, so I expected church and homeschool “family” and “friends” to be there for us. But, for some reason, they couldn’t be. As I said in response to an earlier post (Dec 19, 2014 “How reasonable is it to expect family and Pastoral staff to be supportive?”) my head understood how hard it was to be around us, but my heart didn’t. Perhaps they just didn’t know what to say to me or how to help us.

    I understand more now how difficult it is to support those who have had children die. That being said, I know that the lack of support has changed me. It has changed our daughter. She had no one step up to support her, either, when my husband and I had no energy to do so. None of us had any energy to support each other as we needed. Neither one of us really seek out friendship nor do we see the church as a resource for comfort and solace as we used to. We are cautious with our hearts.

    I’m thankful that you have shared this link. Forgive me for posting such a long response. The anniversary of Jason’s death is March 3rd, so many feelings are close to the surface. My continuous and fervent hope is that parents who have lost a child have adequate support from the very first moment…and for however long they need!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed. We need support. The hard part is that the support we need looks different for each person. And those who have not walked this road have no clue!

      I’m so sorry you did not have support when you needed it. I wish I could have helped you then. I pray my words help you now. And I will be praying for this coming week. The anniversary dates can be hard.

      Like

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