Thursday, March 29, 2012

Birthdays, smiles and tears

Hard day. Celebrating Drama boy's fifth birthday while grieving 8mo. without Matt. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Still sucks.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

This reality thing

This last week has been emotionally excruciating to say the least. The ups and downs on this roller coaster may have spread out a bit, but they are just as steep. The horrific reality that my son is dead has repeatedly punched me in the face this week. And while I am back to routine tasks like planning the menu and making dinner, the reality that Matt is gone slaps me in the face every time I count the place settings or sit down at the dining room table. I have lost sight of hope.

Yet God continues to minister to me. He reminded me that there is hope. Somehow, too, I had gotten off track in listening to praise and worship music this week. I think I highly underestimated how powerful music is in affecting the mind and spirit. Praise and worship songs are incredibly powerful because of the truths found in them. I had neglected listening to the truth this week!

Just this morning, I heard these two songs. ("Lord, You Never Let Go" was one of the songs we played at Matt's funeral. A bit hard to listen to now, but I need to be reminded of the TRUTH!) Thank you, LORD, for reminding me of the truth. The other song, "In Christ Alone" has always been a favorite of mine.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

When the pain is too great

It's been a bad couple of days. I just want to lie in bed and make the world go away. I want to go to heaven. Now. I don't understand why God took my son, yet leaves someone else to live until they're 90. The pain is just so unbearable. Have you ever seen those infants they show on t.v. sometimes that shake uncontrollably in response to pain or drug addiction withdrawal? I feel like one of them, where the pain is so unspeakable, there is nothing but reflex left. No sound, just uncontrollable shaking in the depths of my soul. I really feel like an amputee, looking down for my appendage, only to see it's not there and never will be again. I have no motivation and feel much like the writer of Ecclesiastes when he says that everything is meaningless and all is vanity.(Ecc. 2:17)

Last night was the first session of bible study on the book of Nehemiah. I had a hard time because the video spoke of leaving a legacy, that God has a purpose for each one of us, and all I could think was, "What kind of legacy did Matt get to leave?" It just seems so unfair. Ugh. I am stuck, because where else can I go? "Whom have I in heaven but You?" (Psalm 73:25) The LORD has hemmed me in. (Psalm 139:5) I know I should find this comforting and wonderful, but right now it just doesn't feel good. I miss my son. I want him back. I want to change reality and I can't. This is a pit I cannot climb out of. I can do nothing but turn and wait for the One who can rescue me.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

For Jean

For Jean - who's been in eternity for 9yrs. today...our time. :)

2 Peter 3:8 "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." (NIV) 


Matthew and Jean

Monday, March 12, 2012

Matt's Shadow Box

We had a beautiful shadow box gifted to us with Matt's awards for chess club, FLL (First Lego League), and BPA (Business Professionals of America) and his paychecks from Pioneer. He won 1st place in PC Troubleshooting and repair and 5th place in Java Programming. The only check he saw was the orientation one from Pioneer and he never cashed it. We received his first paycheck the day of the funeral visitation and the other one a few days after that. We put the checks into a Trout Lake Camp fund for the kids. There's also his glasses, which he liked because they were named "Commando Gun", and his ping pong ball and driver's license.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Grieving with children

Tucked Drama boy into bed tonight and as I did, I asked him the usual, "What should we pray for tonight? What can we say to God?" He replied, "For Matthew to come back." It just breaks my heart to see my children hurting. I explained to him that people in heaven don't come back, but the great thing was that some day we would go there and be reunited and get to see Matt again. Drama boy answered that with, "Then we have to die in a car crash." *sigh* Oh, such tough things for a four year old little boy to process. I answered by saying that people die in all kinds of different ways, but if we have Jesus in our hearts, then we can go to heaven when it's our time to go. Ugh. Never in my life would I have imagined talking to my four year old about the death of his beloved 16yo. brother.

I hate, absolutely hate, that Matt's siblings will grow up without him. It breaks my heart. I have lost my son, but they have lost their brother. Both are an incredible loss. Yet I must trust God. As hard as the truth is at times, like now, I have to trust God that, for whatever reason, he thinks differently. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8) 

Tonight's small group session also reminded me of that very thing. Just as Joseph's life, I'm sure, didn't go the way Joseph had planned, neither does ours. But God is in the details and he also knows the big picture. I am his child, and he loves me. My life is more than this life. With God's power, I'll get through this. It won't be painless. It won't be quick. But God will use this mess for good. I won't be foolish or naive, but nor will I despair. With God's help, I know, I will get through this. (Max Lucado series "You'll Get Through This") I also have to believe that my children will get through this. It is by no accident that we found this study at this particular time. What precious truths to cling to!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

Drama boy has been going back and forth over many birthday cake ideas, but I think he's finally sticking with a dolphin cake! I'm not real familiar with dolphins. (Imagine that!) But, thanks to Google images, I think I should be able to pull it off. :) (Then I have to "whip up" a Polar bear cake for Mr. Monkey five days after Drama boy's!)

On another note...Drama boy asked me yesterday, "Mom, when are we gonna get Dad's silver van back?" :( One minute I think I'm actually doing o.k., and the next I'm not. *sigh* I once again explained to him that we weren't getting it back, that it had been broken too badly and couldn't be fixed.

The ups and downs of this roller coaster ride of grief, however, are not as steep as they were seven months ago. They've also spread out just a tad, enough that I've been able to laugh at moments and smile with genuineness. I'd say on a scale of 1-10, it used to be a 10 and now it's about an 8. There are moments, though, it certainly shoots back up to 10. Just depends.

I still struggle with answering the automatic "How are you?" question. I realize some people ask because they genuinely care about the answer and others ask out of habit, without thinking. Yet I don't know what to say. Because, to me, to say the standard answer of "Fine" or "O.k." would be lying. I hate being caught off guard with the "How are you?" question when I'm out running errands and whatnot. I want to be prepared with an answer. I have often replied, "I'm functioning." Currently, my standard answer is "I've been better." I think, however, I like this reply: "I'm trusting God."

Looking over the past seven months, I've certainly had enough reason to. I was scheduled today for a colonoscopy, but the clinic called yesterday and informed me that the Dr. had gone home sick. I was a bit irritated at the change in plans, but came to the conclusion that God must have a reason. I will trust Him.

It is a daily decision, almost hourly, to trust Him. There are innumerable times throughout the day when I have to take my thoughts captive and simply go back to the truth that God loves me and that, eventually, His plan will be fulfilled. Not nearly as soon as I would like, but keeping faith that some day, it will.

One of the most difficult things about waiting, however, for that fulfillment is that from July 29, 2011 until I enter heaven myself, I have no choice but to speak of my son in the past tense. I hate that. I hate it. I hate death. Oh, how I long for heaven. Our GriefShare group video last night, though, reminded us of the promise that some day, there will be the death of death. Hallelujah!!! You can bet I will be jumping for joy on that day! I thank God for His Word and for reminding me that God's story is a life, death, life story.