I couldn't bring myself to blog last Sunday. It was the 9mo. mark since Matt's homegoing. Between the pain of it being 9mo. since losing my son and only days from what would have been his 17th birthday, I just couldn't formulate any words. The past week and the upcoming week have been dominated with thoughts of Matt's birthday, the 9mo. mark, our anniversary, and Mother's Day. Pain prevailed.
We have plans to commemorate Matt's birthday by spending it at Trout Lake Camp. (In fact, we are currently on the road now as I type.) Trout Lake was his favorite place to go and he enjoyed it immensely. Though it will be difficult, it helps to honor my son's memory in this way. It was truly God's hand at work, too, in making this happen. Trout Lake camp availability is extemely hard to come by. There are always groups in attendance, and reservations are booked far in advance with no vacancies. I had emailed them in January and, truth be told, held little hope that our plans would be realized. In fact, I hadn't even considered Trout Lake because I knew the possibility was slim to none. But after contacting several other places with no luck, I figured I had nothing to lose by asking. I was absolutely stunned when I immediately heard back from Trout Lake that, yes, they would accommodate us. How incredibly gracious of God to grant us our desire.
As we were packing and preparing to leave, I couldn't help but think that if Matt were here, I wouldn't be packing. I would have baked his cake yesterday and been frosting and decorating it today. It sucks. I grieve because there will be no more asking him what kind of cake he wants. No more buying him gifts. There will be no more pictures of him after the age of 16. I grieve because some day his younger siblings will be older than their big brother (Lord willing). There will be no prom, no graduation. We don't get to see him graduate from college. His dad and I don't get to watch him purchase his own first car. I don't get to meet his future wife or see him get married or become a father. We will never see what would have become of Matt's incredible computer skills and how that would have played out as a profession. Matt, in fact, never even got to experience the thrill of receiving his first paycheck. (We ended up getting it the day of the visitation.) We not only grieve the loss of our son, but we grieve all these other things as well. I also grieve because I don't have a choice of the verb tense used when I speak of my son. Grief sucks.
This whole past week has been spent trying to avoid the roller coaster, trying to swim back to shore. It has been exhausting. And the thing that really sucks with grief is that you're an unwilling participant. You don't get a choice. You don't get to leave or step out of the roller coaster line. You didn't sign up for this journey. You never had a clue that the death of a loved one would leave you as an amputee. The aftermath is more than you could have ever imagined. However, the amazing thing is that you are not alone. I am not alone and God has never left me. Death does not win. His victory is temporary. Hallelujah.