I really don’t know if I will live through this sometimes. I am so heartbroken. There is no relief from the pain, other than a brief moment or two of distraction. The author of the book, On Grief and Grieving, is proving to be correct when she said that it can take months or even a year or two for the shock of sudden loss to wear off and the reality of the loss to set in. I think I might like the state of shock better than this time of reality beginning to set in. It is so painful to try to come to grips with the reality of one of my precious children actually being dead. I go to the cemetery once a week or so, hoping for some kind of something…..what, I don’t know. But, it doesn’t help. I see what was a three by eight foot area of fresh dirt, but is now an area covered in fresh sod with his name plaque at the top of it. I cried, and even screamed a little, when I saw they had put sod on his grave. I think I was still holding out hope that it wasn’t real. His body wasn’t really going to remain six feet beneath the surface of the ground. The fresh dirt seemed to symbolize a lack of permanency to me. Fresh sod means they think he is going to stay down there. “Let’s grow some grass on top of him.” I was so angry when I saw that they’d planted sod on top of his grave. On top of him.
The almost constant mental assault of images and memories keep this journey feeling a little like walking on hot coals. The only relief is when your feet are in the air above the coals, but it can’t last. Your feet have to come back down and walk on the hot coals again. I woke up a few days ago thinking I was ok and it was going to be a pretty good day, then the image of his body lying in his casket at the funeral home flashed into my mind and I just started sobbing. Why? Why? Why? Why do I have to have the image of one of my children’s body’s lying lifeless in a casket in my mind? There is no answer to that question. Only God knows that answer. I’m left with grappling with how to accept His will. I quoted Job 1:21, to Dan this evening, then asked why I can’t seem to get there. “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Dan said, “It’s not that simple.” Was it that simple for Job? I don’t know, but I don’t really think so.
I was driving to the post office a few weeks ago on a drizzly morning around 11am. All of a sudden I was driving along behind the hearse carrying my son on the morning of his funeral. It was the same time of day, in the same place we started that fateful drive, and raining like it was on that day a few months before. It didn’t seem like a memory popped up in my mind. It was like I was in the car with Dan following behind the hearse that carried his body in his casket to the burial site on the day of his funeral. It was a bit unnerving to have such a vivid memory overtake me like that. I wept. I weep now remembering that drive. Going for rides is one of Dan and I’s favorite pastimes. But, that memory is not a favorite. No parent should have the memory of driving in their car behind a hearse carrying one of their children to his gravesite. This is quite often unbearable. I literally feel like I cannot bear it. It’s too burdensome. It makes me want to go to bed and stay there, forever. I can’t, and I won’t, but I want to sometimes.
I want to remember and believe again Psalm 68:19, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation.” I want to be able to say, with Job, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” And, I want to walk this journey of grieving out as Job did: “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” My constant, and almost only prayer is that God will help us, He will help me to be able to believe and trust in Him as we walk out this almost unbearable journey of grief.