“It’s a day. A stupid, stupid day.”
“I know. A stupid, unnecessary day.”
It’s that day again. The eighth time we’ve been to this day – the anniversary of our middle son passing away from trauma caused by an unnecessary, stupid car accident.
The above quotes are the conversation I had with my hubby when he came in to check on me this morning….at almost the exact time our son passed away.
I’ve tried twice to write a blog for today but couldn’t seem to put words to my feelings about this stupid, awful day. But I awoke, as I often do, an hour or so before the dreaded time, and felt like I could maybe pull it together and string my thoughts into a coherent story. So here I am….trying…again! It helps me sometimes. So, I try.
After hubby left my office to attend to his morning ritual, I heard him laughing at the show he records every night to watch as he eats breakfast in the morning.
This is our life now. Crying and saying ridiculous things that I think will make me feel better. Agreement from my bestie. Laughter at the TV. Smiling as I try to put words to the absurdity of life.
Trauma like this makes one a little schizoid. (I looked up the meaning of “schizoid” to be sure I was using the word I wanted to use, and yes…….the definition is “denoting or having a personality type characterized by having emotional aloofness and solitary habits”.) Yikes.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reading a book I haven’t read in many years, decades, in fact. When I was first a Christian and newly married it spoke to me in a way nothing but the Bible had, revealing things about life I’d never considered. It taught me about myself and living life as a Christian. The book is an allegory and is quite simple to read, though the concepts are ones I find myself meditating on frequently throughout the day.
As I’m rather familiar with the content of the book, I’ve not been reading it consistently, but have occasionally picked it up and read a chapter or two. I tried to do this as I was waiting to pick up my granddaughter the other day, but that proved to be a little dangerous as I sat in the pick-up line stopping and going and stopping and going! Anyway…..
The protagonist of the story is a lame young woman with a crooked mouth named Much-Afraid. She is a member of the family called Fearings and they live in the Valley of Humiliation. Much-Afraid is in the employment of the Chief Shepherd and longs to go with Him to the High Places, where He lives. She is invited by the Shepherd to go with Him and the story is about her journey there. The book is Hinds’ Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard. I highly recommend reading it.
I am only up to chapter 7, having finished reading chapter 6 last night…the anniversary of the last day we saw our son alive.
Yesterday was a very hard day for me. I told my hubby last night, after many, many tears, that I felt like I’d been dropped into a dark hole. I hate that feeling. And I have more or less not been there for a long time. This past year has been a difficult year, as far as grieving goes. But last night felt like the culmination of all the difficult days and nights leading up to it. I snapped out of it after a good, hard cry, came home from our ride of distraction and sat down to read the next chapter in my book before I went to bed. And….wow. I am the type of believer who believes nothing is coincidence. I believe God has His hand in everything in a believer’s life. And last night was an interesting sign of that for me.
In the first couple of chapters, Much-Afraid travels across the valley to reach the foot of the mountain where she believes the Chief Shepherd is going to personally take her to His High Places. When she arrives at the foot of the mountain, the Shepherd greets her, and she is elated to see him and begin their journey together, only to be told the Shepherd has chosen two guides for her to accompany her on her journey, and He would not be taking her Himself. She is horrified to find out that her guides are Sorrow and Suffering. In fact, she almost doesn’t go with them, as we can all understand. After she decides to go with them, she encounters Craven Fear, then Pride, and has quite the battles overcoming them with the help of the Shepherd, who immediately comes when she calls to Him.
She resumes her journey with Sorrow and Suffering, only to come to a place where she has to go down into a desert, and not up toward the high places, and she is once again bewildered and horrified at the direction the path is taking her. She calls out to the Shepherd again and He assures her this is the only path to the High Places, and she surrenders to Him and His will.
As she surrenders to Him, she receives a new name. And this is where I had to stop reading, close my eyes and breath in deeply as I surrender myself to my loving Lord.
Her new name is Acceptance-With-Joy.
As I reflect over the past 8 years, I think about how this journey of grief has evolved from being entirely about the trauma my son experienced that horrible morning, to being about how I can live my life in a way that honors God without leaving my son behind in a life that used to be. It’s a very strange thing, this life of being the parent of a child who is in heaven. I’ve not stopped being his mom, and he has not stopped being my son, even though I’ll not see him again until I pass away.
May I learn and grow to be Acceptance-With-Joy.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2