Year two. It feels like forever and yesterday at the same time. I haven’t written for months, 5 to be exact. I have tried several times. I would write a few lines, read them, delete them, and then repeat. After awhile, I would just walk away from the computer having given up. I have repeated that scenario many times since Christmas.
So why? Why has it been hard for me to write? I still cry almost everyday and tear up when we talk about Grant. But everyday also has joy and reasons to be grateful. So it’s not the lingering sadness that prevents me from writing.
People still ask how I am doing, and I’m still not quite sure how to answer that question. I’m not sure how I am supposed to be doing. I have no idea what life should look like now. I think I’m doing well on this journey of grief. But I really have know idea what the standard is. But the lack of a clear answer to that question hasn’t prevented me from writing. So what does?
Life has continued on without Grant. There have been weddings in our lives, graduations, moves, and even the impending birth of our first grand baby. But I know there is healing in those things. And even though there is a bittersweet taste to each of life’s events now (I imagine there always will be until we are reunited with Grant) I am grateful for them and so happy for others. I actually appreciate the sweet moments more now, in this new normal. I take less for grated. So no, life continuing on without Grant has not made me bitter nor prevented me from writing.
So why? Why has it been so hard to write? Looking back over the last few months I think I would have to say It is because I was mad at God. Not a rage, or yelling, screaming kind of mad. But that kind of mad that creates distance, a lack of affection, and a lack of desire to spend time with someone. I still believed, I have never doubted God or the truth of His word, not even for a moment. But I was mad as you would be at a friend that you felt had mistreated you, betrayed you.
I didn’t know I was mad. Anger wasn’t brewing, bubbling under the surface. I only realized I was mad as a looked back and saw my contentment with the distance, the lack of affection I had for God. I only realized I was mad when I saw I had lost my desire to spend time with God, to read His word, or spend time in prayer. Looking back, I can honestly say I have never questioned my faith in God. But I have questioned God’s plan for my life, for Grant’s life, and for the lives of the rest of my precious family left with the deficit Grant’s death leaves us with. As C.S. Lewis says (a man well acquainted with grief), “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”
The best for us has turned out to be more painful than I could have ever imagined. But I am no longer angry at God. In fact, my affection grows as I think about His nearness, His patience, His pursuing me, even in those times I was struggling to distance myself.
And I am making progress in this journey of grief. The waves roll in less frequently now. They still roll in, but less often. As far as getting over it, however, I will never get over it. By God’s grace, I will get through this, but I will never get over it. I am forever changed because I buried a child. And this road of grief is a long, long journey that is not completely over until I get to Heaven. I know that now.
And no matter how much I want to tell you it’s getting easier, there are days I feel like I am starting back at step one. I want so badly to be a strong woman of faith, glorify my Savior through this journey never faltering along the way. But truth be told, I am afraid I am going to have to settle for two steps forward, one step back. I wish there was a surgery to remove the chronic pain that lives in my heart and soul, hiding behind every smile. Even with the passage of time, sometimes it still hurts so much it takes my breath away. Sometimes it hurts even more than it did months ago, without the numbing effect of shock, disbelief, and denial.
But more than anything, I long to show a hurting world that there is hope, but only through Him, Jesus. I won’t pretend to ever understand, but I do not, cannot, spend the rest of my life questioning and confused, angry or distant. I must trust and rest, even when there is no comprehension of what the author and keeper of all things has chosen. On the days I feel as if God is silent in the pain and I cannot feel His nearness, my truest sense of faith must come into play, and know He is near, present, pursuing, and working all things for good. That is truth, will always be truth, regardless of whether or not I can feel it in the pain! “Christianity doesn’t deny the reality of suffering and evil. Our hope is not based on the idea that we are going to be free of pain and suffering. Rather it is based on the conviction that we will triumph over suffering.” Brennan Manning
I’ve looked into eternity now. And some days, I long to be there. But the Lord has me here, He’s not done with my journey on this side. So I will strive to celebrate His Glory, daily, when it shows up in the pains and in the joy He gives me in this life I have left. And I know that is what Grant would want of us all! We are trying Grant…we are trying to grieve with hope as we step onto the threshold of year number 3.
My heart is with you always. Knowing what a sad day this is…thinking of you
Love you Joyce, so very much. Hugs
I’ve missed your posts and am so glad you are able to write again. I love your blogs. My mom died 17 years ago, she never got to meet my three boys. My heart aches for her and always will, but I press into Him just like you. One book I especially love is Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge. It has helped me with the distant God view it is so easy to think He is. It’s helped me channel the pain of my marital separation and impending divorce. Blessings to you. Keep sharing!
Alisa this post is truly beautiful. So glad I came across it today. We lost our 23 year old first born son last April. Reading your blog in some strange way helps me to understand my own grief. You are very gifted in your ability to express yourself. I too have a deep faith and am living the rest of my life from an eternal perspective. I also have 3 other children. My husband and I often talk with them about the day we’ll all be reunited with our boy… perhaps on a beautiful beach. Staying focused on this truth and on the fact that Jesus’ return is going to be soon, gives us the hope we need to get through each day and even enjoy the journey while we are still here. Our boys have found their way home and we’ll be spending eternity with them. May the Lord fill your days with His peace and joy and purpose. God bless. .. Debbie
I am so sorry for your loss. I know that is something people say, but it cuts to the depths of my soul as I send you condolences, when I think on your pain and loss. Your words were beautiful and profound, and I am so grateful you read, and wrote, and took the time to encourage me. I wish I could sit with you, cry with you, and hear all about your boy. Hugs
I’d love to share my story with you. Perhaps you could connect with me via email and I can forward it to you.
Alisa from the short time I spent with you I could tell you are such an amazing Mom and person. I could tell how much loved your family. My heart hurts for you, know that you are in my prayers.
Awww…Bethany, what a beautiful and kind thing to say ❤ Hugs
I stumbled across your blog today. Oh, how I wish this “club no one wants to belong to” wasn’t so big! I, too, am a grief mom and have found writing/blogging to be incredibly healing. It seems we have a lot in common (homeschooling, loss of a son, blogging, and last, but not least, our faith in a good God). Next month, we will have endured 4 years of grief, but also 4 years of God’s faithfulness. May the LORD continue to grant you and your family strength and peace as you continue this journey. ((hugs)), Angie
Please don’t stop writing! I lost my son on October 15 and your words are helping me so much.
Please don’t stop writing! I lost my 26 year old son on October 15 and just happened upon your blog today. I know it was a gift from God because has helped to lift my spirits so much!
Oh Dear Terri,
My heart is breaking for you 😦 I wish there was something I could say that would make you feel better, but I know there is not. Know that I am praying for you, daily! And that I feel your pain, and I am so so sorry for your profound loss 😦 Hugs Hugs
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