Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I Sure Miss You

Here's a song for those of us who miss our loved ones.
Hang in there as it begins,.....
there's about a 30-35 second intro which doesn't go with the song.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

5 Years Out

I recall when Jae had been gone only hours and days, I clung to every other mother who had lost a child and asked them "Will it always hurt this bad?"
Almost without exception, the friends would comfort me with thoughts and words that I really did not believe. The reassurances they gave did not seem possible.
How would this agonizing physical, emotional and spiritual pain get better?
The idea that life would get better was preposterous.
Jae would always be gone, therefore I would always hurt.

Another thing that always made my stomach lurch was when moms would tell me that they had lost their child (so many) years ago. The mere thought of living "years" without her was unimaginable.
Facing the next hour was too hard,...how could I look ahead into the coming "years"?

People often asked me early in my grief "How are you doing?"
It's a typical casual greeting given to people often every day, but I swore that for as long as I lived, I would never say "Good" again.
I would say "Fine" or "OK" or "All right", but "good"?.....never!

Now that it's been 5 years, I find I have learned to wear this coat of grief and have even grown accustomed to it. It is an internal garment and although it's not comfortable, it is as much a part of me as my skin.
I can not get out of it.
I can not take it off.
It clings to me.
I hate it, but I accept it.

My heart broke today and I had to work crazy hard at holding tears back. I watched a beautiful wedding picture/video of a friend's daughter and much of this beautiful young bride's pictures reminded me of Jae.
All the people watching the video beside and with me would have never thought I was missing Jae Lynn. They weren't thinking at all about my loss of Jae. Of course they would not think of her!
But I was painfully reminded that I would never have the opportunity to create such a beautiful video for Jae wedding. Her daddy will not give her away, her younger sister will choose another maid of honor, I will not help her pick out a white dress, she will never know romance, I will never hold her children, etc.....
The grief coat suffocates me for a moment.
It's normal that no one would notice.
Still,....it's lonely that no one notices.
If they did notice, they would not speak of it because it would be,..well,..awkward.

One of my patients spoke of the fresh death of his wife of 67 years. (!) His wrinkled eyes were wild with pain as he said "I am selfish. I wish she was still with me".
I think not.
It's not selfish to wish for wholeness.

I watched a friend of mine sob as she lovingly caressed a photo of her mom who recently died. The coat is too big. Too much to bear. She knows it is a pain she will wear for the rest of her life. It's an overwhelming reality.

What do I say to these dear ones who hurt so bad?
I have lots of experience,..but they are skeptical that it will be the same for them.
Yet,..like I did, they hold out hope for the day when their heart will not ache so bad.
Hold on.
It does get better.


Til then, I'm here as a 5 year survivor telling them that life can indeed be once again,...."Good".
God still performs miracles.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I Will Miss You The Most

This is one of the very first entires I wrote in my personal journal after Jae's death.
It is dated in May 2004.


I will miss you the most in the summer, I think.
Watching lightning bugs and listening to the whipporwills. I recall the night you got up and I could see you silhouetted in our bedroom doorway
crying that “the wisperwillers” were keeping you awake.
Our whippoorwills left when you did and have not come back.
I will miss you when I look up into the starry night sky at Buffalo River and
then sleeping head-to-head with you in our tiny camper.
I will miss seeing you in swimsuits and sunglasses and smelling all like suntan lotion.
Us comparing our tan lines to see who was darker. (ME!)
I will miss seeing your cute feet in sandals.
I will miss getting you ready and off to cheer camp and the early morning cheerleading practices at the end of summer.
It occurs to me that no one could sing the “poor sick penguin” like you and I will miss that you will never make me laugh by singing it again.
I loved watching you work with the preschoolers in VBS and I will remember your talent each and every year and wish that you could work it again.
Yes. I will miss you in the summer.

But I think I will miss you most in the Autumn.
The ambiance of a Friday night football game will forever wash over me and remind me of you.
I will miss your daddy talking to you through the PA system and thanking all the bases when they caught you after a stunt.
I will miss you when the weather turns cool because I will recall how beautiful
you were in turtlenecks and sweaters.
I will miss you at bonfires and after-game parties.
I wish you would be here with me to notice all the changing leaf colors around our house.
I will miss seeing what interesting and unusual character you decided
to be each year for Halloween.
(Oh wait. Of course. You would be a pig.)
You won’t be there to plan and anticipate the upcoming holidays.
Yes, I will miss you in the Autumn.

But I think I may miss you the most in the Winter.
The times you spent shivering in our living room complaining of the cold.
It always confused us as to why you would choose to freeze
by wearing a sports bra and soffee shorts.
I will miss you crawling into our bed and sleepily whining to us about how warm and cozy it was compared to yours. And now, there’s no one except me at our house who understands
how wonderful a two hour bath can be.
I’ll miss you terribly in our Thanksgiving prayer circle before our meal.
I’ll wish you were with us when we go to the malls the day after Thanksgiving.
And then at Christmas, when our family carols to our friends and neighbors on Christmas Eve, our song will miss your sweet warbly little voice.
On Christmas morning, our bed will still be warm and cozy but I will long for it to be crowded with your presence as your daddy reads the Christmas story.
Oh! How I will miss you in the Winter.

But I think I may miss you most in the Spring.
You and I both loved to pick flowers, but neither of us had any interest in tending them.
Jonquils will forever remind me of how you picked a huge bouquet to brighten your room
on the very day before you left us.
I will miss cheerleading competitions and holding you together during the week of try-outs.
I will miss all the yearbook signings and the proms that aren’t to be.
Spring is the season of new life, but from now on, when I hear the birds singing their first song of Spring, I will I recall how sad they sounded the year you left.
How did they know?
A grim anniversary now reminds me of things other than new life.
I will always miss you in the Spring.

I will miss you in all seasons and in between all seasons.
I will always wonder what jobs you would have had and what profession you would have chosen. I will miss watching you love a man as much as I love your daddy and I was looking forward to watching you love a daughter as much as I love you.
I think I will always long for you when I see Casey and Abby alone or enjoying
themselves together.
A family of four just seems wrong.
Your death has left the same type of frustrating pain as a song that ends abruptly just when it was reaching it’s most beautiful crescendo. I expected much more life and beauty from you and then your death came at the peak of your song.
We almost had a glimpse of what you would be like as an adult, but now
we will forever strain for that vision.
My life, my outlook, my personality, my past and my future are all different now.
There is much I do not understand about all of this.
One thing I do know is that I will miss you the most in the
Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring.