How does one embrace a day like today? Do you honor it in a special way or hide under the covers, letting time pass until tomorrow comes? Do you pray to God for comfort or seek it elsewhere? Do you let anger back in or try to seek the peace you once felt? Do you throw a tantrum at the unfairness of life or celebrate the memories in a special way?
I find there’s no “right” way to embrace the moment that forever changed your life. I’ve walked a long road of healing with my grief, and no matter how many years have passed, there will always be a piece of me that remains altered.
Waking up this morning and hearing the birds in the early hours brought me back to when I’d wake early and search for an escape through the computer – to write, read messages, and find a thread of encouragement to hold me up.
I can’t begin to describe the void that death leaves behind, like an unavoidable emptiness that no amount of laughter or joy could fill. The longing for a boy, I could now only find in pictures, leaves an ache so deep, it’s suffocating.
How does one cope? How does one move on? How does life ever return to normalcy after loss? Does it ever return?
I know I have shared the moment when my heart shed the bitter, hard scales that were leaving me stuck in a state of hopelessness – the realization that God was going to use my pain for purpose. There were other moments that started to shape a new perspective on not only life but death. Not too long ago, I was taking a walk in the neighborhood and having a prayer-like conversation with God (or whatever neighbors were listening as I passed). I said out loud without any forethought, “Thank you God for keeping my Braden safe, not having him endure anymore surgeries, no more pain, no more suffering.” I felt incredible peace, knowing my words matched what my heart was feeling.
Where is the bridge? How does one go from the painful agony of emptiness to the peaceful rest in knowing her son is safe in his creator’s arms? I can honestly say that it wasn’t overnight, and there are still tearful pleas for Braden to be back in my arms. But where distrust once resided, I started to see God’s faithfulness, His sovereignty, His goodness take root – a new trust started to evolve. John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” This is a reminder to put my faith, not in the world, but in the One who will give me eternal life.
Everyday is a choice to focus on the negative, dim, unfair parts of life or choose to be the light in someone else’s life. Whether it’s my kids’ lives, a friend or a stranger I just met – more life filled with love, giving love, is a life I choose to bravely live.
This year was still tough to embrace; I know every year will have the same effect – reliving the panic, fear, initial shock and reality of loss. In the midst of our grief, however, we were embraced with prayer, messages, cards, and more love than one ever expects to receive. It was truly humbling and brought me to tears many times to see how our B is honored, remembered, and loved.
I saw this quote, and found it to be a new perspective on grief: “Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is love with no place to go.”
I find this song appropriate to share. I hope it brings a level of peace and comfort to anyone facing a battle of their own. Mercy Me – Even If
One last thing – I am apart of a ministry called Beautifully Broken. I was able to share my testimony back in January and was asked to be apart of their newly launched blog. Check it out – http://www.beautifullybroken.blog.