Monday, January 25, 2010
My topics tend to address with what I'm dealing with in my present life. I have one foot in the past and always will. I guess this is what happens when you've lost a child to suicide. And especially when you were there when it happened.
I have to work daily to stay in the present, and it becomes easier. Honest, it does.
What I'm reading right now is Judy Collins's "Sanity and Grace: A Journey of Suicide, Survival, and Strength." I appreciate the quotes she's added from professionals that have studied suicidology. I don't agree with all of them, but I do recommend this book.
Let's touch upon anger. Are you angry at your loved one? Was I ever angry at Josh? You better believe it. Does the anger come and go? At first it came in spurts and wouldn't leave for a time. Now, not so much. It surfaces when I least expect it, but it disappears and I'm left with regret. With an ache to hug my son.
Anger is normal with this loss. Golly, people even feel anger when they lose a spouse to natural causes, so surely we'll feel anger when a loved one takes their own life.
A few thoughts may go like this: What right did he have to leave us this way? Why did she do this? We loved her. Did he love us so little? She was selfish, plain selfish. He's ruined our lives! Why did he not listen to me? I'm his mother, I knew what was best. I've been given a jail sentence that I don't deserve.
Please know I had all these thoughts and many more I can't remember. I felt guilty afterward, but they were what they were.
I remember feeling crazy. I think from lack of sleep and all the sorrow (too much negative and not enough joy). God allowed another mother and my paths to cross at the perfect moment in my life. At the time, she lost her son five years earlier. I told her, "I feel I'm going crazy."
She looked me right in the eyes and said something like this, "I know you do. I did. But, you're not." Her eyes twinkled with a knowing, and I trusted that look more than her words.
I will always be grateful for our mother to mother talk on the green grass of a park on a summer day.
I'm still growing spiritually, which is a relief. Sometimes I wonder if I'll fall off the edge of this physical, spiritual world. God holds out his arms. He walks this harsh, cruel path with me and will never forsake me. I am sure of that. What I'm not sure of is myself. Too many feelings all a jumble, but if I stop and think for one quick second who my Lord God is, I then place my trust back where it belongs. With him.
Philippians 4: 12, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." (KJV)
Until next time . . .
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I received news that one of my stories was accepted for a book anthology. The story is about how Joshua's friends and I helped one another after Joshua died. I don't know much else, just that the piece is currently before the editing committee and it will be weeks before they send it back with suggested changes.
To say we are elated is a most true statement. Even Joshua's rottweiler, Heinrich, got in on our group hug (Josh always said that dog was a touchy, feely silly, nothing like his macho father, Harloe). My husband and I hugged and Heinrich jumped on us and nipped at my sleeve.
Our time of celebration.
I believe this will be a first of many stories about our son and our loss, and hopefully those stories will fill a book. Most of all, I pray my stories will help others.
That old saying that we writers must never give up, that we must persevere has proven true once again. This news has given me the push I needed to be encouraged and keep writing my stories. Whether they be nonfiction and fiction for children or about suicide.
Until next time . . .
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
As the mother of a son who died from suicide, I am often compelled to stamp the fires around me from the effects of that suicide. Or another way to put it, I'm grasping at the dominoes as they fall.
I read once that when we meet with a traumatic situation, we are only able to approach it from the stand point of how weak or strong we are in our relationship with Christ. This thought has proven true.
Was I that faithful when Joshua died? Enough to get me through it, barely, but I wish I had been the child of God he would have chosen me to be. I knew just enough about Christ to be extra miserable.
These sound like strong words, I know. I look around and witness people falling down like dominoes and I can do little to help. But, my prayers for them are the single most important "help." I was never much of a prayer before Josh died. Not really. I thought I was, but no. I read scriptures much more now than I had before, also. I need to. I wouldn't have made it through this far, if not for God's word showing me the way through this Valley of the Shadows.
I wish I could hold the hands of those who are tormented over Joshua's passing. I can't. I know, I've tried. Only two walk together on the spiritual path we take toward heaven: The person and God. No one, and I mean no one, can do this for you.
One sermon our minister preached several years back stuck with me. He said, and I paraphrase, "We can not hop on the back of a strong Christian and expect to get a free ride to heaven. We can't stand in the shadows of that Christian and think this will get a right relationship with Christ. It won't."
His words hit home. I needed to hear that more than that man will ever know. It made more sense as to why I was still in our house where Joshua died. I grew to know that God had my best interest in mind, even when others around me were dismayed, shocked, and even angry at my years still in the home.
It was my wandering in the dessert time, and not a picnic in the forest. This was my time to allow God to mold me into a stronger Christian. Not only for my benefit, but for those whose paths I cross and need to see what great things God has done.
I hope this post helped. I sure needed to share it.
Until next time . . . let's be on our knees in prayer.