Wednesday, July 18, 2012

You could have stopped it

When Caleb died, at first, I leaned on God every minute to get me through. I didn't ask questions, I just clung to Him while the storm raged. It's been 16 months now and the storm has settled. The questions are starting to come to the surface a lot. I can seem to understand that God did not want Caleb to die. He hates death and suffering just as much as I do. But then my mind wonders to the next question,"But God could have stopped Caleb's death and He didn't."I know God is all powerful and all loving and in my world that would equal my son here. But he isn't here and I'm left with that nagging question of "why didn't you stop it?Why didn't you step in at the last minute and save him?"

A few weeks ago at mass, after receiving the Eucharist, I was praying and again my heart was asking that question. God answered. I felt Him telling me "Because I don't run from death. Because I'm not scared of death. Because I have conquered death. Because the dead still live. If I went around stopping everyones' loved ones from dying, it would give the enemy power. It would show that I was afraid of death and wanted to keep my children from it. But I am not scared, that is why I died on the cross. I overcame death. You can overcome it too. You have experienced death and you still live. Death is not the worst thing. Death is not the end."

Wow, that left me with a lot of peace. I am still pondering all of it and don't really know where to go with it. But I wanted to share it for those grieving out there and questioning. I'm a firm believer that God can handle any questions you have. Bring them to Him and then sit with Him and rest in Him.

Here is my new favorite song. I feel like it was literally written for me. It speaks to my heart and the words seem to come from God Himself. I feel like in this grieving process sometimes all I want to do is run from God, not to Him. God continues to show me over and over again that He is the red against my black. His blood is the red against the darkness. He has overcome death. My favorite line in the song is "the dead will live again. You will see those dry bones dancing, in a death-defying marvelous parade." Oh Caleb, I can't wait to see that parade one day- miss you sweet boy!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Opening it up

I have been traveling some this summer. Weekend trips here and there plus one family vacation. And with every single trip comes anxiety. I never used to get nervous about traveling (with the exception of my trip to Thailand in college!)I loved going places and never thought twice about leaving. But now, I'm a nervous nelly. Its all I can do to keep my panic attacks under control. Most of my trips are spent worrying or battling negative thoughts that come into my head about what could go wrong.I am hoping this is the grief sinking in, and truly I think that it is. I wondered though- have any other grievers out there experienced this? What did you do to fight it? What worked, what didn't?  Do you think it is related to the grief you are experiencing?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The start of the seconds....

Lately I have been feeling the physical effects of grief almost daily. I have no motivation, I'm exhausted for no good reason. Each morning I just want to pull the covers over my head and hide. I have zero initiative. And this has been going on for about 2 weeks. I couldn't figure it out. Mentally and emotionally I felt great. I wasn't missing Caleb that much. Overall I was happy. This month of the year I have few memories with him, so less grief attacks. I'm not particularly stressed out in any way. So it remained a mystery and eventually I just  gave into it. Friends would call, I wouldn't answer. I just didn't have the energy. Sometimes I would even wait 2-3 days to check my voicemail. The laundry remained in the closet piled high. I just couldn't "get with the program," so to speak.

Then 4th of July came yesterday. And breakdown city last night. The 4th of July is the first major holiday I am having to live without Caleb, again now for the 2nd year. Last year I didn't really care because he would have still been a baby and we would have probably kept him home. But this year, he would be almost 15 months old. I can only imagine how he would have loved (or hated-if he is like me!) the fireworks. And last night as Nathan and I stayed home, we heard the fireworks and I lost it. I cried and wanted to see my Caleb in his 15 month old self. I felt the pain like it was raw and new again and wanted to curl up in a ball and just be somewhere other than here.

Another trigger I think was the fact that last 4th of July is when we found out we were pregnant with Abigail. It was the first big step of life pushing me forward. The first time that I had to actually put my grief on the back burner in order to care for another baby. And so all of those memories, emotions, feelings came flooding back. I am still constantly shocked by how much the seasons and senses play into grief. How they can literally sneak up on you and you have no control over them, no matter how many times it has happened before. That is the thing that drives me the craziest about grief- you cannot beat it no matter how hard you try. It has a way of taking you captive each time until you just surrender and give in.

Once I pulled myself together last night, it all started clicking. I think my grief has been worse because of this stupid holiday that was approaching. It may sound weird, but others who are grieving out there get it. Sometimes in grief your body just knows before your mind does and starts acting out. So yesterday was the start of the 2nd year of holidays without Caleb. And its still as hard as the first.

Today I am taking it easy-a self care day. These usually last about 1/2 a day before I feel the guilt so heavy it forces me to get dressed, shower, and act like I belong in the land of the living. If you or someone you know if grieving during the second year, still be compassionate. Its just as hard, but a different kind of hard. Holidays, even small ones like 4th of July, can be difficult to get through.