"There is no longer walk than to walk the path a mother has to take to bury her child. And no path more frequently visited, whether on foot or in her heart or mind, the path always lies deep within her soul." LCW ~ "Facets of Life ~ What I Didn't Expect When I was Expecting"
Does anyone ever just sit back and say "seriously?" I have found myself, all too often, questioning if this is really what has happened to me and my family. Did I really lose my son?
Can anyone relate?
The moment our car turns into the cemetery... a lump in my throat, a knot in my gut, and a quiver of my lip is a sure sign this is my reality. There is a crushing harshness to a parent living after their child's death.
I could say there are some days that are harder than others, and yes, I do believe that to be true... but I also believe the moments that can come and go just like the wind are sometimes equal to a day in the life of being a companion to grief.
A fragrance, a song, a toy, a picture, one memory that can take your breath away and leave you almost incapable of taking the next breath. Looking ahead, it is almost unfathomable that our lives will be lived without ever seeing our son throw a ball, ride a bike or just say "hey mom!" Through all of the long moments of reflection, I have learned I cannot look ahead to life without him, but through my faith I can look ahead to what is to come, the day when I see him again. In that, lies my hope... my only hope. And that hope can carry me through moment to moment, day to day.
Yesterday, I was completely overwhelmed with grief. My heart just hurt and the burden I feel when a parent loses a child is, for a lack of adequate words, it's hard. Really hard. It's really hard to know the journey these parents will face... the guilt, the "if only's", the anger, the sorrow, the hole in their heart that takes their desire away to even want to live... It's all there and then some. One cannot run from the stages of grief... they will catch up, somewhere, somehow.
I am no expert, I do not have a degree in any kind of counseling or special titles that would give my words any credit... But I am an expert at being a mama whose heart was broken when I had to kiss my boy goodbye.
I was not a "Best Selling Author" or a known speaker when I decided to share our story in Facets of Life, but I was a mama who was being "real" about losing my boy.
This week has been incredibly difficult knowing several families that in the last few days have had to take the walk I took in July 2005... and I wanted to quit. I wanted to walk away from Facets of Life, because I thought it would be easier if I did that. And you know what? It would be easier. I could keep my distance from the hurting parents and therefore, I would be shielding my heart from hurting because of the journey I know lies ahead for them. Yep, if you are not thinking it already, I will admit it... I was being selfish. It is emotionally exhausting to hear so many sad stories day in and day out, and I was tired. I am tired. I was trying to run from the God given gift of compassion that has been given to me... I was trying to run from the pain of memories that all too often come back to me of my own sons death when I hear of deaths of other children.
I am so grateful God snapped me out of that, because running from Facets of Life and from the precious families God puts in my path would have been a disaster! I don't want anything to prohibit my heart from being touched by a family's story or a mama's tears... ever. This is who I am... I am Matthew's mama... and Matthew's mama is the author of Facets of Life... and Facets of Life helps others who are on the journey we are on... and on this journey there is HOPE!
I admit I was at a serious fork in the road of my journey yesterday, I saw an easy route and a route that is full of unknowns for me, but God knows just where He is leading me, and that, my friends, is good enough for me. I was reminded of Nate's words he has said many times to me while recovering from surgeries, "Mama, quitting is not an option. Persevere!" SO I will persevere ahead on this journey relying on God's strength to take me through these moments with these precious families, all the while, He is carrying me through my own mama moments!
So I guess the appropriate answer to the above would be, "YES, SERIOUSLY!"
Seriously, this is my life...
Love to all,