I always find myself amazed at the force with which my grief can hit. Sometimes it is like a slow build, until you just aren’t sure you can get out of bed that day. Other times, it is like someone has walked up to you and violently shaken you until all that is left is the pain and horror of that one day that changed your whole existence. I had one of those violent shakes last week, and it has yet to let me go. I go through the motions. I go to work, try to accomplish everything that is required of me, come home and pray for sleep and relief, then wake up and do it again. I laugh and smile and strive to seem normal, when the whole time I am engaging in this intense spiritual warfare that no one can see. I don’t want my husband or my son to see it, because there is nothing that can be done but get through. These valleys in my grief are getting further apart, but no less devastating. I have read many stories and testaments over the past few days from other moms who have suffered and share this loss. You see yourself in their words, and thoughts and you realize that although grief journeys are different for everyone, for moms, they are remarkably similar. I read a testimony from a mom who lost her second born, a year younger than Ryan, in the same way. She is very early in her grief journey, and I see so clearly that I was exactly where she is now, looking for answers, battling guilt and despair and not really wanting to live a life that doesn’t have her son in it. I want so badly to reach out, and let her know that she won’t always live exactly where she is right now, but I find myself right back there at this very moment, so how could I really say that and mean it?
I have had so many conversations with God over the past two weeks. What is the purpose for this, why do I deserve this when I have worked so hard for 3 1/2 years to stay strong, and present, and someone Ryan and Zach could be proud of?! I am still not sure that I understand, and I often ask myself who it is I think I am by questioning God (I do that a lot, he’s probably going to want to talk to me about that one day). But I have decided that by being able to remain standing through periods like this, by surviving and remaining strong through pain such as these past two weeks, it helps make me who God needs me to be. I don’t yet know why he needs me, but I feel in my heart that he has plans for me. I know he will reveal them to me in his time, but of course, I am not a patient sort (which will undoubtedly be another conversation we will have one day). But I know that he is faithful, and he will hang in there with me. Besides, between Ryan and my Dad, I don’t think they are giving him much choice!
I do believe this too shall pass. God will walk me through this valley, as he has so many times before over the past 3 1/2 years. But I believe unequivocally in the power of prayer, and without shame ask for your prayers and good thoughts and love. I have so many amazing, wonderful people in my life, and I am so grateful.