Grief, who invited you?
You were an undesirable guest, yet you made yourself at home just the same. And you felt free to use my heart as your footstool.
The day awoke me with heaviness, crippling despondency hung in the air.
I scowled at your presence when you showed up unannounced, and robbed me of my hope.
I felt your dense breath behind me when I walked towards the coffin that held my son… so still.
They said your days were numbered, and that I would have to wait them out. But nobody knew just how many they’d be. Continue reading
Thinking of you, son. You live in my memories.
I hang on to mementos and childhood memories of jokes, smiles and laughter.
I am grateful for silly boy tactics, bouquets of wilted weeds, and a boy’s imagination.
I am grateful for the precious boy’s face I looked into and the hands I held.
I am grateful for the many “I lub you, Mommy!” and “I’m hungry!” I heard throughout his childhood. Continue reading
The month of September will forever be imbedded in my soul as a much different month than the rest of the months.
It is a month of grief and rejoicing all tied into one tight giant knot.
- Grief because God prompted me to visit my 27 year old son, Jonathan, the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of the fourth week of September nearly two years ago, to deliver a book I ordered as a gift for him.
It was a great novel about police work. I knew he would love it because he loved to read and because he was a police officer. It was a sort of peace offering, as we had been at odds with each other for quite a while and I wanted it to stop, but didn’t seem to convey it the best or it wasn’t received or something. Always something got in the way. Anyone who has had an extremely unfriendly divorce and terrible relationship with their ex knows what kind of havoc that can bring on the relationship between a parents and their children. Continue reading
Since the beginning of mankind, people have had a tendency to blame others. In Genesis 3:11-13, God confronts Adam and Eve after they eat of the forbidden fruit.
God said, “Have you eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded you that you should not eat?”
Adam said, “The woman You gave me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”
The LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?”
Eve said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat…”
Adam blames Eve, indirectly blaming God, “the woman You gave me.” Eve blames the serpent. There you have it. When it comes to humanity, as Solomon said in Ecclesiastics 1:9: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
This gorgeous hunk of flower blossomed in my front yard, but I almost missed it. It was too heavy to support itself, and ended up faced down, nearly on the ground. The peony’s rich color seemed almost artificial, especially because of its size, nearly seven inches in diameter. Its wonderful fragrance was unbelievable.
I usually try not to bring garden flowers in the house. They just don’t last long. Earlier this spring, I made myself a beautiful bouquet of fragrant, purple lilacs. Within minutes, my counter top was crawling with tiny black bugs. Yikes! I wasted no time getting that bouquet out on the porch. I carefully examined the peony before I even thought of cutting it. Not a bug! The flower pedals felt soft, cool, and somewhat squishy; in a good sort of way. Continue reading
Sometimes it hits me. The grief, the still foreign concept. I lost a child. He was 27 years old when he died in September of 2011, but he was still my child. They say the loss of a child by far is the heaviest of losses a soul can bear. I agree.
I found another thing they say to be true. They, being the experts on grief and loss. The second year of loss is the worst. I agree. The reality pools around one’s feet. The permanency of this kind of loss becomes a stagnant puddle one must wade through.
This was published in our local newspaper November 30, 2011
November 30, 2011 is a very heavy day for me. Exactly 28 years earlier,
Jonathan Mathew made his debut into the world weighing in at 8 pounds and 14
ounces. He was nicknamed the ‘flirt’ at our church nursery because of his huge
dimply smiles and constant joyful nature.
As a child he often played with the small children other kids ignored, and helped
little kids learn to skate. Sometimes he gave away his lunch money when
someone forgot theirs. He loved reading, learning, sports and home school.
He was all boy! His love for guns began as a toddler when my mother bought
him a cowboy set of guns with holsters, sheriff badge, hat and boots. He would
have slept with all of it on if allowed to. When he was about nine he wanted a BB
gun as badly as I wanted him to try a different haircut so we worked out a deal.
Here is an essay he wrote about that arrangement in his own words and spelling. Continue reading
I am working on a life quilt in memory of my son Jonathan. At the age of 27
he was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident. I cannot explain what that
kind of loss feels like. It was as if my soul had been ripped from me and
turned inside out. My first prayer was that he hadn’t suffered. God was very
gracious to my son and those left behind. His death was almost
instantaneous. My heart broke when I read the police accident report,
something no parent should do. I got an instant migraine after reading it.
Though he wore a helmet, he had severe head and chest injuries. Had he
survived, it would have been a tough road for him and our family, and for the large
number of close friends he had.
My son was total testosterone. He loved sports, guns, hunting, motorcycles,
camping, fishing; anything manly. When he was about three years old, he
began emulating his older sisters and their friends. He liked the color pink
so much it didn’t matter if he got cherry, strawberry, raspberry, or bubble
gum flavored ice-cream. When asked which ice-cream he wanted he shouted,
“Pink. I want pink.” Continue reading