Last week was a stinker. It marked the one year anniversary of my son’s death. He passed on October 1st and the memorial service was on October 8th. I was in a funk all week. It was as if I was grieving brand new, every day, all week. I was so focused inward that I was having a hard time finding God through it all. I returned to asking, “How and what did we all do to get here?”
Yesterday, a Sunday, marked the anniversary of the memorial service. I woke up feeling as if I might start crying at the drop of a hat. In fact, I did tear up several times before lunch. I was trying to be a big girl and trying to move in a more positive direction with my day. Honestly, I had indulged myself with grieving so much during the week that I was a little sick of myself.
My husband and I decided that we needed to get out of the house yesterday afternoon. We browsed around an antique/junk store for a distraction. The change of scenery helped a lot. We were just a few blocks from the cemetery and I made the request to swing by.
We got out of the car. It was a beautiful, blue sky afternoon. The headstone was installed a couple of weeks ago. As we stood there yesterday afternoon, looking at the new monument, a fresh floral arrangement, and neatly mowed grass, the overwhelming feeling that I had was, Everything is as it should be. Our job to lay our son’s body to rest with dignity and mark that spot was finally complete. I felt as if my son was telling me, “Mom, it’s okay. All is well. Your job is done.”
We climbed back in the car and headed home. I am in an online bereavement group and once a month they have a Zoom meeting. I climbed into my bed with comfy pillows after dinner and logged in. I cannot tell you how much better I felt after joining in the conversation. It helped to be able to verbalize my thoughts about the week.
I left the meeting with the overwhelming feeling that through my son’s life I have been given a gift that I didn’t ask for. It took a loss of such gigantic magnitude to force me to search further into my spiritual life. It was the catalyst to advance my search for knowledge about what happens to us in the afterlife. I have had a craving to know more about heaven beyond the abstract heaven that I learned about as a little girl.
I have learned in the past year that I am not in control of everything. I have discovered that it is easier to float downstream instead of swimming against a current to go upstream. I have tried to focus on gratefulness. I have found that I am braver than I ever knew I could be. Bravery doesn’t mean a lack of fear. For me, it meant pushing through even when I didn’t know what the outcome would be. I still don’t know what the outcome will be but I have found that I have been given the tools to cope at the exact time I needed them.
I would like to share one of the sweetest things that happened this past week. The day before October 1st, a couple that we know sent a text telling us they were thinking about us. They offered to bring bring dinner to drop off, to bring dinner and eat with us, or to take us out for dinner. This was a such a great lesson for me. They not only acknowledged that October 1st would be hard but in addition, they didn’t just say,”Let us know if we can do anything.” They made a tangible offer with choices. We chose the “bring dinner and eat with us” option. It was such a sweet, low key way to have a bit of distraction on a difficult day. I am learning lessons every day on how to be a better friend.
When I dreamed of having children I imagined all of the things that I would teach them. It turns out that they have taught me. I am stronger than I was a year ago and I have learned so much about myself. This week is starting off on a much brighter note. As a reward, my cardinal showed up in my window pecking for the first time since May.
“So I say to you; Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.” Luke 11:9 NIV
Peace and love.
She writes about life, death, grief, and recovery.
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