Last Sunday, at church, I was seated in the balcony. Bob was home sick. It was the time in the service where folks go down to the front of church and get communion elements. There were two young men getting ready to head down. The last one looked right at me. What I saw broke me, to the max. I saw Shawn’s baby blue eyes, looking right at me, just how Shawn would look. I was pierced to my core. No one else looked at me. For that matter, it is very seldom, that anyone looks our way, as they head down for offering or communion. Why this time ? How can another person have such a resemblance, making me to wonder-maybe my Shawner is just in disguise ? Maybe he is still here. Then I am yanked back to reality.
I thank God for a precious young woman, who sat down next to me. She just sat and sang the hymn, ever so gently and sweetly-I guess I must have broken down-I don’t remember. I did apologize that I wasn’t positive like her and her relative- who is going through a difficult time. How can God, ever, use someone like me ?
On purpose, each day, I check my calender. I have the days numbered, since Shawn died, A kind of reality check-if you will. For some reason, I keep mixing up the days -or misplacing them.
I know, in my head, why my heart is so torn. My heart does not want to accept Shawn’s death, he is not “safe in my arms”, this all seems, so wrong. Many have told me, Shawn is better off. I just cannot see that right now. Am I so wrong ?
I, often wonder, if I am the only one struggling with being positive through grief ?
Thus, started another challenging week. I don’t know why I get caught off guard, but, I hit a wall, hard, in the middle of the week. I hit another wall on Friday. No, not actual walls. A grief slam. When I looked back, over events, to see why it was so hard, and how could I do better, I realized, Wednesdays and Fridays, continue to be hell days for me. Oh how I hope Shawn didn’t think I was “torturously” keeping him alive. Such torments. Or, as I said last post, did I not have enough faith for God to heal him ? There seems to be no peace, just gut churnings of guilt. I know folks tell me it is a false guilt, but from where I am, as a mother-I, totally, failed my son. This is something that plagues me, constantly. Am I like an addict that can’t get above the need of a fix, in my case, a guilt fix ? How does a Mom truly find peace, with the choices like I had to make ? All of you must get pretty frustrated that I cannot just let things go ?
I have been told I am not trusting God. I feel like Christian, in the “Slough of Despond”. Do I need to calm down, to find the steps out ?
The truth of the reality of Shawn’s goneness, is increasingly more real, each day-no matter how hard I try, I cannot stop it. I do not want to face the actual knowingness of Shawn’s death-it hurts so much !!! I have seen others come through this type of storm. So, I know it is doable. For now, it seems so impossible. Then, again, I am hit with the perfectionism, in me, another task I am failing. I also, often, wonder what Psalm 23 means in verse 4: “Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me ?” Is it happening and I am just unaware, right now ?
Thursdays have been strange. Each one, since Shawn died, forgottens, have been popping out of my memory folder. Books Melissa, Shawn and myself had read during our home-school reading times. This past Thursday, for whatever reason, I remembered about a book we had read, together, titled: “Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett. In the story, ivy hid the secret garden’s door. I ended up watching the movie, on youtube.
I was taken back to the time when Shawn had planted some ivy for me. I wanted it to grow, over the trellis that was over the pond. When Shawn came back, Bob and I were going to pay him to do various tasks for me, until he found a job. We were in the process of figuring out our schedules. Shawn being Shawn, was eager to get some work done. It had not entered my brain to have tools outside, in case Shawn came over while I was at work. Upon my return home, one day, for some reason, I had gone to the back yard. There was Shawn-he had not heard me, He was on his knees. No gloves, no tools, just digging a hole, in the rocky clay soil, and placing the ivy, in. My eyes filled with tears, as I watched him. He, then, stood up, embarrassed that I caught him. He was hoping to have it finished, before I came home. His fingers were bloody from digging in the rocky clay soil.
That ivy, and the trees that Shawn helped me move, make it hard for me to ever want to move from this house. I pray God will allow me to stay with these memories. All this made me wonder: How do others, show us, they care ? What precious memories do we pass along to others ? What actions, of love, speak louder than words ?