My Grief Challenges

A Sub Driver May 16, 2015



No offense, but several days before Mother’s Day, my gut was grinding. At every corner I turned, realization slammed me in the face.   It was finally Friday. I was in line-up for elementary pick-up. I had  finished opening up some of the bus windows. I realized the driver in front of me had parked differently—d-oing—a sub driver. No matter-things would work out just fine. My usual is to sit in my bus and wait.     For whatever reason, the driver came up to my bus to talk.  Somehow, we started talking about him stopping smoking. Then he told me about his wife stopping and how she is now in better shape than him. He told about all her activities. He mentioned how she kept track of all her movements. My mind stood still. I told my friend how I enjoyed using my “WalkLogger”, but I had to carry my phone-everywhere. It didn’t calculate my steps for the walk videos or my rebounding moves. My friend said even when his wife did her Jazzercise class, her movements were calculated. He said the device could be worn and not seen, and it was small. I was so excited.  He told me the name was: FitBit  Zip.   I was so thrilled to hear about this small device. Now I don’t have to have my phone with me for every step.      

Somehow the topic was changed. I think I thanked my friend for talking cuz I had been getting pretty bummed about all the talk regarding Mother’s Day. He then asked what caused Shawn’s death.          I told him the hardest thing had been getting through the guilt. He asked what I meant. I told him I felt bad if I had made Shawn suffer because I couldn’t have the machines shut off.                 I told him I cannot get it out of my mind, what if Shawn just needed one more day. I feel like I murdered my son.          

 Here is what my friend told me. “Kathy, I do understand, in that I had to decide about having the machines shut off on my Dad. He was in a coma, and other complications. I understand the guilt. I had to tell my mother what I had done.  Plus, my daughter came back from the war. She survived and many of her fellow heroes had not. She is working through PTSD.  We are both better, but it took years. For me it took years for the nightmares to stop. So, be patient, you will get through this.        You have to excuse me. I have not teared up about my Dad in years.   Kathy, I have to be honest with you.  I cannot imagine having to make or give the doctors the life ending decision about one of my children.  I cannot imagine being able to do it.     Kathy, you are going through a type of ptsd-it is going to take awhile. We are here for you.”  

My friend did say  to not be surprised if I found myself having a hard time getting life in order or prioritizing. He said that for some time it will be hard to find sense in life’s goings on. He told me that many things will not matter, like before. He said, “Kathy, that is okay. You have grief stages to go through and they will take time. You will be changed. Kathy, that is okay. One day you will realize you are getting through this without as much crying. Kathy, that is okay.”

My friend had no idea how much God used him to get me through some rough days. I cannot wait to be where my friend is. He is funny. If he makes a mistake on a route, he says, “I am just a sub.”  He then laughs and  keeps moving forward to the next situation.    

Work was done. Time to go to the grocery store. I had put it off, too many specials for mothers.  I made a plan. Get groceries, then head to the cards to find a card for my Mom. Since Shawn died a few days before Mother’s Day, the card aisle is not for me.  I was looking forward to finding a FitBit and thought it would be a good way to end the day. 


Just a reminder, these warnings are what I am certain Shawn would say if he were still alive.  

Mom, I know I missed a lot of Mother’s days.  I know that picking a card for your Mom, is hard. Your tears while looking for Gramma’s card…        Then there were some young  boys searching for the perfect card. They asked their Dad if they could buy more than one.  It really was cute seeing how excited they were.  I saw how you quickly grabbed a card. AND you quickly found an envelop.   For you that was amazing. You take longer picking an envelop than the card. BUT, that is just one of your quirks that gives me shivers. Someday I want to share all those things that give me shivers, about you-the way God made you.  Mom I wish I could wrap my arms around you and reassure you of my love for you. Mom, look at what you made it through, the last couple of years.  Mom. hold tight to Hope.   wpid-20150503_154540.jpg I love the different messages you made at Rockaway.  I love you, Mom,   your Shawner.  


   My counselor gives me situations or people to pray for.  He doesn’t give names, just enough information to pray about. He might not know, but I know he does it to help me realize I still care for others. I am not so  self-absorbed in my pain that I don’t care for others.  Actually, I cannot describe the feeling, but while listening to the hurts some folks were dealing with,  well, this poster is spot on:   Hugs in prayers 

       FitBit Zip  The store I bought my FitBit Zip from had NO BLUE. So, the lime green will do.   Lime Green

Comfort My Heart


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