I have been listening to a song over and over again last night and this morning. We are going to try and lead it for worship this Sunday. Whenever I am tasked with leading a “new” song, the way I best prepare is to play that song on repeat so that I can memorize how it is sung. Hello Type A personality I know.
The benefit, besides learning the song’s cadence and rhythm, is that the lyrics wash over me again and again.
I’ve carried a burden
For too long on my own
I wasn’t created
To bear it alone
I hear Your invitation
To let it all go
Yeah, I see it now
I’m laying it down
And I know that I need You
Today marks the day two years ago that we had Isaac’s Celebration of Life service. Our final goodbyes. God was praised, our boy was remembered, and then we went home to begin the process of moving forward without him physically here.
I am grateful that for my kids, the grief hasn’t been oppressive. Yes, there have been hard moments, especially that first year but I don’t know that any of them realized what day it was when the 21st came around this year. It isn’t that you really want to “celebrate” that anniversary anyways, the day your child died by suicide. We remembered Isaac on his birthday in November, but the 21st of December came and went and for the most part I felt like I was alone in my grief.
A therapist last week told me that it sounded like my family had moved forward and I was stuck, unable to let go. She asked if I thought Isaac would want me to feel this way. “Of course not” I said. I also thought the question was incredibly thoughtless…but I kept that to myself.
I was talking with Gabe about it a few weeks ago. For him we reasoned, he can compartmentalize that part of his life, everything really. There is the school “box” and the home “box”, the losing his brother “box”. So he grieved and wished his brother didn’t die but the feelings from that “box” don’t spill over into other boxes.
For me it is like I am in one big stockpot. Everything mixed up all together, everything touching, so to speak. So the grief I carry from losing my son is stirred up into everything else I do. It doesn’t mean that I sob every moment, of course I have joy. But it means that I also don’t see how I will ever “move on” and the more it feels like other people do and the more it feels like I don’t, the more I feel alone. That is as real and honest about this process as I can be. I don’t share it to evoke pity for me, but to share what maybe those of us parents who have lost children are unable to say.
Losing a child is awful and lonely and even with the best and most loving friends and family, most people don’t fully understand…they just can’t. Count yourself blessed if you don’t understand.
So back to this song and the point of this post…part of the bridge goes like this
My heart has been in Your sights
Long before my first breath
Running into Your arms
Is running to life from death
I have admitted to some of my closest friends recently that I have spent more time mindlessly scrolling on FB or watching IG stories when I am feeling sad and lonely than I have bringing those hurts to the One that brings LIFE. I don’t use alcohol or drugs, but I use social media as a way to escape my reality and it benefits no one. Maybe you can relate?
I threatened to do a fast, a time away after the new year to try and establish better patterns of behavior. It scares me to even consider it. Maybe that is the sign that I should.
Run to the Father. What does that look like? Run to the Father when I have hurt someone I love and don’t know how to make it better. Run to the Father when my pride is flaring up once again and I don’t want to admit I was wrong. Run to the Father when my feelings were hurt or I feel envious of some else. Run to the Father with it all. Every hurt and sorrow, every ugly feeling and angry outburst, every foolish moment spent, every prayer unspoken…Run to the Father with it all.
Again, and again and again….