Thursday, August 7, 2008

Choosing Life

Thank you for all the kind comments regarding Joe. Our family spent of the day together at the beach (or through tearful phone conversations) and also with friends since we were at the Holt Campout. I could literally feel your prayers. Thank you.

I don't often blog about grief even tho it affects every single day. I decided early on life will continue to be about life, not death. That doesn't mean sadness doesn't permeate the very essence of my soul, it just means I'm not going to succumb to it.

Like all mothers, losing a child was always my deepest fear, one I knew I could never survive.

In truth, it was worse than I imagined. I can only describe it this way--before I had kids I thought I knew what love was but once my first buttercup of a baby was placed in my arms I discovered a depth of love I had never fathomed.

Death held a polar similarity. Before the loss of my charming, always smiling son, I thought I knew what grief was but I discovered a new depth, a crevasse so deep and dark it terrified me.

There were days and even weeks when a veil of sadness encompassed our home; it was invisible but I could feel it like SPF 50 on a hot day--thick, greasy, sweatproof. I didn't let the uninvited visitor stay.

It's good to grieve and we will always be sad but it would be too easy to let that sadness not only take our son's life, but ALL our lives.

I remember the day I decided to oust the uninvited darkness. Our pastor was talking about how God is always good and has marvelous plans. My flaming thoughts back were, "God is NOT always good! His plan stinks!"

I was shocked at the lie my own words held. I KNOW God IS good and I know that even tho I don't understand His plan, someday I will. I realized how easy it was to start focusing on the bad things in life and not the good and from that moment on, every time I had negative thoughts I immediately followed them with many more positive.

That was how I spent August 3. Of course I cried. I miss my son more than words can ever, EVER say. But instead of letting the day be only about grief, I focused on the miracle of my son and all our happy memories. I was lucky enough to be his mother for 21 incredible years with the honor of being present both at his birth . . . and at his death, when he was finally free to enter the comfort of Jesus' arms. Free from pain, free from cancer, free from everyone and everything who ever hurt him. My son is free.

I focused on all the joy we are surrounded by every single day--the hug of a friend, the smile of a six year-old, the excitement of upcoming adventures, the memories of Joe's hysterical humorous antics and of course, the knowledge that someday we will all be together once again only this time, for eternity.

I have experienced death, but I choose to continue to live life--with LIFE! And you know what? I'm certain that makes Joe very happy.

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