Thursday, January 29, 2009

This Week is Not Going Well

I decided a while ago that I was going to tell the truth about my grief journey here. As if I were a reporter from the front lines of some horrendous battlefield, I would tell it as it is happening.

It is happening this week in an ugly way. I am tired. I feel the grief as if I had a flu of some sort. My body feels heavy. It doesn't want to move, exercise, produce, go out, get in the car, do errands, clean...It wants to rest, to sleep.

I've been resisting this urge this week, with varying degrees of success. Yesterday, my spiritual director made a house call, since I didn't want to have to drive home from her office after our session. I knew I was going to cry, a lot, and I know from experience that it can be hard to cope after a heavy bout of crying. I'm so thankful that she was able to fit this visit into her day.

Today, I am going to feel good if I get any sewing done and take a walk. I am going to do my best to do both of those things after I finish writing this.

It's hard to not feel guilty for being unable to perform better than this, when my dear husband gets up and goes to work 5 days a week for us. My son goes to school every day. But this week, the grief is raw and fresh as an open wound, and I would be lying if I pretended it wasn't.

Here is a bit of truth from the front lines: it's been said that the second year after the death of a child is actually worse than the first, for some people. The shock has worn off, and that shock is a powerful buffer. Friends, this is true for me, here and now.

Gregg & I had a conversation the other night, and I will not quote it verbatim. What I will tell you is that we know, WE KNOW, that there is nothing we can do, get, change or make, that is going to make this situation go away. NOTHING. We cannot buy, sell, move, eat, drink, run, divorce, conceive, adopt, exchange, "beg, borrow or steal" our way out of this heartache. It is where we live now. Everything that we worked for, everything that we stood for, everything that we intentionally endeavored to create within our family's life, is broken, and that is a fact.

There is a saying in the Bible, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be, also." Well, we believed that the greatest of values, the purest treasure, was to be found in loving our family, raising beloved, happy, good-hearted children to send out into the world. Our treasure is in LOVE. We spent the majority of our time and resources investing in that value, spending time together, loving, teaching, sharing, building a healthy and happy home, nurturing our children and our family as a whole, as a unit, as a foursome. We will never on this earth be that foursome again. One of our members has been stolen away. She is gone, and we are not whole.

We spoke of this. It is a hard place to be, and it is hard to witness your beloved in that kind of pain.

We still have our love for one another; we cannot lose love. We have our dear son David. We have a roof over our heads, food in the cupboards, a warm bed to sleep in. Gregg still has a job (so far, so good). I still love God and I know that God loves us. But this one treasure, this precious family, is broken to bits, and it will never be the same again. It can be good between the two of us, and the three of us, but the family that we worked intentionally to nurture is broken, and it will never be the same again.

And that, my friends, is a reason to mourn and to grieve.

25 comments:

Smileygirl said...

Sitting here quietly, across the Sound, praying for you.

Love you.

Anonymous said...

I do not know you, and I hesitate to write, but I want you to know that you have been heard and that I am praying for you right at this very moment. Shelly

Contemplative Photographer said...

I'm so sorry. I've been sitting here watching you slide, remembering how Leigh was that second year. It's got to be hell. I ache for you (did you see the poem I did yesterday, thinking of you?).

Did you ever read Susan Wiggs, back before all this happened? I was reading her with lunch today, and found this great Eleanor Roosevelt quote: "We gain strength and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face."

I know it's not exactly fear you're facing. And I know strength and courage and confidence are no substitute for Katie. Maybe what I want to say is that by writing as you do, so beautifully, you help all of us face our own fears. And watching your grace, courage, strength and confidence we are inspired to hope we may find that in ourselves as well.

Thank you for carrying your grief where we can see it; this can't be easy...

Curt McCormick said...

Karen, this is Curt from CureSearch; I read your blog but have never commented before. I have nothing to help with your pain.

One thing though, Last week at church we were reading 2 Corinthians 7:10: "for Godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret." You are demonstrating Godly grief, and God is good. You all will be reunited in heaven. Katie will explain everything, and it will all make sense someday and be good. And the good will last forever.

A said...

Praying with you...sending you love...Angela

Meg said...

"Love will be our eternal life"
--Edith Stein

This was the quote on the funeral program for my friend, and I always find it comforting. Your bond with Katie is FOREVER-- the love you share cannot be destroyed even by death. I hope you can feel Katie's love for you through your pain, and know that she can feel the love you have for her! I am so sorry you are struggling. I am praying for you and your family!

Meg

Busy Bee Suz said...

Yes, you have many reasons to mourn and grieve. Thinking of you and praying for you each night....Suz

Kay said...

I'm so sorry. I'm glad you could have a house call today rather than having to get out. I know it's hard.

Praying for you today!
~kay

Maggie said...

Praying for you, my dear.

Anonymous said...

Cor unum et in anima una: it hurts as you were one heart and one soul. I am unqualified to presume to advise - but Karen, I read and I care,

Irene x

Jennifer Stumpf said...

Hang on, my friend. Get your rest and attend to your basic needs. Your body is fighting with your mind. Wishing you peace... xxoo

Jennifer said...

Thinking of you and rooting for you in this hard season. You seem to be moving through your grief with both a striking lack of bitterness and an authentic focus on Love.

May God make his face to shine upon you, Karen.

Jennifer

Anonymous said...

My heart hurts for you right now - and I know you have the Hope that you will be reunited one day and I am thankful for that...there are some people that do not have that hope - KNOW, KNOW that you will be reunited...and as Curt expressed, Katie will explain everything. Like the hymn says, "when we all get to heaven - what a day of rejoicing that will be!" And Katie will have a line of people that will be waiting to hug her since we've met her, through you, with your words. God bless...L in AK

Karla W. said...

I love you Karen.

Trueda said...

Hi Karen,

Wow, such raw, fresh and honest words. Thank you for sharing them. I'm sorry it hurts so much. You continue to be in my prayers.

Trueda
www.caringbridge.org/visit/joshgooding

Tara said...

Thinking about and praying for you.

Stephanie said...

Praying for you today and everyday. God's Blessings.

Cassandra said...

As Anne Lamott has stated, grief just sucks. And there is no ducking it. I do admire your ability to continue to feel and express love--for your family and home and surroundings--when you are hurting so terribly.

Praying for you today.

Cassandra

Sheri said...

Loving you, as always. I see you. I hear. I know.

Melissa Hudson said...

Hi Karen - Please know there are so many of us out here that do not know you, but are praying for your comfort and peace during this difficult time and always. ~ Melissa

endswith8741 said...

"We cannot buy, sell, move, eat, drink, run, divorce, conceive, adopt, exchange, "beg, borrow or steal" our way out of this heartache. It is where we live now."

Your words are so touching, and brought tears to my eyes. I pray for you and your family and wish there was something, anything any of us could do to restore that foursome family you so lovingly created.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Hey Karen...will you can drop me your email...you can contact me via email on my profile page....I will explain.
Talk to you soon....
SUZ

Charlcie Steuble said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. Praying for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

oh how i hear you today karen.....I COULD HAVE SIGNed my nAME TO YOUR ENtry. the frONt linES CAN bESO TIRINg. i too, have bEEN exhasuted from tHIS New stage of grief. almost like i've bEEN in AN acCIDENt. I lovethat you arE STILL THANKful anD RELYING ON god. it kinDA SCARES ME But to this day, i still have nEVER Been ANgry or mad a god for nOT DOING somethnG To save henRY. RATHER, I SEE GOD ABsolutely delighted to hold HenRY CLSE, UNtil we meet again. kATIE ANd heRY WERE SIMPLY TO GOOD FOR THIS WORLD - MY THINKinG AnYWAY. ANd, even THOUGH I WOULD TAKE HIM Back pronTO - tonto.......did you hear abOUT CAROLYN loub ANd her bABy??? I just read he e-mail. i am devestated for her. anD PRY LITTLE PATRICK CAN bREATHE ON his own...........OH, HOW I PRAY. FOR US ALL.
YOUR SISTER IN grief anD LOVE.
HENry an GEORGE'S MOM!!!
WWW.CARINgbRIDGE.ORG/VISIT/HENrytucker

Clippy Mat said...

it would be feeble of me to attempt to comfort you. you have an honest and true reason to feel the way you do. i can only say that it humbles me and i wish you peace and a way to ease your pain.
:-)))