The last two days have been particularly hard for me. I’m not sure why. Ok, that sounds stupid…of course I know why. Stan and I are part of a group grief counseling group at the church where Brady goes to pre-school and what I took away from last night is there is no script, no right, no wrong, no predictability when it comes to grief. You just kind of have to go with the flow and every one’s ‘flow’ is different.
That’s the thing with grief that I’m figuring out (ha! I know I have so much to learn about it), what is comforting one day may not be the next and vice versa.
We have received many cards, letters, email, texts, wall posts, voice messages, etc. since Declan became ill and since he’s died it has, well, mushroomed. Really it is so comforting to know that someone out there…family, friend, new friend (i.e. stranger), etc…has taken the time to reach out to us to let us know we are being thought of and/or prayed for. Some make us laugh, some make us cry, some make us smile, some make us think…but they all make us feel loved and help us see how many people whose lives have been touched by our sweet Declan.
Like I said though, the last two days have been particularly hard for me. I received a poem over email today. It’s a nice poem written by someone for their friend who lost a child. It crushed me. Now I’m not saying this so no one will ever send me or us a poem or nice note again…please don’t stop they mean a lot (except for those chain emails…I think I’ve had enough bad luck this year so don’t send those ) but we also learned last night in grief counseling to not filter our emotions. So here’s the poem followed by what I thought….
I’m playing catch with Jesus now
I’m running fast and free,
I’m exploring all the nooks and crannies
I’m the boy I was meant to be.
I know you’re sad to see me go
The time did not feel right,
But I fulfilled Gods plan on earth
And He let me take flight.
Please don’t cry too much for me
I know you miss me so,
But I’m happy and contented here
No worries, fears, or foe.
Trust and know I’m doing well
Even though I’m not with you,
Jesus will keep me by His side
Until the day that you’re here too.
Remember all the joy I gave
The many hearts I touched,
And know my work for God was great
With every hand I brushed.
I cannot wait to see you here
But I’ll try with all my might,
I’ll run to you, jump in your arms
And hug you oh so tight.
So finish all God asks of you
Lift praises to His ear,
Remember all you learned from me
Until the next time we are near.
I don’t know if it’s the fact that it really feels like this poem was written about Declan that hit me so squarely in the jaw but it broke my heart. It broke my heart because I never got the chance to play catch with Declan or see how fast and free he could run. He never got to explore all the nooks and crannies or be the boy we thought he’d be. I do believe he fulfilled Gods plan but I’m so sad about how his plan was written. Wouldn’t it have been such a better plan if he had made it? Beat the odds?
I know these are the words of a grief stricken Mommy. I mean I know, I truly know Declan served God well and his purpose was (and I believe still is) huge. But it’s harder to find comfort in that statement on the bad days when all I want is to hold him and see him again…touch his sweet face and have him touch mine.
This is one of my favorites. We were in Houston at the oncologist’s office waiting for Dr. Wolf to come in. I was talking to Declan and he was holding my face and touching/watching my mouth as I talked. I’m sure I was saying “Mommy’s face. Declan’s face.” I said it a lot to help him learn but truly I think it was a good excuse to try out “Mommy” with him and to feel his gorgeously smooth skin.
Oh baby, I think it’s just getting more real every day. You’re not coming back. Even Brady recognizes it. He’s asked me several times when we’re going back to the hospital to get you. We’re having a tough time explaining your death in a way that he understands…maybe it’s because I now feel I didn’t do a good job when you were here. I know I was too afraid to say the wrong thing about cancer and scare him (or Will for that matter) but now I think it’s just harder for him to understand. Abstract concepts are so hard for kids anyway…cancer, disease, heaven, death…but throw a missing sibling into the mix? Ugh. I’m reading books on kid’s grief and that’s a big reason why we’re attending grief counseling. Sure it helps us but I so want to understand your brother’s grief so I can help them. I can’t imagine what my world would have been like if I lost my brother, your Uncle John. I mean that makes me sad to type and he is alive and well, and living across town. What must it be like for your brothers? I mean I know it’s different than what your Dad and I are going through but just how, that I don’t know yet.
I know this poem will give me comfort at some point because I’ve learned Mommy’s (and Daddy’s too) never stop wanting for their kids…even when they aren’t physically here with us. I want to keep that image of you…happy and free and content. I REALLY can’t wait until you come running and jump into my arms for that delicious hug but I know I have more time here…you see I think mine and your Dad’s job has just begun and we have lots of work to do.
So go play catch…I’ll talk to you again soon.