Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Long Road...

It has been quite awhile since I have posted anything due to the business of summer, but I have found myself with quite a few things on my heart that I would like to share.  My goal with this blog is not to just post anything and everything in relation to our losses of Jack and Hayes.  My goal is to post things that have relevance and meaning to all, rather than saying I had a bad day today and I really miss my boys.  I miss my boys everyday and I don't think me blogging that fact is really doing anyone any good, and would frankly get old to have me saying it all the time. :)  When I have something I feel has some substance to it and might be helpful, that is when I blog. 

We just recently marked the 1st anniversary of Hayes' passing just last week on Aug 21st.  I have to admit that this anniversary hit me harder emotionally than the two anniversary's of Jack's we have marked so far since his passing.  This isn't because I miss Hayes anymore than I do Jack, but rather I think it has had more to do with the fact I was able to grieve Jack's passing more in the beginning that I was Hayes'. 

When I say I was able to grieve Jack's passing more in the beginning, it was because I didn't have anything else pulling at my heart and emotions beyond Jack and all that went with his passing.  When Hayes died last year I can honestly say we weren't at a point that we were done grieving Jack, and then to throw the loss of another child on top of the first was overwhelming.  What I found I did in the wake of Hayes' death was to grieve him, but I don't necessarily think I was able to fully process all that went with the fact that he was gone in addition to Jack.

What any parent that has lost a child can tell you is that all that goes into the grief of it takes not only an emotional toll, but a physical and mental toll as well.  When you lose a second child that toll goes to a whole new and different level.  There were many areas where I felt that we were able to process it better because we had gone through it before, and we knew what to expect to a certain extent.  There were other areas though where I felt like I personally did not fully wrap myself around the fact we were going through this again.  That is not to say that I didn't grieve or realize that Hayes had died, but only that I was able to move forward in certain ways faster than I did with Jack.  An example would be the fog that I felt like we were in when Jack died was not as thick and long lasting as when Hayes died.

All this to say, is that I have found with this first anniversary of Hayes' death is that the emotional toll has been much higher.  That not only goes for me, but also my wife and our oldest son who had his first real emotional breakdown since Hayes' passing about a week before the 1st anniversary of his death.  All of this is because this process is ongoing for both boys, and will continue to for a long time to come I am sure.

The purpose of this post is two fold today.  The first purpose is for those of you who might read this and have not experienced this kind of loss, and aren't sure what you should do when someone around you does experience a tragic loss in their family.  My family has been incredibly blessed to have been surrounded by many friends, family, and many individuals we had never even met who came around us and have walked with us down this road.  It has been that love and support that has helped carry us through some of the deepest and darkest moments we have experienced.

What took me down the road of writing this post is in hearing in recent days of a family, that I don't really know, but who just experienced the loss of the husband and father of this family.  He was a young man who died unexpectedly and leaves behind a wife and two young children.  This loss breaks my heart because I know it is going to be hard road they have to walk. 

My encouragement for any of you that may have someone go through a horrific loss like this, regardless if it's unexpected or not, is to come around them with love, support, and most of all prayer.  Everyone grieves differently, but what I can tell you is that when you experience these kinds of losses it is a long road.  Even when someone may seem like they are doing fine and have moved forward, I can tell you the extreme hole left behind in the wake of their love one's death is ever present.  Continue to come around these families with love and support even as it seems in your mind enough time has gone by for their grief.  I can personally attest to the fact that there are bad days even a couple of years down the road.  Pray for these families continually as they come across the path of your life.

I do want to make it clear in that my family has been blessed beyond measure to have the kind of friends and family around us who have, and continue too, come around us in love and support.  This is not pointed at anyone in our circle of friends and family at all in relation to our losses, but instead for those of you who may have families in their circle of friends who experience an extreme loss.  I could not ask for a better group of friends and family than what we have been blessed, and I hope you all know who you are! :)

The one thing I always want to take any of my post and thoughts back too is the fact that my family has only been able to walk this road the way we have because of the hope we have in Christ.  I have peace because of the fact that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this separation in our family is only temporary because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross of Calvary.  This deep rooted knowledge brings me the hope, joy and peace that passes all understanding that I continue to experience each and every day.

This leads me to my second, final and most important point in that I want to share this hope with those who might read this, or hear my family's story, and not have it themselves.  Those people that might have experienced similar loss or be going through their own deep valley's whatever they may be can have this same hope for themselves, in that they too can have the opportunity to spend eternity with Christ.  Each of us have a decision to make whether we will accept this free gift of salvation or we will deny it.  The whole purpose of me sharing my thoughts and story is that all who hear it will make the decision to accept this real and tangible gift.

If you made it to the end of this, thank you!  I appreciate each and everyone of you who have ever taken the time to read and/or share my blog.  I'll leave you with this...

Psalm 91

My Refuge and My Fortress

91 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
    and see the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refuge—
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
    the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
    I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble;
    I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

1 comment:

  1. You don't know me, but I knew Jessica back in hygiene school. Anyways, I just wanted you to know that I have been thinking and praying for you and your family almost daily since Hayes died. I have four kids too, and my youngest was born just days before he was. I don't feel like I have much to say other than to say that you and your family are not forgotten. I know how it feels to have time go by after a big loss and people think that you are doing really good, but not know the pain still inside. God knows. There are people who haven't forgotten and will continue to pray for you no matter how much time has past.