Grieving for Jack
Last weekend on September 8th, my best friend’s birthday, my husband and son went camping. It was just us girls here at home and I had visions of getting caught up with work. (I know, I am F.U.N.) So, I did what I always seem to do when faced with a daunting task: dabble and procrastinate. I looked at things, organized a few piles so when I got rolling I could be efficient, and then when only the big things were left, I decided to read a blog or two. I began reading Momastery back in January after Bethany linked to it. It was such a great post about bullying that I immediately emailed Glenna and asked for permission to copy it and distribute it to my students. I have yet to do that, but it is in my back pocket. Anyway, Glenna’s blog became a regular reading after that. She is inspiring and has such a kind and compassionate heart. It is always a great place to get a dose of how to live your life, a good laugh, or, apparently, a good cry.
I read Glenna’s post about Jack. And I knew that I should just start working. I don’t do well with the sad, but I was curious so I clicked over to An Inch of Gray. Glenna had linked to the post where her friend Anna had explained what happened the night her 12-year-old son died. I spent the rest of the night and the morning after steeped in her grief. I read every post. I sat there with her and pretty much cried the whole time.
I don’t know why I felt like I had to read it. I don’t know Anna, well, I didn’t until I read about her. I was driven to read every part of her grief. Why? Maybe I felt like it was some sort of innoculation?? If I read about it, and grieved, and felt the loss of some kid I had never met, maybe that would be enough. Maybe my own babies would be spared and I would be spared that horrible, terrible, UNTHINKABLE experience. If I forced myself to sit there and put myself in Anna’s shoes, maybe I would never have to walk in those footsteps in my own shoes.
It scared me. I saw so much of myself in Anna. I saw so much of my own kids in her kids. After all that grieving and telling my own kids NOT TO DIE, I began thinking the unthinkable. What if God is just getting me prepared for when this really happens? What if it is a sign? I think my heart just stopped when I typed those words. I feel panic at the thought. But I did a good job talking myself out of that…almost. Now it is just that little voice that lingers in the back of my mind, with terrorists and weather disasters.
I haven’t figured out the reason that I took that journey yet. It was certainly not pleasant. I hope the prayers I sent forward that day reached Anna and her family. That Saturday was the one-year anniversary of Jack’s death. I hope that this never happens to anyone ever again, but I know that is not a realistic or even a rational thought. People die all the time…even children. But I can hope can’t I?