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Grieving for Jack

September 16, 2012

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?

  1. September 16, 2012 11:22 am

    My best friend’s son died 2.5 years ago and I STILL can’t fathom what she must still be going through. It is, indeed, completely unthinkable.

  2. September 17, 2012 8:10 am

    I can relate to this so much. I’m not even going to click on your links to read those stories because I know the spiral it will send me in to. I did the same thing earlier this year… felt grateful for this life I had a suddenly panicked about how I would handle it if it came to a screeching halt because of some tragedy. I think this is a normal response… a little panic and fear because the death of someone close to us is a reminder of how fragile life really is. All the more reason to enjoy it. We’ve been listening to the Pixar Disney CD in the car in the mornings lately, and the song from The Bug’s Life has us singing at the top of our lungs… “It’s the time of your life so live it well!” That’s what we’re trying to do. That’s all you can do, really.

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