My Sons’ Death was a Springboard: Part Two

PART TWO:  As, I said…my sons’ death was a springboard into the deeper understanding of three important things:

  1. The human condition,
  2. The power of relationship,
  3. The gift of a day

Today I share with you #2… Open my eyes, to see people as you see them….

Because of my son, Caleb, I am privy to see a lot of people in the realm of recovery, people affected by the pain of a loved one struggling with addiction, and those who mourn the loss of loved ones to overdose, and the more people I listen to and talk with, the more backstories I hear. When it all boils down … when I look past the backstories full of weeping pain and wounds and hurts… I see vulnerable children of God, whom He created in His image. I see people who need love and care and who have need to be wanted and feel like they have a reason to keep going… just like me… just like all of us; these are basic human needs.

This involves commitment to relationship. Relationships take time and effort and sacrifice, but we all need them and even more so because of our human condition. Relationship can be as simple as a good word spoken to encourage another, or as generous as an invitation to supper, or as deep as being there for someone when you are needed no matter the time of day or night. Croix, Evan, Mike, and others are family to us because we see them and they see us; each of us has needs that we mutually fulfill. I see these friends in recovery doing this for other friends too. Because of my sons’ past involvement in the recovery community, I feel drawn to be in relationship whenever I can, with whoever is put in my path, because in this way, I am the hands and feet of God. The power of relationship begins to heal brokenness; seeing the human condition, it seems clear to me, that I need to do something about it.

I choose to deepen my relationship with Jesus, the One with the nail holes in his hands… and I do what I do because of Him.

What will you do?

 

 

 

 

Holidays: Not a Time of Cheer for Everyone

Expecting one, who has lost their legs in an accident, to get up and walk like they use to, is ridiculous. They cannot do it – even with all the best wishing in the world – because life for them has been altered forever.

The same is true for every.single.person. who has suffered a tragedy, no matter what it was, or when it was; time makes no difference. Loss from disease or accident, expected or sudden – it does not matter – it’s all the same terrible.

For me, my tragedy is the sudden, unexpected death of my son to an overdose, eighteen months ago. I am altered for life – not just for a time, or a season; Life for me will never be the same. I walk around with a weight that bears down and a hole that has blown through my heart.

The trouble with holidays is that the expectation for everyone to be of good cheer, be happy, and enjoy the season is rampant.

And for some, it is very hard to embrace the holidays where “family all together” carving turkey at the proverbial Norman Rockwell table is thrown in our faces by ads, movies, and the general chatter of the holiday season.

While I am blessed to have a large, living family still gathered around, my momma’s heart weighs heavy… there is still one empty chair, one forever missing in the “family” photo, and one less child eating the traditional Christmas cookies – specifically, the butterscotch ones.

WHAT. TO. DO……?

That’s a question with a two-fold answer.

What to do if you are the friend, or family member, of someone who is not full of cheer and suffers with a broken heart this holiday season: 

  1. Be patient and do not judge when they do not want to attend a christmas tea, or the cookie swap, or even put up a tree.
  2. Extend the offer of conversation, a listening ear, and willingness to just be there alongside; try to understand; allow their feelings to just be.
  3. Do a practical help if possible – doing life is hard under normal day-to-day circumstances when a heart is broken – even more difficult during the holiday season, getting out of bed, some days, might be the total accomplishment for the day.

What to do if you are the one suffering from a tragedy, the same or different, as me:

  1. Have faith, God knows your pain and heartbreak; Trust He will provide all you need.
  2. There’s no way around the holidays – we just have to go through them;  even if you have nothing but tears – let yourself feel what you feel – be true to yourself, but be kind to those around you – it’s no ones fault.
  3. Don’t turn away from well intentioned acts of love; allow God to work in you, as well as in the well intentioned.

 God has not forgotten me, nor has he forgotten you;

“God is close to the brokenhearted.” Psalm 34:18a

So yeh – Holidays: not a time of cheer for everyone – but I tell you the truth, there is something even better than good cheer, it is knowing that you are loved by God with an everlasting love, no matter what…and in that, there is  HOPE – there for the taking, for everyone.

Be authentic in this season of holidays, Jesus loves, you just as you are.

Are you suffering with grief of one sort or another?

Are you local to the Pioneer Valley?

If so, I invite you to “SONGS for the NIGHT”

(click above, on Songs for the Night, for details)

 

My calendar is marked, is yours?