For Those Who Grieve in Any Way

Is there any comfort?

Are you grieving the loss of a loved one?

Is it due to a substance misuse? Is it due to waywardness? Is it due to illness… even possibly to Covid-19?

Is it your spouse? your parent? your child? your friend?

Is it over the state of our country, the world, and all we once knew as normal?

I know certain loved ones, and friends who are very heavy of heart right now, including me.

Is there any comfort?

 

“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)

This is some comfort.

“As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it….” (Luke 19:41)

This is some comfort.

“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” – coupled with, “…he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears…” (Luke 22:44 & Hebrews 5:7)

This is some comfort.

The comfort is this: Jesus knows your pain and your sorrow and your psycho-symptomatic responses – He has experienced all of it.

He wept over the death of His best friend. He understands the loss and the void and the hole it leaves in the soul. Even more, He wept at the lack of faith of humanity, He wept at the loss of peace humanity could have had, if they had seen and understood what was before them. And He wept for each of us, people of every generation, as he faced all that led Him to the cross.

My son drew this picture of Jesus. My son was able to draw this picture of Jesus’ sorrow because he wept too; he wept over the struggles of mental illness and addiction, over a battle he felt powerless to… but underneath, my son knew the comfort of Jesus, and despite his failing and falling to overdose death, I believe and trust that Jesus loved Him into heaven.

I have wept ferociously, to the point of biting my pillowcase and voicelessly screaming, gasping for air; how much more emotion and heartache He must have endured to sweat drops of blood?

This is all comfort to me because I know that none of my grief is misunderstood or disregarded; I know Jesus weeps with me; He will never tell me, get over it. There is true comfort when one speaks to one who knows. A person suffering the loss of a child is most comforted by one who has also lost a child; a person suffering the loss of a spouse to illness is most comforted by one who has also lost a spouse to illness…and so on – we who grieve and suffer for whatever reason, understand this.

Jesus is the answer to our grief and our pain because He knows and weeps alongside us.

During these days before Easter Sunday is a time to reflect on this. If we can imagine the walk of Jesus to the cross, I believe we can understand both the power and the depth of Love that is ours through Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross.

Look to the cross today…

Know that you are not forgotten in your sorrows. Jesus understands and offers you comfort and peace that is not understandable. Today, you can know the love of being held by the One who has conquered death and lives in Heaven.

Will you turn to Him?

Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face… and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

Click on the line above and be blessed.

I love you, my readers, I pray you will each find your comfort in the One who knows it all and has the power to lift you and hold you and save you.

Why Be Aware of Drug Overdose?

“Someone dies every 14 minutes from drug overdose in this country.”

My son, Caleb, was one of them; He died of an overdose in May of 2018.

So….Why be aware of drug overdose?

I tell you the truth – no one is immune from this epidemic;

don’t be lulled into false security thinking: “this will never happen to my family…”

Because that’s what I thought… that’s what many other mothers who grieve their son’s and daughter’s thought… none of us ever wanted to be in this grieving-an-overdose-death-club.  I know my son did not want to overdose… he had plans for his life – but they were altered by one mistake, one night.

I want you to know that overdoses happen to good, kind, lovable people, like my son; too often, overdose is fatal.

I want you to know that some people are lucky to survive overdose and have a second chance at life; Evan, one of my son’s sober house buddy’s, is one of these survivors.

He says, “waking up from an overdose is probably one of the worst things you can experience…It’s so scary… it takes me a little while to cool down and come to reality and appreciate that I’m alive and apologize to whoever cared about me… All I can say is be grateful for the life that you have.”

So… you may ask…why does someone overdose?

Evan shares, “I would have to say depression and or heartbreak, stress (is what) pushed me to my limits… I (knew I ) had a way out of all this by using drugs as an escape.” I can concur, because I know my son suffered from these ailments as well and am certain that his feelings of despair drove him to relapse after 5 months of clean time.

So… what’s one thing you can do to fight this epidemic of overdose death?

Know what Narcan is and get trained in how to use it and have it on hand at all times.

Caleb’s good friend, Allison, came to a Narcan training during a local Vigil event put on by the local Sober house, Honest Beginnings and SOAAR group a few months after my son’s death. After making a luminary to honor my son, Allison was trained and equipped with Narcan – did she think she’d have to actually ever use it?  Hear her story from this past school year:

It was a weeknight at 9pm on my college campus here in Western Mass. Not the time that anyone would expect to need Narcan. I definitely didn’t….I was walking home (after doing homework with a friend). I heard someone yelling for help down the road. I went to check it out and it was two college aged guys. One was on the ground. He was really cold and clammy. His breaths were really short. I recognized these as symptoms of a possible overdose….I told him to call 911 while I went to my car to get Narcan. I gave it to the guy on the ground and the ambulance showed up not too long after. I honestly do not know what happened after that, but I do know that I am incredibly happy that I had the Narcan and that I had been trained to use it.”

Allison’s personal message to everyone:

I hope that someday there will be no need for Narcan, but until that day, everyone should have it and know how to use it. I also hope that some day the stigma will be gone so people can ask for help without worrying about the backlash.”

Get trained in Narcan and know how to use it… you could save a life!

Mostly, I want you to know that so many people suffer from all kinds of things and feel hopeless and helpless. Not everyone has the support systems they need, nor does everyone have the inner strength to choose the better ways of dealing with struggles and hurts and scars and they do make the mistake of using a substance to soothe their pains – this does not make them bad people or ones to be afraid of or shunned.

So, I urge everyone to value all life and show love to everyone… it is the second greatest command after loving God;

He says: love others.

“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39

Not some others, not the others that are likeable and most like yourself…  no…  love others – all the others.

What’s this got to do with overdose?

Maybe, just maybe if we as a people can master just these two commands of God, then maybe Allison could see her hopes come true – a time when there would be no need for Narcan – a time when all stigma is gone and people can feel free to ask for help.

Just maybe…

Do your part to soberly respect Overdose Awareness Month (August):

Be educated, get trained in Narcan & have it on hand, and LOVE OTHERS… really.

 

Plainly Speaking to my Son, who Relapsed & Died

There are moments in life when you gotta cut to the chase,
speak your mind,
and get rid of the filter.
No side stepping allowed,
or in through the backdoor,
and no pussy-footing around.

So, I am going to say it plain,
Get ready,
I am going in through the front door:

You have broken my heart.
You have destroyed your life and mine, never ever, ever, to be the same again.

There it is … like a dump truck offing it’s load.

How come I don’t feel better?

Here is something else I will say just as plain…
I would do it all over again to have just one more chance to give you a hug,
make you an omelet,
and tell you I love you, so I could hear you chuckle.

I wonder if I would feel better?

Sadly, I don’t think I would,

because I fear you would still break my heart and destroy your life and mine, never ever, ever to be the same again.

That’s that … round and round like a cement mixer mixing its stuff.

Plainly speaking,
it was what it was,
I did my best,
and so did you…

It was all so incredibly hard for both of us to endure.

As plain as plain can be,
it is,
… just as it is:

This grief is heavy on my heart then, and now… 

and I will not ever feel better.

Done … Tandem trailer jackknifed, flipped, and in flames.

 

I will love you forever, Caleb.

mom phone pics 2019 winter 189

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;…” Jeremiah 31:3b

I posted a paraphrase of this verse above my son’s bed when he came home after detox & living at a sober house; I wanted to remind him…
God loves, and loved, my son into the everlasting realm that even a mother’s deepest of loves cannot fathom.

It is ONLY there, that I find peace, as a grieving mother.

If you are grieving a loved one lost via this drug epidemic, please know that you are not alone; and you too, are loved with an everlasting love.