17 June 2009

Losing My Child: Living In and Through Grief (Pt 1)

Well, it has been just over four weeks since my oldest son, Jonathan Charles McCormack unexpectedly passed away, drastically effecting me in ways I would have never expected. A lot has taken place in the past four weeks, making it feel like many months of time.

I have not posted anything on this blog in the past few weeks for many obvious reasons, the biggest being lack of desire to do much of anything, much less deep thinking, theological discussions, or much of anything.

Shortly after Jonathan's passing, a friend shared with me a story of a local pastor that had lost a son and had written a detailed blog about their struggles during their time. He mentioned a book called "Good Grief" that was mentioned as being helpful to this pastor. I did not give much thought to it beyond that. Then about a week and a half later, out of the blue, a co-worker came to my office and handed me a copy of this very book, asking me if I had heard of it. I told her oddly I have, and thanked her for the copy.

The booklet is a pocket sized, 64 page work, with short, easy-to-read chapters. I finished reading it today.

While I can't say the book made me feel emotionally any better, it did reveal that the very feelings and thoughts I am going through on a daily basis are very common to what most everyone goes through in grief. So, I am normal it seems, and am acting normal considering; but it points out some things to look out for in the grieving process. If not handled correctly, grieving can impact life negatively for years to come, which is not the way it should be.

The book is written by a minster named Granger E. Westberg way back in 1962, so while it is older than me, it appears that nothing has really changed in the dealing-with-grief area of life. His comments were not only applicable, but were so dead on in many places, that I swore he knew me and my current situation personally.

What I would like to do over the next few days of postings, is to relay some of the key issues from the book, and how they hit me where I currently am. Even though I have finished reading through this booklet once, I believe reading it again, and putting down some thoughts here will help me to apply it further, and hopefully aid in the grieving process I am still currently stuck in. I hope you will allow me to indulge my emotions some here, and not flee from reading any of my blog postings. I promise, once I get my mind back in line with my emotions to where I can think again, I will be writing on more interesting things.

For those following our progress, the family is fine, all things considered, and we're trying each day to get back into a normal life mode. My head still swims around the event, I still cry almost daily, and have to keep reminding myself that life must go on (yes, I must keep reminding myself of that). Fortunately I have five children (man, that is so odd to say after being so used to saying six), and a wife, so my attention stays more focused on them, which helps. I still have very little desire to do much but mope around, and even with my great love of music, I often wish to just quit it also. But, the book directly addresses that, so it gives me hope as we shall see. It is the alone and quiet times that are the worst battle, but battle them I must.

Thanks to all my family and friends who have been a big support during this time. As always, your continued prayers during this rough time is much appreciated.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7