04 July 2009

Losing My Child: Living In and Through Grief (Pt 5)

Part three of the "Good Grief" book discussed feeling depressed and very lonely. The one thing about this book, is obviously these things do not have to proceed in the order given in the book, nor does everyone experience every step (as I will touch on in future segments). This particular step though, still seems to be lingering some in my process of grief.

The grief tends to make you think no one else has ever grieved as bad as we are. I can't say I have ever felt that way, because I know that no matter how absolutely horrible and painful I feel now, there are plenty of others who have experienced even worse (Job comes to mind for one that I hold up as worse off than me, though even more modern contemporaries could easily be mentioned).

The part of this that does touch base with me some is the feeling of being alone in this pain (even though I am surrounded by family also directly affected). I walk around as if in a haze. It is as if the sun is never shining, and while others around me go on with life as usual, I am stuck under a cloud. I work and work to keep my mind off of it, and do as much as I can to distract myself and enjoy things and people around me, but at the first sign of quiet, my mind drifts back to the reality at hand. In those cases, I tend to feel alone and isolated.

One small point he makes really hit home greatly. He says:
When we are depressed, we find ourselves thinking thoughts we never have otherwise. We say God does not care. We may even doubt there is a God.
I have said previously how it is a battle between the mental and the emotional, and this is exactly it. I know in my mind God is there. I know in my mind God is in control. I know that every aspect of this situation is brought and controlled, down to the minutest detail, by the hand of God, yet emotionally the grief and depression tear away at that knowledge. That is where these books have come in handy, to help remind, shape and mold the emotions to adhere to the logical knowledge of the mental.

This booklet speaks of the eventual end of these "dark days" which seem so far away and impossible while living in them, but I put faith in the fact that they will one day end, and I will see sunshine again. There is a part of me though, that does not want that to happen, as it is almost like I am moving past my son, and forgetting him (which I know will never happen, but again, emotions rage). He states these dark days can last for some people much quicker than other, so who knows how these things will play out.

I have seen comments by some of our friends, feeling helpless as to what they can do to help us through this. Honestly, even I do not know the answers, and when people ask if there is anything we need or anything they can do, I do not have a clue. The books states:
One of the most helpful things we can do for a friend at such a time is to stand by that friend in quiet confidence, and assure him o her that this, too, shall pass. The friend will not believe us at first, and will tell us we do not know what we are talking about. We may even be asked to leave. But the friend usually does not mean it. Once it is realized that our concern is genuine, the quiet assertion of our own confidence in God's continuing care and concern will assist tremendously in the friend's recovery.
Now, whether this is true, I do not know, yet..lol.

I do appreciate all of the prayers and assistance from those around us that have been offered so far. At this time, we must forge on and attempt to live as normally as possible; but we could still use prayer for strength and peace of mind (especially me, as I am much more prone to depression than my wife tends to be). I must say, being able to "unload" some of this here is serving to be somewhat therapeutic, whether anyone reads it or not...it just "gets it out" I guess. Also, working through these books again is giving some comfort thankfully.

As part of a recent "what if" segment in my brain recently, I was struck with an increased awe and thankfulness to God in this situation. What if I had noticed an issue with him those few hours before he was gone? What if I had rushed him to the hospital?
I won't go into any real detail as to the horrors my mind went to, but in the end I was ultimately thankful that Jonathan passed so peacefully in his sleep, and not in conscious pain in a hospital, trying to be kept alive through intervention that would have still led to his passing, though in a much more torturous manner. So, the fact that things went the way they did, can be viewed as nothing less than pure mercy from God for both us and our dear son. While I still do not understand how or why he passed when he did, I am thankful that it happened the way it did.

As of today, we are at the end of the sixth week since his passing (in ways it feels so much longer). We were told after the initial autopsy, that the final death certificate would be about six to eight weeks out, awaiting the toxicology results. So, we hope to have a bit of closure in that area any time now. I pray that whatever the outcome, it would somehow provide some closure in my mind mentally and emotionally, and help eliminate some of the "what if" issues that still bounce around inside. His condition was somewhat of a mystery in life, I fear his death may end up being the same...we'll see.

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