Friday, May 20, 2011

I went to DJ's gravesite this week

This week was DJ's 18th birthday, his 5th birthday since he passed away in 2006.  I went to his gravesite the day before his birthday, I didn't want to go on the day of his birthday incase I ran into someone I knew.  It is a really difficult place for me to go, I know many parent's that go and find a lot of peace from it but I only find pain-even 5 years later. 

This year was a little odd though.  I went and had two sensations.  At first I felt as if I didn't stay long enough and actually went back to his grave.  After a few minutes of that I felt as if I was an intruder and I didn't belong there.  I have never had that feeling before.

Is it a sign of the grief subsiding? Is it a sign that I am healthier than I was just a few years ago.  I don't know the answer to either of these questions.  I do not know why I felt like an intruder, like I didn't belong there but I did.  If anyone reading my blog has felt this before let me know your insight into it and apparently if you have felt it don't feel guilty about it because I can't be the only one--or am I?  I would appreciate any comments or direction on this one. 

(My book has only one copy left at Parables in Omaha and is still available at the Bookworm locally.  If anyone would like an ebook form or would like to order it directly from me you can go to

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mother's Day-No guilt for the living

Mother's Day came and went.

During the middle of it though I realized that my family seemed to be living without DJ as if he was never here or had never died. I only felt it for a few minutes, but I felt a definite missing, a definite recognition of this fact. It made me angry that we all were living without him, managing without DJ.

I posted about it on facebook later that day and in the end my husband was quite upset about my comment. He told me he never quit thinking of DJ. He told me that he had worked hard over the last 4 1/2 years to make our lives as normal as possible.

So, what did I get from all of this? That our normal life is now living without DJ here on earth. However, he is always in our minds, always in our hearts, and never far away from our thoughts.

I have become accustomed to DJ not being with us anymore and that just stinks. There is never a day or an hour that goes by that I do not think of DJ but I am used to him not being here now and I do not like that.

I do not want the pain of the first two years, I do not want to replay that time of my life ever again. My heart breaks for those bereaved parents that are at the less than two year mark, it is so incredibly hard and painful.

I do not however ever want to have that feeling again of living life without DJ as normal. Have I gotten so used to him being gone, have I lived my life without him for so long that I could possibly forget him? Never, never, never!!

What have I caused myself to have? I have created false guilt, I have allowed the enemy to come in and make me feel guilty over living a life when DJ has not.

My challenge for myself and for any of you reading this is that we should never have guilt over living! We should not feel badly for living our lives even though our children are gone.

I will never forget DJ, my family will never forget him!! Thinking for even a second that we are living as if he was never alive is absolutely absurd. I will never live my life as if DJ never existed but I also will never feel guilt over continuing to live. DJ would want me to live a life that is full of passion and adventure. He would not want me sitting on the couch mourning over him. My life is fuller because DJ lived.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


My youngest son passed up DJ in age. My son Jake is now older than his oldest brother.

I knew this day would happen one day and I was truly dreading it. I was certain that it would cause me a lot of pain, that it would be a terrible mile stone that I would be fully aware of. I just knew that I was going to feel horrible that one exact day. And then something crazy happened....

Jake passed up DJ when I wasn't even looking. I didn't know it happened. I was sitting in the conference at The Compassionate Friends this April thinking about that one, certainly painful day and realized that it had gone and went without my knowledge. The anticipated pain of the day was over before it even began. I have to admit that I was actually relieved. I was dreading the day and I ended up not having to succumb to the pain at all.

This is a prime example of how the anticipation of an event is far worse than the actual day. DJ's birthday is just around the corner and I am dreading it as well, however after almost 5 years I know that the time up to his birthday can be more painful than the actual day. I have experienced mile stones pertaining to DJ's death where the day after it was as if a physical weight was taken off my shoulders almost immediately after the event. The pain, the stress, the worry, the anxiety of the event lifted right after it. I can feel it, I can sense the release. For me there is a sense of relief after the day. The worry before, what I think will be the horrible pain coming usually doesn't come on that exact date, it is the time up to it that is usually the hardest.

I think almost all people can easily think of the worst thing that will happen to them, it is always easier to think of the most negative than any positive. I feel this is why the anticipation is worse than the day...we imagine the worse before it ever happens. Face it, if you are a bereaved parent you have certainly faced the worst life can give you--we know it fully so it is easy to imagine it.

If you are a newly bereaved parent about to come upon a milestone of your child's world be prepared for three things 1. The days up to the event will kick your butt, the grief will hit you days maybe even weeks before the event. 2. The day will probably not be near as painful as you think it will be 3. The day will pass, it is only 24 hours and eventually it will be gone and the intense pain of the day will fade.

Being prepared for the pain to come is important, it will come and it will go. It will come in heavy waves and it can take flight like feathers in the wind.

If you are a loved one, a friend of a bereaved parent realize too that your friend is going to be grieving weeks before the mile stone. Give them grace and understanding--it is by God's grace that you have not lost a child and you must understand that the pain can come sooner than you think it should.

(If you live locally you can buy my book at the Bookworm bookstore in Countryside Village, also I am beginning my work on the bible study companion book for it)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I was watching the news about Bin Laden today--figuring it was completely safe. Ofcourse I was so wrong. A story scrolled down on the screen that I should not have read. A mother killed her husband and her 12 year old daughter and then set her home on fire, killing herself as well.

This just makes me sick. How many of us would give our own lives to have our child back? How many of us would go to hell and back to hug them again? How many of us only want the years behind us to be nothing more than a nightmare? This child did not have the opportunity to grow up and see the world, that life was stolen away from her.

I don't know the circumstances, the dynamics of this family that made this woman take such extreme action I only know that the gift of life is so precious and after losing a child I am more aware of that than ever. It breaks my heart to know that this happened to a child, it rocks me to the core to hear those kind of stories, over and over again.

I do not have enough words to full express that none of us should take life for granted. It is a gift and none of us know how long we have or our own children have. When I dedicated our children back to the Lord when they were young it was to show respect to God. Showing that I truly did not own my children but that they are only on loan from God. This too I understood like never before after DJ passed away.

Don't take your child for granted, don't take your spouse or any loved one for granted today. In fact I challenge you all today to let those around you know that you love them. We all need to hear that daily, and sometimes more than just once!! That woman must not have felt loved to have caused so much pain and tragedy, how sad and horrible. Love those around you today.