Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dear Jace

It's been a year since I told you you couldn't spend the night with me.  I will regret that for the rest of my life.  If only I said yes, you would still be alive.  He wouldn't have hurt you.  My heart wouldn't be broken.  I know wanting you to be alive is selfish.  You're with Jesus.  I miss you every day, but most days I'm too scared to open the box of pain I carry around with me.  I know if I do, it might eat me alive.  I still can't watch the videos of you.  It hurts too much.  I'm so sorry you died.  I know it isn't my fault, but still I'm sorry.  I'm sorry I didn't protect you.  I'm sorry I let that bad man in my house.

You taught me so much the short time I had you.  You taught me how much better life is when I am not living just for my self.  You taught me how valuable and vulnerable the life of a child is.  You taught me I am stronger than I thought.  You taught me how strong love is.  It never mattered to me if you were "special needs" or sick forever or whatever.  You were perfect.  You taught me I was loveable.  Every time you were happy to see me and told me over and over "I love you, Stacey." You let me see how someone could discover God with a child's faith.  You believed God loved you and God would make you and papa and anybody "better" just because I told you so.  My favorite sounds in the world were your laugh and your singing voice.

My small finite brain cannot understand heaven.  I love Jesus so much, but I can't wrap my brain around this mystery.  I guess I have trouble trusting what people tell me about it, when God tells me so little.  I can't fathom something beyond time and space and that maybe you can see me or something, but then I think I don't really want you to watch me when I'm going to the bathroom or watching the Real Housewives on TV.   I trust that you're there and you're happy, and that you get to be around my dad and maybe even Andrea's mom, but really I just don't get it.  I just have to wait to find out I guess.

I just hope you know how much you changed me.  How much I love you.  How I promise to try and make your life worth it.  I promise I will try and stop other children from hurting.  I will try and be a better person because I knew you and not a worse person because you died.  I know someday the pain of missing you will grow less stinging and the joy of knowing you will grow more comforting.  I hope I'm not letting you down by still hurting so much.

I love you too much. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Walk On

Grief is like a constant companion.  It's always with you.  Sometimes I get to take a break and laugh and joke around and be obnoxious, but the ache is still there.  There are different kinds of grief.  The stabbing shocking tearing loss of having a child ripped from your life.  Then there is the dull sweet ache of looking at your dad's chair and knowing he'll never sit there again.  The ache that lays there as I look at the snow and know my dad won't come shovel me out.  That he wasn't much of a conversationalist but that he would do things like that to shout I love you at us. 

I think one day I'll hide it more, even from myself, but I also know it will never completely leave me.  It's kind of like when you are a kid and realize your heroes are flawed or that Santa isn't real.  You're never the same again.  When Andrea's mom died, I told her I felt like I was losing part of my best friend too, because the sadness would change who she was.  I had no idea I'd be missing myself so soon after.  I'll never be that person.  It's like I have this secret knowledge that not everyone knows and that I didn't want to learn.  I know now that the worst thing imaginable could happen any second.  No Bible no optimism no army can protect me from pain. 

I'm supposed to feel better because of heaven.  I try to.  I believe in it - I do. The problem is I believe in it, but I don't want to see Jace and my dad someday on a golden street or in a house with many rooms when I'm 83, because women in my family never seem to die.  I want them now.  I want to hear them laugh and sing.  I don't know much about heaven, but I know it will never be like it was.  Like what I miss so much.  I suppose it will be better, but I can't picture it.  I can't imagine it.  I don't know how to fathom a place without time or bathrooms. 

I'm not alone.  Plenty of other people are in this club.  They understand what it means to be sad.  To be in this shadow.  Sometimes we reach out to each other, but a million words or hugs don't change who I am now.  I know I'm not alone, it just feels so much like I am. 

In the end there's only one thing to do.  Keep walking.