Sharing my mourning journey as my family learns to live a new normal after the death of my 19 y.o. son in an auto accident on 10/12/08.

Gratitude and Envy

Our last Thanksgiving with Jordan. Mark is the photographer.

It is such a hard time of year. From the beginning of August with my daughters’ birthdays and Jordan’s birthday until the close of New Year’s Day my family and I swing between apprehension, anticipation, joy, dread, and enough longing and sadness to fill a room.  The holidays make the feelings of wanting to have my son back even more overpowering. Even though I’ve tried to limit my awareness about college kids coming home for Thanksgiving, it doesn’t matter too much because my internal clock still chimes, “Jordan would be home now.” These feelings surge and then ultimately quiet and I work hard to remember a quote my sister emailed me recently,

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.”

–        Charles Spurgeon

I pull at my reserves of strength even as I envy my friends whose kids are travelling home in the next days. I’m ashamed sometimes at how much I want what they have. I hunger for errands and tasks associated with, “my kids home from college.” Things like driving to the airport, waiting for a glimpse of my overworked, too tired student to fall into the car so happy to be home. Or wandering the aisles of the grocery store buying cereals and foods I don’t normally buy because they are Jordan’s favorites.

Strength for me means reminding myself to do just this day without burdening my heart with too many, “what ifs.”

Gratitude is mixed with heartache because even in the midst of sadness and longing I feel the acceptance of change no matter how miniscule happening within me. This Thanksgiving as in the last two I know Mark will end his prayer before dinner with the words, “and let there always be a seat at the table for Jordan. Amen”

To all of you missing a loved one this Thanksgiving I extend my family’s prayer to yours. Let there always be a seat at the table. Wishing you hope and light.




Comments on: "Gratitude and Envy" (5)

  1. Jackie,
    You have nothing to be ashamed of in your desire for those things. I wish I could fix it for you.
    Thinking kind thoughts,

  2. You have been on my mind all week. Remembering that Jordan’s favorite holiday is upon us, my prayers, thoughts, and love go to you and the rest of the gang. See you soon.


  3. And so it shall be!!! And so it is!!!

  4. Jackie– I wish so much to return to you the kind words you always give to me: be gentle with yourself. Claire is right– you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of for wishing for what should be yours. There is room on this journey to be both grateful for what we have and angry for all that we don’t, and particularly this early in the journey (for us both, I say), what’s missing looms so much larger than what is here. Thinking of you and your family during the difficult days ahead. Much love.

  5. Love you, Jackie! I am hoping and praying that this coming year brings us more peace, more healing and a heart that aches a bit less.

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