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.

I didn’t recognize him at first. The sun was in my eyes and the girls were the first to point him out. “There he is Mama. Merrick’s right there.” I squinted and looked closer and there was my boy waiting to be picked up from the airport, home for spring break. My heart raced and ached at the same time. This situation was one I’d grown accustomed to. Picking Jordan up from the airport while he was away at school I was met with the same stance. There Merrick stood looking so much like his brother, hands in his pockets, backpack slung over one shoulder, nodding his head to let me know he saw me. It was all so familiar. As he got into the car mobbed by his sisters and reaching out to hug me I felt relief that he was home, gratitude that he looked well and sadness that I’d never get to pick his brother up from the airport again. All those emotions coursing through me at the same time, barely able to recognize one before the next bombarded me. Merrick is home and I’m so glad. I get to feed him and care for him and listen to all that has happened since he was home last, just like I did with Jordan. My joy is weighted down with the heaviness of longing and I can’t deny it. I would have given anything to have the girls as we pulled up at the airport point and say, “There they are Mama, there they are.”

I know Jordan can’t come home like he used to but the eerie familiarity of going through the same routine with Merrick that I did with Jordan takes more energy than I have sometimes. I miss Jordan and am overjoyed to see Merrick at the same time. Those two feelings housed inside me overflowed yesterday and all I could do was sit on the patio and cry. I cried and I asked God, “Why? Why did Jordan have to die?” The “whys” haven’t surfaced in a long time. But yesterday for a little while I wanted an answer from God. I wanted to know why I can’t sit around my kitchen table and look at the faces of all of my children and my husband. I wanted all of my family back. It was a why me moment that I gave into and let the tears fall.

As the tears subsided I remembered back to the day after Jordan died when I first asked God, “Why Jordan?” The answer I received came from a surprising voice. Jordan clearly spoke to me and simply said, “Why not me?”

Jordan’s response gave me my answer as unsettling as it was and is. My family has not been spared the death of a loved one. Jordan’s answer is one that grounds me to the fact that we aren’t alone. There are many families just like us longing to have that seat at the table filled again.

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Comments on: "A Question For God" (8)

  1. I echo all of your thoughts here today. Thank you for writing.

  2. Margaret said:

    Jackie,

    My dad died suddenly one summer day when I was 16. For such a long time, I kept most people at arm’s length. I didn’t let anyone get to close. When I met the man who would be my husband, I would sometimes cry myself to sleep. I did not want to love Robert because I knew how much it hurt to love someone with all your heart and then, poof, one day he is gone. As I had each of my boys, I would feel the same sense of panic and love. My husand and my children think I am crazy because I will be full on anxiety when too much time has passed when I think someone should be home or they don’t answer me when I call them or text them. But how can they understand how the ringing of the phone or the door bell can turn your whole life upside down. I hope they never ever know what you and your family know all too well. It is a blessing to have love in your life, to have children and spouses and parents and a life so full of love that it hurts. Because the more we love, the more we have to lose. Your Jordan was right though. Sad and bad things happen to people all over the world every day and sometimes, they happen to us. If I think about that too much, I keep myself awake at night. I guess that is the risk we take when we are fully alive and engaged in life.

    I think of you and your four beautiful children and your lovely husband often and I send you wishes of peace. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and helping others deal with the pain of loss and with grief and anger too. Happy Spring!

    Margaret

  3. Lori Jenner-Huckaby said:

    Sunday March the 18th the day my oldest son Jason was born. Jason would have been 28 this year. God I miss him so much, this June 26 will be the 6th angel-versary I keep asking myself “is there ever going to come a birthday, a holiday, a just because day that I can bear” day? With each year that passes I keep hoping that the next one will be easier to get through, maybe I won’t cry so much, maybe it won’t hurt as much? But then does that mean that I have forgotten him like it feels everyone else has? Why does everyone have to ask “what’s wrong or why do you look so sad”? On his birthday when he was alive everyone aknowledged it, but now it’s just a day like any other, don’t they know that one of the greatest days of my life has now become a painful memory? I don’t want those days to become just days! Doesn’t anybody understand?

    • alwaysmomof4 said:

      Lori,
      Thank you for your comment. I am so sorry for your loss. Your son Jason is with you just as my Jordan is with me. I hate that I can’t have him here with me in the physical sense. I am learning though that I will say Jordan’s name and talk about him, the good memories and the crazy not so good ones. He is my boy. Sometimes it is up to us to continue the legacy which is our children. Talk about Jason. Plan something special to remember him on his birthday. SAY HIS NAME. Those that love you will learn or at least have to try to learn to listen.
      I try to live one day at a time but there are some days when I live breath by breath. Wishing you peace in your heart. We keep going.
      Jackie

  4. I say “Amen” to all of you. Never forget- never give up. And definitely talk about your child- don’t let anyone take that away from you. Always remember there are others out there who know your pain and are there to listen and support you- they can’t take your pain away but they can share it with you.

    I promise you it will get better, and it doesn’t mean you will have forgotten. I have always believed that those we love want us to be happy and to live to our fullest, as hard as that is so when you can, you should and do it for them, with love.

  5. Sending my love, Jackie. Sorry I’ve been so absent. Claire

  6. Thank you for your writing. My 23 year old son, Graham, died suddenly and tragically just 5 weeks ago. My husband, daughter and I are blinded with tears every minute of every day. We can hardly breathe, the agony is so terrible. We miss him so much.

    I have been searching the Internet to read what other mothers have written. I’ve pulled together a page of websites and blogs where I can go to do my reading. I hope you don’t mind that I’ve included your blog on my page.

    http://www.scoop.it/t/grief-and-loss

    Please feel free to share it with other parents and siblings who are searching for help.

    Graham’s Mom Forever

    • alwaysmomof4 said:

      I am so sorry for the the loss of your son. There is something about losing a child suddenly that sends us into a trauma that is almost unlivable. And yet we keep going and learn that tears are cleansing and that relationships are eternal. You will always be Graham’s mom and he will always be your son. Be good to yourself in these early days of grief. Every feeling that emanates from your body and soul is worth feeling.

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