I do not publish everything I write for this blog. I write some things that I then decide are too sad or depressing or weird for general consumption. What I have shared here are actually the milder more socially acceptable thoughts and stories. I think. Usually I can’t go back a re-read what I wrote. I am sad most of the time with a kind of sadness I would not wish on anyone. Since I know Jesse is in a good place, beyond all sadness and suffering, I often question why I am this sad. Even with faith and the assurance I feel of my son’s safety and happiness I am still so sad; I cannot imagine how anyone could survive the loss of their child without faith and the knowledge that their child lives and is okay. I don’t know how I could.
A month after the funeral I can go hours at a time without crying, walking around with a sort of numbness, the fractures in my heart thinly bandaged over. And then the grief swells and the bandages fall away and my heart shatters all over again. Today I was alone and I almost sank into Hell again, but didn’t quite hit bottom. Why sink so low when I have been given the gift of so much comfort – such sweet visions of Jesse and clear communication that he is happy, excited, loved, and busy? These things do sooth my heart. I no longer have any reason to worry about his safety and well-being.
The problem must be me. I guess I had a lot of myself invested in Jesse’s presence in this life. In fact you might say that beginning with his birth he was my life. Of course Aaron is my life too, but it’s not like I give each of them 50 percent like two beneficiaries on a life insurance policy. It doesn’t work that way. Somehow each of them gets 100 percent. Love has its own mathematics. It does not divide and diminish. It divides and expands. The 100 percent of myself I gave to Jesse is still with him. I don’t get it back and don’t want it back. It would be terrible to have to take it back. It is my gift to him forever.
I was was happy to worry about him. I would be perfectly happy to worry about him again. Jesse was a high-maintenance baby and a high-maintenance child. Not that he was destructive or overly naughty. He was a delight — curious, funny, bright, active, and very messy, always demanding the best I had to give. He wanted lots of attention, and told me so. “Mom I need attention,” he’d say. He was very articulate and precise early on. “When you say that it hurts my feelings,” he’d tell me as a pre-schooler whenever I corrected him about something.
He had trouble with sleep from the very beginning. He refused to sleep alone and he liked to be held. A lot. When he was five we tried being strict. For about 30 minutes. I told him he was old enough to sleep alone. “You are a big boy now. You need to be brave.” He lay in his bed wearing feet pajamas and soon we heard him crying over and over, “I’m just not brave enough yet!” We gave in and put him in our bed. Thank God we gave in. My heart is broken but it would be even more broken if we had not given in. The significance of being in his bed alone looms large. Bed was always a huge issue with him. So much seems like foreshadowing now that his earthly story is complete.
Yes, this post is in the “too sad to share” category but I think I am going to share it anyway. I’m sorry it is so sad. I’m sorry that being a Christian does not mean you suffer a few pangs of loss and after that only joy that your child is with Jesus in Heaven. God is the one who created the powerful connection between mother and child. The connection is more powerful in the mother toward the child than in the child toward the mother because the mother is supposed the leave this world first. When it doesn’t happen that way the sadness is not bearable without serious spiritual aid. Without the peace that surpasses understanding there would be only drugs to deal with it. I’d rather feel the pain than numb it with drugs. I’d only be kicking the can down the road. Better to walk through the dark valley. If there is a way out the only way to get there is to go through it.
But I know that if I did not have the Lord to walk through the darkness with me I would have to rely on drugs to continue living. What a poor substitute that would be. At least this way I am learning and growing in faith and with God’s help may be in a position to help others someday.