Sometimes my heart just hurts

Honestly, sometimes my heart just hurts.

It has surprised my how close to the surface my grief has been this month over losing Jason. I really thought I had turned a corner last year when I went back to Seattle. For some reason, it felt like the ten-year mark was a major turning point.

But, I have found myself close to tears at unexpected times during this entire month, times when my heart hurts so much the tears want to spill out. This March marks the end of eleven years without Jason and beginning of the twelfth year. Moving forward into twelve years – it feels like I’m once again walking through molasses. The loss of Jason – and so many, many other losses – feels particularly acute right now.

Perhaps it’s just the time of year, the month of the year that Jason died. Perhaps it’s a time when accumulative losses seem particularly heavy. Perhaps it’s remembering the excitement of putting together Easter baskets to leave outside the kids’ rooms on Easter morning…and missing that time like crazy…missing my boy like crazy. Jason, even at 19, kept the Easter bunnies I put in his basket.

Perhaps it’s the unsettled-ness that we seem to continue to walk through since Jason died. There felt like such a contented, settled, happy feeling before Jason died. True, everything was not rosy all the time, but there was happiness and hope and determination to keep moving toward better things ahead. Since then there has been losses of jobs, friends, home; moving here and there, trying to find a place where we “fit.”

Perhaps it’s waiting for spring to arrive outside…and waiting for spring to arrive in the deep places of my heart and grief. Perhaps it’s trying to find a meaningful purpose for my life, a reason for trying so hard to keep on living my life in spite of all this pain and loss. Perhaps it’s just the weariness of the journey on this Good Friday before Easter.

Sometimes the effort of the journey catches up with me and I get weary of trying so hard…and sometimes my heart just hurts. I guess the price of loving a sweet, wonderful boy so much is having my heart heart so much that he’s gone.

© 2013 Rebecca R. Carney

22 thoughts on “Sometimes my heart just hurts

  1. Reading your words about Jason, left me teary. How interesting that my son who died also was named Jason. The name Jason means “healer,” which I’m sure you know. Rebecca, it has been twice as long for me – this grief journey carries so much aching and longing. I can’t tell you that it ever ends. Though you know that it gets easier. Thinking of you with this anniversary of the heart and wishing you peace. I would love to mail you a CD of my audiobook, Rebecca. If you think you would be interested, just email me an address where to send it. (no charge, of course. Email me at

  2. I truly hope this reply does not increase your pain. I know that before I lost my son, Dylan, shortly after birth, I had no idea what to say to a grieving parent. At least now I know a few things not to say. Also, I know that even the good things bring back the pain, but sometimes the pain is worth it to relive the memories.

    Personally, I find comfort in knowing that my son is in Heaven. I still miss him terribly and it hurts everyday. I have been blessed with the opportunity to minister to and fellowship with other parents who have lost children. Even though everyone’s story is different it is still great to interact with someone who “gets it”.

    As far as finding purpose and meaning in these circumstances, I am blessed to have a small insight into a potential possibility. When I was at the very beginning of my Christian life, there were some young adults in my life who I knew were Christians that died tragically. It hit me hard and rocked my brand new faith. If I was going to sincerely believe and follow Christianity, I had to know why God would allow such a tragic event. In exploring Christianity’s answer to why there is evil in the world, I often thought about that young man and his best friend who died. Any theology worth believing needed to harmonize with this tragedy. Looking back, the depth to which I had to explore and test Christianity was a tremendous blessing when I was faced with my own son’s death several years later.

    I wish I would have known what to say to the mother of that young man then. I remember sending a email with not much substance. I still don’t know what to say to her now. I know I thought of her often after the death of my own son.

    If you haven’t guessed, those young adults in my life were Jason Carney and Alina Christianson. I am very grateful for having known them and look forward to seeing them again in Heaven. I found this blog doing a web search after playing Jason’s game he wrote in the computer game class he took from me. I play it every once in a while just to remember.

    • I remember you…and I remember how much it touched my heart that you took the time to write after Jason died. As I recall, you sent Jason’s homework back to me and I still have it. I remember having your brother as a teacher during that time as I was at EdCC, too, and wondering if he realized the connection between the young man in your class and the mother of that young man in his. I also remember how much Jason enjoyed your class. He really, really enjoyed your computer game class; he was so excited about what he was learning. He used to come home from school, sit on the kitchen counter as I was making dinner, and tell me about his day. Sometimes that included talking about what he was learning in your class.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write. Your words eleven years ago meant a lot. Your words today mean a lot, too. Thank you for the encouragement that you have given. Thank you most of all of remembering Jason. Sometimes it feels as if everyone has moved on and forgotten him. It’s encouraging to know that he is remembered.

      Preston, I’m so sorry for the loss of your son. I know that it brings comfort to know that both you and I will see our children again in Heaven. Sometimes I just miss Jason so much here on earth.

      Thank you once again for your kindness – both now and after Jason died. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  3. I, too, am surprised when those times pop up and the grief feels so fresh – especially when I feel like I’ve rounded some “marker” and am feeling good about my healing, then BAM –
    Just wanted to comment and say I hear ya and loving thoughts sent your way.

  4. Grieving is hard, exhausting work. I don’t believe that time heals all wounds. I just think time makes it feel different. Sometimes better. Sometimes worse. Wishing you peace.

  5. Your words remind me that memories are never enough. I so often hear counsel that we should “hold onto the good memories” and anticipate that as comfort in our loss. The way you describe the ongoing pain of losing Jason, it’s clear to me memories can often accelerate the sense of longing. I do trust your Easter will be very meaningful, Rebecca. I send my love and prayers.

    • You’re so right. Memories can never be enough and there is no comfort to be found in such a loss (unless perhaps the child was suffering great pain). Only people who have not experienced child loss would ever say such a thing.

      • I know we have communicated before-and I know your child did not die without any symptoms (at least I think you wrote that) but it seems i am so alone in my pain now, everyone has moved on, learned to laugh, fake it, live, and I have not. I suffered disabling conditions from the stress of loosing my son and Im sure that is part of it. Thank you for being there-I dont feel so alone. Maybe you don’t either, since we can share the hurt and misunderstanding. beebeesworld

  6. Rebecca: Thank you for honestly sharing your emotional journey through grief. We value your insight and honesty, especially since you have walked this journey much longer than us. May you know that we think of you often. Jason seemed like such a tender spirit from what you have shared. Both he and you have left a significant positive impact on this world. God bless you.

  7. I found ten years a huge deal too, and it’s shocking how quickly you can feel yourself right back there, like it’s fresh. Lots of love to you, as you remember your lovely Jason.

  8. I think of you, as a mom, being like me-wondering if we are hurting alone-if everyone else is busy with their lives, while our hearts are forever broken and our memories forever in the “what if’ stage. everytime there is a family event, i suffer through it, sometimes, i dont make it through it. As awful as it is, It is good to know that a real mom, not a mom who thinks evil is somehow good,that God “wants these horrible things to happen, that moms are supposed to “heal” from having their hearts ripped out, that life will ever be truely happy again. You make me feel human, I thank you for your words.beebeesworld

  9. “…and waiting for spring to arrive in the deep places of my heart and grief.”
    Profound thought. Spring is life come back after the death in fall and the sleep in winter. Does life come from the deaths of our children? If you’re spiritual then you can say “yes”, because we meet again in everlasting life. If you’re not spiritual then what do you say?

  10. Hi Rebecca, I always feel Ryan in my heart as the spring approaches. Each Easter I go for a very, very long run and finish at Ryans Headstone and chat for awhile. When I feel the ache in my heart, I kniow it is Ryan saying hello

    “In the opening of the buds, and in the re-birth of the spring, We remember them”

    ” So long as we shall live, they too shall live, for they are part of us, As we remember them”

    Book of Hebrews

    Hugs my friend!

  11. The triggers pop up out of nowhere. Spring is slowly approaching and the sound of a meadowlark brings me back to my son’s death. There are other triggers and they make my heart hurt, too.

  12. Rebecca, though my pain and grief have never gone away and I dont expect them too, for some reason, there are times they just seem to be overwhelming. I don’t know why. I guess there is no answer.

  13. rebecca, i found your blog today after you’d commented on my own recent blog post. i’m so glad you found me… because it brought me to your blog! i can’t thank you enough for also putting yourself out there and sharing your thoughts and feelings about grief and loss. i’m only at the 2 year mark after losing my only sibling to suicide… it’s been a complete mess. and i’m glad you are out there sharing that no matter how many years go by that you still feel it so often and so deeply– and no one who hasn’t experienced this kind of sudden loss could possibly understand. there is no time limit on grieving despite what some have tried to tell me. i truly believe it will be a lifelong process for me. the loss of that key person in your life didn’t change you momentarily… it literally changes the fiber of your being and alters the future that you have been denied with that person. i’m so glad you are writing and glad to have found your blog! hugs to you from texas! 🙂

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