I know it’s work being around us

From my journal dated May 15, 2002:

I’m so thankful Eva* and Lisa* stopped by today. After Jenna leaves for work [and Joe is at work], the house is is quiet and empty. I just fall apart. It helped to have them come by. I know it’s not easy…I think Lisa* got really tired. It’s work being around us. I appreciate it that they tried.

No, it’s not getting better

From my journal dated April 25, 2002:

I’m struggling with feeling bitter again about people not being here for us.

Debra* called yesterday about getting together for coffee today. When I told her I might not have a car since Jenna and I have to share one for now, she started hedging – well, she might be able to make sure no one else needed her car so she could possibly drive all the way out to our house. She is no further away from our house than anyone else! It just felt like it was such an effort for her to come to our house. It just feels like she doesn’t really want to be here, that it’s a duty she feels she has to do…as long as I can come to her. I just don’t have the energy.

It just stings…it hurts…that the people we wanted to be here for us – anticipated being here for us – have really let us down.

Excuses, excuses. How often does a person lose a child? Can’t they even make any adjustments to make us feel loved, cared for, comforted? How can we be open with people who we aren’t sure really care? How can we tell that they care? “Church” family…what a misnomer, misconception. Real family would be here for us no matter what.

I just keep praying for God to help me not to be bitter. “Create a clean heart within me, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” God, please help me!!

It just seems like it’s got to be more than just pie-in-the-sky. Reality in the real world…apply your Christianity to the world around you where you can be the hand of God to each other. Isn’t that what we are supposed to be – the hands and feet of God in this world? I know people are busy, but so busy we can’t even do the work God has right before our noses isn’t good. Me, too…gotta remind myself, too. I can’t judge, can I? I fail so miserably, too.

I probably drove Debra* away for good. She kept pushing for me to open up. But then when I told her how alone we’ve been and how much we’ve needed them to be here for us, she asks if Lisa* has been over. When I said something earlier to Susan* about being lonely, she asked if Debra* had been up. It’s like it’s someone else’s responsibility…but no one is doing it.

She said something like it’s only been 7 weeks. It seems like forever. One of her weeks, one of her days, can feel like an eternity to us, especially when we’re so alone. I don’t know anyone who could take being left alone as much as we have, though…but it’s supposed to be okay for us?? It already feels like it’s too late for people to be here for us…I don’t know that I trust them with my broken heart.

Kathy* called and asked if “it’s getting better.” NO, it will never be better! It feels like sadness pervades my whole being.

Oh, what are we going to do without Jason??? How do we go on???

I’m stuck in time at a moment without him. He was my ray of sunshine. My heart is so broken. I thought I knew what heartbreak was, but I really didn’t know what a broken heart was until now. It’s not getting any better, and it’s not getting any easier.

I don’t know what to do to change things. I just want Jason back. I want to walk into his room in the mornings and hear his sleep “Hi, mommy.” Even as a 19 year old, he’d still call me “mommy” once in a while. I was in Jason’s room the other morning. It seems like he should be back any minute. All I have to do is plug in the Christmas lights and turn on his computer, and he’ll be right home, won’t he?

How I wish I could change that awful night. How do I go on?

Lost relationships

I learned today about the death of the sister of someone I know – someone who was a very dear friend. I have never known two sisters who were closer. At one point, I used to be an honorary sister, too.

But those relationships grew distant as I disappeared into a black hole after Jason died. I was in so much pain after the death of our precious son. I was so hurt at being left so alone that I pushed a lot of people away…scared them away with my deep grief. I tried to reach out to people as best I knew how, but there was so little response…sometimes I felt like my hand was slapped for reaching out. I felt like they had failed me when I needed them most, had left me  – and our immediate family – so alone in our huge grief when we had NO extended family close by…and I didn’t know how to handle it. I hurt on so many levels. I pushed them away. I held them at arm’s distance. I couldn’t stand the pain on top of pain – the secondary wounds on top of the huge gaping wound of Jason’s death – so I disappeared behind my wall to protect my wounded heart. In the process, I have lost many relationships…maybe I would have lost them anyway. I don’t know. Not many people can stick it out for the  long haul.

So many years have passed…and those relationships have grown so distant. I don’t know if they can ever be resurrected.

My instinct is to rush to my friend’s side and comfort her. She has remained in my heart in a special way, but I don’t think she knows that. If you push people away in times of grief , pretty soon they don’t know what else to do but stay away. And they move on. The relationship changes, sometimes beyond repair.

We live on the other side of the country now, but I allowed walls to be built – I built walls – between us when I was in so much pain myself that I don’t think she would welcome my offerings at all. I wish things were different. I would like to be there for her now…I would like her to know how much I care.