Conversation with the gal who cut my hair

My conversation today with the gal who cut my hair went something like this:

Me: How are you today?

Her: It’s been rough. My dog died yesterday. It’s like losing a child!

Me: I’ve lost a child.

Her: You know what it’s like then! It’s like losing a child, isn’t it?!

I decided to let it go. It would not have done any good to try to explain that losing a dog is not even on the same planet as having a child die. I don’t understand how anyone can even equate the two.

~Becky

© 2019 Rebecca R. Carney

 

Everything I own

Sitting at work today, working away while Pandora plays on my computer, and a song comes on called “Everything I Own” by a group called Bread. There are times when words from a song just hit me right in the heart. Perhaps not all of the words fit, but sometimes it strikes a chord with the longing that I feel in my heart. This song is one of those.

 

Everything I Own

Lyrics (partial)

…And I would give anything I own,
I’d give up my life, my heart, my home
I would give everything I own,
Just to have you back again
Is there someone you know,
Your loving them so,
But taking them all for granted?
You may lose them one day
Someone takes them away,
And they don’t hear the words you long to say
I would give anything I own,
I’d give up my life, my heart, my home
I would give everything I own,
Just to have you back again
Just to touch you once again

 

Jason, oh, how I wish I could have you back again.

~Becky

© 2019 Rebecca R. Carney

Heaven

As a boy I thought of Heaven as a glorious golden city, with nobody in it but angels, and they were all strangers to me. When my little brother died, then I thought of Heaven as that great city, full of angels, with just one little fellow in it. Then my acquaintances began to die, and the number of my friends in Heaven grew larger. But, it was not until one of my own little ones was taken that I began to feel a personal interest in Heaven. Now so many friends and loved ones have gone there, that it seems I know more in Heaven than on earth. Now, when my thoughts turn to Heaven, it is not the gold walls I think of — but the loved ones there. It is not the place so much as the company that makes Heaven seem beautiful.

Author unknown

from Forever Remembered Compiled by Dan Zadra and Marcia Woodard, © 1997 by Compendium, Inc.

Once in a while, I cannot help but long for my heavenly home where Jason, our baby, my parents and grandparents, Alina and so many other friends and family have gone on before. I, too, no longer think of heaven in terms of its promised physical beauty, but in terms of the beautiful loved ones who are waiting there. I look forward to a day when our tears will be wiped away once and for all, where death and sorrow will be no more.

~Becky

© 2019 Rebecca R. Carney

We Remember Them

At the rising of the sun and its going down,

We remember them.

At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,

We remember them.

At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring,

We remember them.

At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn,

We remember them.

At the beginning of the year and when it ends,

We remember them.

As long as we live, they too will live.

They are a part of us,

We remember them.

~from Gates of Prayer, Judiasm Prayerbook

Jason David Carney

July 29, 1982 – March 3, 2002

My precious boy, I will never forget you. I love you.

~Mom

© 2019 Rebecca R. Carney

Sit with me and be my friend

I was sitting, torn by grief. Someone came and talked to me of God’s dealings, of why it happened, of why my loved one had died, of hope beyond the grave. He talked constantly. He said things I knew were true. I was unmoved, except to wish he’d go away. He finally did.

Another came and sat beside me. He didn’t talk. He didn’t ask me leading questions. He just sat beside me for an hour or more, listening when I said something, answered briefly, prayed simply, left. I was moved. I was comforted. I hated to see him go.

~Joe Bayly

from Forever Remembered Compiled by Dan Zadra and Marcia Woodard, © 1997 by Compendium, Inc.

Struggling

One would think I would be used to some of this grieving stuff by now, but there are times when something raises its head and I have to deal with it all over again. Just when I think I’ve got at least a partial handle on the reality of the way things are now, something comes up and pierces my heart.

This time it’s grandkids.

Two of my boss’s grown children have recently surprised him and his wife with announcements of additional grandchildren arriving in the near future. He is so excited to show this kind of thing to me. He’s so proud of the way his children announced the news to them. Fun, cute announcements. So excited for more grandchildren arriving soon. Can’t wait to play with them, be grandpa.

I’m happy for them, but I’m also really struggling with it right now.

While it’s true we have three grandchildren, it’s also true that it has not been the Norman Rockwell-esque scenario we were looking forward to – not by a long, long shot. From the beginning of their relationship, our (now) daughter-in-law has done everything in her power – I’m not sure whether consciously or subconsciously, although maybe some of each – to cause division and problems between our son and us, and to make sure Joe and I know of how little value and importance she feels we are to their family. She has also done a more-than-adequate job of communicating this sentiment over and over again in many different ways to our son and grandkids. I will refrain from saying any more, although there is much more I could say. It has been a difficult pill to swallow. Since we live all the way across the country, it’s also a very difficult sentiment to counteract.

It breaks my heart. We have done everything we can, absent moving back to Seattle, to show them how much we love them and how much they mean to us. I don’t know how much good it’s done or if it’s even registered. It’s hard to tell. Even if we moved back now, it would be too little, too late. At ages 20, 13 and 9, the patterns have already been set, opportunities missed never to return.

Joe is and has always been a great dad. I could not have asked for a better man to be the father of our kids. When the kids were little, he would come home from work and play with them, read to them, play board games, take them swimming – all after a long day’s work. He’d make up games or change up the rules to games to make them more fun or different. He’d read books backwards, just to make the kids laugh. When the kids’ friends would come over, they would beg Joe to play “swamp monster” with them, to which he would happily oblige. As they got older, he always had time for them. He even helped our daughter and her friend dye their hair. He really was looking forward to doing the same with grandkids. He told me once that he could just imagine grandkids running around our house and it made him so happy.

I had my own vision of grandkid fun – baking, crafts, exploring, drawing, painting. Before we moved from Seattle, I tried to take our grandson places and plan fun activities as much as I was “allowed” to do so. Once we moved, those opportunities were gone.

Our daughter doesn’t want kids at all. She has said that exact same thing since she first took a babysitting class at the age of 12. We have come to the realization that she meant exactly what she said. It’s certainly her choice and we respect her wishes.

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Jason and our grandson Michael – Summer 2001

Jason was my hope – my hope for a daughter-in-law that would be glad to be a part of our family, for grandkids that we could love and spoil, who would be happy to see us and love us in return. The whole Norman Rockwell thing. I was looking forward to being that kind of grandparent, as was Joe – REALLY looking forward to it. Some days the realization of what we have missed because of Jason’s death hits us square in the face, right in the heart. And it hurts.

I’m happy for friends I know whose children have gotten married, had grandchildren, bought houses, etc. I see their photos and announcements on Facebook or wherever, and I’m truly happy for them. But my heart hurts that this part of our future died with Jason. He would have been a great husband, a great father. He was so fun, loving and kind. He loved kids. He loved us. I know he was looking to all of those adventures. We were, too.

And it makes me sad. Just being honest – I’m really struggling with this today.

~Becky

© 2019 Rebecca R. Carney

 

 

Something that bears repeating regarding support

I wrote something in my last book review post that I feel bears repeating. To quote my previous post:

As one of ten kids and pastor of a large church, the author mentions several times about the incredible support that they had. In writing this section, as well as other places where the he talks about support or finding support, I realized that I have come to this conclusion: As difficult as it is for a person who has never experienced the death of a child to realize how difficult it is to walk the daily walk of a parent whose child has died, it is similarly difficult for a person who has had support in their walk as a bereaved parent to truly understand what it’s like to NOT have such support. The notion that everyone has or can find adequate support in their grief journey is an assumptive, erroneous one. I wish it were otherwise and that every bereaved parent had or could find adequate support, but I know firsthand that it’s not.

No loss is the same. No griever is the same. No grief is the same. Circumstances of death are not the same. Support and support systems are not the same. It’s important to realize that, although bereaved parents have all been thrown into the “club no one wants to join,” we all walk similar, yet different, paths. As fellow bereaved parents, we need to check assumptions at the door, just as we would wish the non-bereaved would check their assumptions at the door about what this walk of grief is like and how long and difficult it really is. I truly, truly rejoice with those who have support; my heart goes out for those who don’t.

Also, a previous post regarding assumptions about adequate support can be found here: https://onewomansperspective02.wordpress.com/2019/01/26/dont-assume-everyone-has-adequate-support-in-grief/

~Becky

© 2019 Rebecca R. Carney