Posts Categorized: grief

Battling Impusliveness in Grief and Depression

Yesterday was intensely hard from the moment my eyes blinked open, and today is not. That is the strange thing about grief, it doesn’t always have a rhyme or reason in its approach, it just is. Days like yesterday are happening less and less, but they sap the life out of me. It is the feeling that I cannot go on in this reality. Have you carried the weight of those days?

They are very dangerous times for those of us who battle depression. Impulsiveness can lead to self medicating the pain in some form or fashion. While my impulsiveness has matured through disciplined practice, it has not lost its voice. So what to do in such moments?

1. Let others help. Don’t battle alone. Took the kids to a play date with a friend.

2. Seek out laughter. It is good medicine. One word… trampoline!

3. Cry. It is okay to mourn. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

4. Keep away from sharp objects. This is crucial when impulsiveness tries to back door its way into depression. Slam that door shut by removing the option for hasty decisions.

5. Pray. The Lord will never leave you, nor forsake you. That has given me more strength to make it through the hardest days; days my own will power cannot sustain.

6. Be thankful. Thank you for your prayers, for reaching out into my darkest hours. Lord, thank you, when I cry out, you hear my plea and give me your strength in my weakness.

(As an after note. My mom just called to see how I was doing. She reminded me that yesterday was the day I put my son in the ground. I never consciously acknowledged the significance. Maybe there is a rhyme and reason for the intensity of my grief yesterday.)

Too much

I’m angry today. Angry that you aren’t here laughing with me.

Lord, I cry out to you! Fill my heart with your love. I need you, the heartache is too much!

I Don’t Know What My Life Will Be Like Tomorrow

James 4:14Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”

I don’t remember what we were doing the day before my son died. I know that I prayed for Jonathan, I was in the habit of that, and since Brian had taken the week off for vacation we were having fun with Daniel and Natalie, but I don’t remember the details.

We don’t know what the next moment holds–celebration or pain. We are commanded to neither be in fear of the next second nor hold so tightly to things staying the same that we miss out on the joys that come in the morning. Today my kids built an amazing domino tower. I cleaned the garage and started a step program. I held Natalie who doesn’t feel well and scared the snot out of Daniel who was attempting to scare me. I laughed, I sang, I prayed . . . and I turn the page.

Tomorrow I open my heart wide to what the Lord has for me in that day.

Love Always,

Karisa

Anniversary Letter

Dear Reader,

The day my eighteen year old son’s suicide is fast approaching and I don’t want to celebrate. It was a horrible, mind numbing, and life altering day of deep agony. I don’t want it to be an anniversary of his death, but a day we chose to live! I want it to be the day that you declare “You knit me together in my mother’s womb, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I know that full well!”

I want it to be a day that we reach beyond barriers to share that we matter to each other. I long for it to be a day that the one thing you thought you couldn’t accomplish that you complete. I want it to be a day that every breath matters. I want it to be a day of thanksgiving. If you haven’t begun, may it be a day of beginning. I want it to be a day that you realize that all things are possible through Christ! I want the things that lie dormant in each of us to see sunshine and blossom. I want you to write another word, another sentence, another paragraph and another page until your book is complete.

Your life touches mine. We aren’t separate, we aren’t isolated, and your story matters to me and so many others. There are so many things accomplished by people in deep hardships, how can we not look at their witness and break the chains of depression? How can we not root each other on to complete our mission. Be bold, be courageous, and be sure footed in your journey. You may have struggled with turning the page on Jonathan’s death, on the death of other friends, on divorce, on illness—turn the page. God turned the page on sin and death through his son dying on the cross. The disciples turned the page of resurrection to share what they had seen and heard. We don’t need to torture ourselves, we don’t need to prove ourselves and we certainly will never earn grace. Each day is a free gift. Love, live, and write each moment well! That is the anniversary I will celebrate.

Sincerely,

Karisa

Grieving With the Mouse

What I’ve learned about grieving while having extravagant fun:

1. Your loved one should be present at the event, so don’t expect your laugh, your plans, or your new life to not have the “empty chair” feeling. (I miss my rollercoaster partner.)

2. Honor their memory by being present with those around you.

3. Keep it simple. Complicated plans tend to unravel more easily, as well as tempers, when your emotions are raw and healing.

4. It is okay to have down time. Rest if you need it.

5. Do something that you would have done with the person. (Mount Everest was awesome!)

6. It is okay to cry.

7. Just keep swimming! One day you will find healing and have many adventures to share along the way. Who knows . . . you might see a Sea Turtle along the way!

Life's new Adventure.

Life’s new Adventure.

Finding Nemo Musical

Questions for those who Grieve

Been a bit occupied with a certain mouse these past few days so I haven’t had a chance to write until today. Extravagant fun is hard for me. I know its early, but I’d kind of like to stop searching for Jonathan in the crowd. I know where he is, but it is like my whole system of being needs a reboot. For eighteen years my son was a part of my everyday living in someway, and though I know no one is wanting me to erase him as if he never existed, there is an expectation for me to enjoy what I do have in front of me today.

As I grieve, evenings are the hardest. I’m weary, my defenses are lower, and I seem to get more gut punches after 6. I tend to go inward, rather than connect with my surroundings. So I’m trying to figure out how to move through those hard moments. Any suggestions from my fellow grievers? How do I manage the darker moments without disconnecting from my family or the good memories that could be developed.

Not My Will But Yours Be Done: Learning to accept God’s Sovereignty

John 19:26When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

As I was going to sleep last night, a thought popped into my head. Mary lost a child to a brutal death. In fact she lost at least two! James, her biological son with Joseph it is believed was stoned to death for preaching the gospel. This is no mother’s plan! Mary had to be numb and collapsing as she saw Jesus, the son of God, being crucified on the cross. God did not tell her that this was the road to salvation. It is safe to say that she was not in agreement with the dangerous path Jesus was walking. In her wisdom, she wanted to keep him safe, just as she had always done. She remembered fleeing from Cesar when Jesus was a baby. She remember how this precious life changed her very existence as he grew in her belly. She had done everything she could to sustain him, to keep him alive, to be a good steward of God’s amazing gift. Surely him hanging on the cross was not God’s will. Jesus did nothing as she expected. And yet, even from the cross Jesus was concerned for his mother and providing for her.

No matter how great the plan we make as a mother, God’s plan is better. He has the end goal end in mind, when I cannot even see the finish line. His love is for all of humanity. My love is for a few. His judgment is not clouded and mine is darkened by my own selfish desires. His path is consistent, he neither wavers nor stumbles. God’s plan for Jesus was perfect. God’s plan for Jonathan was perfect. Oh, how weighty those words are for me! They are bitter in my soul. Please hear me, while God did not cause my son’s death, he didn’t stop it either–AND HE IS COMPLETELY ABLE TO! To accept God’s sovereignty in my son’s death is one of the hardest hurdles in my faith. Yet I have believed that he is sovereign in the good things in my life. Why not in death as well?

He has a purpose in allowing Jonathan to die, and as I learn to open myself to the possibilities in his purposes may the friction between my will and God’s will be removed. What is happening in your life right now that you find yourself saying, “Surely this is not the will of God.” Are you battling cancer, is a loved one ill, have you lost your job, is your marriage in shambles. Can we pray as Jesus prayed?:

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
    as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
    Yes. Yes. Yes. (Matthew 6:9-13, The Message)

Survivors of Suicide Support: Reaching out for understanding

Today has not ended as it began. I was down, really down. I mean so far down that the enemy attempted to take ground long since won in my life. It was that way until just an hour ago when I went to my once a month survivor’s group. I felt so dead inside as I walked into that crowded room. It seemed like each person touched a different part of my heartache and gave me permission to be where I am. As I left I determined two things.

1. It is okay for me to enjoy life ( Jonathan would dismiss what I now see as guilt for living as silly.)

2. It is okay for others to be where they are. Not everyone will understand my grief and I don’t want them to, because if they did, it would mean that they too have lost a child to suicide.

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Suicide Hotline

National Suicide Hotline

If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to the website at  SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.