Thursday, June 04, 2009

It Can't Be Stopped (written on a very bad day)

This is Joey and me at his Waikapu house when it was being built. His future. Our future. Him, on island, with Rachel, babies, celebrations, love, laughter, music, conversations, dreams.

“Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
Job 7:11

Sometimes, I get ashamed of talking about my grief. "I should be better now", "I am a Christian--don't I trust God?", "Others seem to be doing better than I am", "People want me to move on", "My family needs me".

The simple fact is, I can't help myself. I can't stop it. I can delay it, postpone it, ignore it for a little while, but that requires a lot of energy and concentration-- like holding my breath, or holding in my stomach, and after a while I can't do it anymore and I let go.

My grief is omnipresent. My loss of Joey is my first and last thought in each day, and in my breathing all day long, and in fact it lives in it's own place in my chest a tumor that grew around my heart one night. It won't kill me living in there, it's just impossible to remove it because it's tentacles reach into my blood supply. It can't be taken out. It must be lived with. And my heart and my breathing go on, but will never be the same again.

I found the following excerpts on the internet. Thank God for the internet. It is such a place of solace for the grieving. My kids say, "You are always on your computer, Mom". Yes, I am. It's my chapel. It's where my counselors and my comforters live. I can say here what I feel and no one stops me. I don't hurt anyone here. It's my safest place right now. Thank God for people who write about grief. They have made room in the circle for me. I hope there is someone who feels that way about me and my words.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote the classic book “On Death and Dying” which we read after Joey passed. These are some words from a follow up book called, “On Grief and Grieving,”

The Inner World Of Grief

Everyone experiences many losses throughout life, but the death of a loved one is unmatched for its emptiness and profound sadness. Your world stops. You know the exact time your loved one died – or the exact moment you were told. It is marked in your mind. Your world takes on a slowness, a surrealness. It seems strange that the clocks in the world continue when your inner clock does not.

No one can give you words to make you feel better; there are none.

Your loss and the grief that accompanies it are very personal, different from anyone else’s. Others may share the experience of their losses. They may try to console you in the only way they know. But your loss stands in its meaning to you, in its painful uniqueness.

We all play roles in our lives: spouse, parent, child, family member, friend. You know your loved one in a way that no one else ever did or ever will. One person’s dying touches many people in many different ways; everyone feels that loss individually. Your task in your own mourning and grieving is to fully recognize your own loss, to see it as only you can. In paying the respect and taking the time it deserves, you bring integrity to the deep loss that is yours.

“Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
Job 7:11


Liza's Eyeview said...

..... can't find words to encourage, except to say that I understand where you are coming from when you speak about the internet being your "safest place".

Gannet Girl said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. What a fine son and brother in your lives! My deepest and most heartfelt condolences to all of you for your terrible, terrible loss.

Your quote from Alyosha was essentially the text for our pastor's funeral sermon for our son.

Anonymous said...

I can hear the agony of the pain you feel in the words you write. You are probably one of the more fornuate grievers who can express their deep grief when putting pen to paper. We all ache with you, even if its only an ounce of what your feel.

Love, grace, mercy, comfort, Psalms, encouragement, healing, peace, solice, hugs, emphathy, Jesus, eternal life. Forever.

Toni Spence

Liza's Eyeview said...


I think you should attend this seminar/workshop:

YOu will meet a lot of great women there. You will be ministered to as well a you will be able to minister to others.

If I can afford flying over there I would attend. Since you are close there I think you should go.

Love you,

Anonymous said...

Karen and Joe
Just a note to tell you how much I love you both. I think of you often and the grief you feel. You put into words so eloquently such a deep pain. I know when my mom died I felt so lost for a little over 2 years. I always tried to see the good, cling to God's promises, and move on. It surprised me how long it took. I can say it(my sense of loss) is not really over it is just differant and less prominent but always close underneath. I really thought oh!, 1 year and all the "anniversaries" I should be getting better. It didn't, I lived life in a a dulled sense of color, just slightly out of focus. I had many other good things going on and tried to enjoy them, but it just seemed muted like I was in the same room but with an invisible wall. I know my loss is more natural and how badly I hurt. I can't even imagine the magnification of yours except through your sharing. I guess I am writing to encourage you that even though we both are aware of "grief is individual" in that the time it takes, but just to share that it is YOUR timing and don't ever feel rushed by anyone or yourself.
Lots of Love, Jackie

Anonymous said...

Beautifully spoken Jackie!
I see it as paralysis Karen. It’s almost like you’ve been in an accident and when the shock wears off you discover it’s not your arms, legs and fingers that can’t move but it’s your heart that is suffocating, weighted down by wave after wave of immeasurable grief. The waves grow further and further apart but in the process the landscape has completely changed. Only you understand what will best comfort you and hopefully the ones that love you will also understand. I think people who have had similar losses can relate to your pain but I think it comes to be extremely personal as it should be. Only you know how much you loved Joey and Joey loved you and that becomes a very protective place in your heart. With all your writings you have given your readers a glimpse of your love for Joey through your pain. And with that, I think your writings are your greatest source of healing.
Jackie said it well, don't feel rushed by anyone or yourself!
You two are loved.

Maisha said...

I love the quote and I love what Jackie said. Each individual grieves differently, and we don't know what the other is feeling; but, know this...I'm always thinking of you and I'm always holding you in my heart. I pray God comforts your pain, and I know He can do it because I have witnessed it within myself.

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen,
Love the quote. I appreciate you continually, sharing your grief with us all. I can only speak for myself, but it has been a great help to me in somehow trying to get a handle on my own grief. JJ was and will always be the best friend ever.

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