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Grief & Healing from a Christian-Biblical Worldview


4everjoeysmom

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4everjoeysmom

I pray that this will be a place where we can continue our journey and share our faith along the way through love and encouragement to one another.  While this thread is initiated not as a place for "preaching" per se, it should be a place (specifically noted by title) where we can share openly about our pain, our loss, our grief journey, and our healing through our faith.  Because the title of this thread being very specific, catered toward grieving parents with a Christian Worldview, I should hope that folks that do not choose to live by a Biblical worldview can graciously and gracefully allow us our forum without chastising or entering into grievious commentary.  We can only hope and pray....

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Clauida,

I will be here with you! I hope that you post more of your views and beliefs.

You are really helping me daily by reading your post!! I really feel this my be your calling for now at least for me.

It will be 3 months tomorrow and I'm not taking any meds at all just living with the pain but knowing that my sweet baby girl is with her heavenly father and that's where she should be no matter what I want.

My wish is that the people I meet will see in me the Lord's work in my life and his streghth that is seeing me through this storm.

And knowing that I will see Danielle again one day and to her it not going to seem like but a second.

Thanks again for this site you have created.

Sonya

Danielle's Mama

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4everjoeysmom

Sonya, I am really very proud of you for taking courage and strength in the promises of God.  I know how very difficult it is to get through these first months and even the coming ones, because about now (3 months) is when my fog started to lift, and I crashed hard, becoming extremely depressed.  It seemed like everyone I knew abandoned me, except my husband, because no one knew what to say.  In reality, they really didn;t have to say anything except that they love me still and they know I am hurting.

I will specifically pray for you regarding this 3 month date.  I know with it will come many, many tears.  I read a devistional the other day about Tears in a Bottle, and how in ancient days tears were collected in bottles during times of weeping and mourning.  It ended by saying that God is catching our tears in a bottle, and one day we will be in His place of no more tears and mourning.  Though I have much to do here in this life, I do look forward to that day.

Please share more about your precious Danielle when you feel up to it.  While my focus is on the heavenly, I do also have a great need and desire to speak of Joey.  I say his name all the time, and I make gestures sometimes and catch myself, thinking how much that was like the way Joey would have said it, etc.  He is and always will be a part of me, as will your precious Danielle be a part of you.  And we can't nor should we ever want to put that on a shelf.  I've healed tremendously through my relationship with Christ.  This is true.  But I am also healing greatly along the way by "remembering Joey".  It has taken away all those early fears that I will forget him.  I was just saying to my hisband last night how weird it is that my memories will be perpetually stuck at his being 24 years old as Patrick (my son) grows older and such.  But my heart has blossomed in being open to imagining Joey now, where he is, and cherishing every detail that I can remember about him while he was mine, here with me.  I know truthfully he was never mine to own.  But I am ever grateful for the blessing of having and knowing him.  I know you must feel the very same...

Also, one quick note...  I get daily devotionals in my e-mail, and there is one particular writer that just hits my core and blesses me continually.  Her name is Jill Carattini with ravi Zacharias ministries.  Go to www.rzim.org when you can and sign up to receive the devotional called, A Slice of Infinity.  She doesn;t write every day, but many of the devotionals are her writings, and I just love them--my favorites actually.  I think you would be really blessed by them too...

BIG HUGS, Blessings, and many prayers for comfort and His peace to you! -Claudia

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Claudia, I too am glad you started this forum. It felt so akward that people were chastizing you for your belief in Christ. I guess I have been sheltered from that in my little corner of the world. I don't know if thats the correct way to put it but I didn't like the feeling I was getting and I was just about to abandon BI. I know what I believe and I like learning more about those beliefs and I do not care or judge anyone for what they believe. I ,like Sonya, have found a Peace in your writing. Like I said before, I had started on this grief journey with that peace and knowing God was there holding me up(like the song Held) so clearly states,but for me the numbness of this horrible realization that Mikey is really not on this earth any longer and just missing him more and the longer it goes on the worse it was getting for me, the holiday season, the anniversary of Mikes accident(nov 23,2006-Thanksgiving), the post-traumatic stress from me being behind him in my car and seeing the accident ,(seeing him in the car in my thoughts rather than his beautiful smiling face), the cars, my beautiful sons trapped in the car,one barely breathing and dying at the scene,the trial of the kid that killed Mike being postponed time and time again,was all too much for me. We went to a ceremony at Mike's university where they honored him on senior night (soccer) and retired his # as it was beautiful and meant so much to me, it also was very hard to deal with and seeing my other son act almost catonic. Just sad thoughts all the time I guess I was spiraling deeper and deeper, although I did pray and read the devotionals and Bible everyday before I got out of bed, I don't know      but I do know God was there , for one reason I know for sure is that I did not kill myself or totally shut everyone out. I tried to act like I was OK to help all the young people affected by Mike's loss by my faith. I guess it worked but I know deep in my heart I was in trouble with depression. I do think that there are times, like mine, when meds are appropriate, I am taking lexapro but sice it has not been helping me as much as it should per my counselor they are adding another one. But just talking to you the last couple of days has helped me to RE-FOCUS on God, being the best I can be,changing my thinking pattern etc. Reading Sonya's posts has helped too and some of the other Christian believers. I need that so much now. Like I said before, I was trying to do it by myself but it definetely helps talking with others of the same faith. By the way I am Catholic but that is being a Christian. I was baptized as a baby but I have asked Jesus to come into my life and accepted him as my Lord and Savior, on the phone, with Mike's soccer coach, after Mike went to be with God. Mike had the green scapular that his Grandma gave him in his wallet when he had the accident. I do not really need to get into that, it is a Catholic belief. We are all Christians, that's whats important to me. Thank you again. God Bless you as you continue your ministery in Equador and here on BI.

BigMikesMom-Patti

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4everjoeysmom

Patti, my heart just aches so much for you.  I know exactly that place in grief.  I called deep mourning when I was there, and it can really take us for a dive into very deep depression.  I was there for about 9 months, I think.  Once it set in, I didn't think I would find my way out.  I wondered if I would ever have days that wouldn't feel as if they could swallow me up.  Like you, I tried to be faithful in reading daily devotionals, praying a lot, and seeking really hard to find what all God has to say about mourning, when one dies from this life, heaven, and everything I could think of that related to me and my loss and Joey and his passing into his eternal life.  I didn't find every answer to every question, but I am finding in time that God is revealing bits and pieces for me, not just about eternity and what He has waiting for us there, but also things about His nature and who He is.  I have a book someone gave me as a goft last Christmas.  It's called The Wonderful names of Our Wonderful God.  There must be at least a hundred or more descriptions of God's character, which the book refers to as names.  I know there are about a dozen names in the Jahovah context, like Jahovah Shammah--meaning You are the God that's there.  And Jahovah Jireh--meaning the Lord is our Provider...and so on.  But the book I have is so incredibly detailed in the many different names about God.  I decided I was going to read one per week, meditate on it, pray and ask Him to reveal to me something intimate and personal about that part of his character.  We'll see what happens.  I'm pretty excited about that.  It has taken me a year to really look at the book with more than a glance.  So, I think maybe God pointed it out to me again and has something very special to show me in this new devotional trek.

Big Mike's soccer coach sounds like a Big Heart.  I think it is beautiful that he reached out to you and prayed with you.  I feel very honored by some of the things you've shared and I am very happy to walk this journey together of grieving, healing and faith.  I wish none of us had to grieve so and experience this kind of loss.  But I do believe in the wake of the loss, miracles and blessings are happening for us in spite of the tears and why's, and our kids are celebrating the risen Lord face to face with Him.  That's a pretty cool vision.  I've studied from time to time about our Rewards in heaven.  I wonder what Joey got for rewards.  He walked a pretty curvy path, so it's hard to imagine.  But I should think being there at all is reward enough.  I know it isn;t the same there as it is here, where folks are comparing what they have and stuff like that.  It must be so wonderful and peaceful.

Speaking of peace.  I was having a discussion with my husband at breakfast this morning, and I heard myself saying that despite the many trials we've faced, and the many more to come, I believe I have more peace in my life right now than I ever have.  That's pretty remarkable to hear myself say, especially after how tormented and depressed I felt a year ago.  There is Hope!!    :)

About changing threads...  The primary thing that makes me really, really sad is when no matter what is being shared, if even one person is being truly helped by it, then it should be seen as a blessing for that one person instead of an attack to the many others that are getting nothing from it.  I've always been a pick and choose kind of person.  If it doesn't work for me, I move on.  If someone is getting helped, I am very happy for them.  We all need to feel connected in some way.  And the reality of the world is that not everyone speks my love language, and I'm sure I definitely don't do it for a lot of folks either.  Grief can be a selfish monster in that it's hard a lot of times to look past our own hurt and needs to see the good of someone else's being fulfilled.  It's lonely, this thing called grief.  It's misunderstood, especially when faith comes into play.  I don't hold it against anyone if they want to bite my head off for what I believe.  It's generally to be expected.  I just get sad when it affects others badly as well, like you saying you almost left BI.  Now THAT truly would have been very sad.  I'm glad you didn't leave.  I can't say for sure that we will get the true freedom here on this thread to share w/o others interjecting blasts of opionions, but if it does happen, maybe we can agree now to just ignore it and keep to what's good and of good report, and of honor.  k?  I don't have any motives other than to be here, on this thread, sharing and caring in the name of Jesus.

As Paul wrote to the Philippians:

Phi 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Phi 4:9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

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4everjoeysmom

p.s.  Patti, I always love to hear when schools and organizations that our kids were part of do something special to honor our kids.  Retiring a number is a really big honor that I'm sure made you proud, even though it was bittersweet.  Big Mike would have loved that, I'm guessing.  The college where Joey was attending honored him bu putting a bookplate with his name on it in one of the new books they put in their Agricultural library last year.  Joey died on July 31st 2006.  He would have graduated with his BA this month... (sigh)  I think of things like that and do get sad...but mostly for myself, because his dreams were my dreams too.

ANyway, I had forgot to mention that in my last post---about the team honoring Mike.  So cool...    Hugs, Claudia

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Dear Claudia, I am so glad you started this thread.  I read about it in the "belief in God" forum.  It is so hard to understand why some people are driven to constantly push their different beliefs whenvever anyone states they believe in the Christian God. You know what I mean.  As we grieve, some people struggle with their belief in a loving God.  For me, it was the opposite.  I know that God had nothing to do with the death of my husband.  I knew that from day 1.  If my faith in God had not been so strong I could not have survived.  He has taken care of me from the beginning and continues to give me strength and courage to live this new life. 

I wish us all peace this day.

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Claudia,

I think it's great you started this thread ! You and Jackie have been such a blessing to me this past year+ since I lost Harvey(on loss of sibling thread). I was lost and wasn't sure of Faith when I walked to BI last year. Your's & Jackie's strong faith helped me come back to my faith walk again(this time last year). I believe faith is a main ingredient for healing. It's played a major role in my grief recovery. I always appreciate the scripture you share. It's a blessing to know a spiritual warrior in you,keep up the Good work :-)

Blessings,

Diane

 

PS..Are you near the Volcano in Ecuador that's errupting?? 

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Hi, Claudia.  I read your message to me on the other site.  I hadn't even looked at this site since my loss was not a child, so I'm glad you pointed out to me that you started this thread.  I agree so much with sidvis that my faith has only grown stronger since dealing with my loss these past several years.  I understand that some people struggle with anger towards God, but that has never been any problem I've struggled with myself.  (That is not to say that my faith has not been strongly tested... just in other ways.)  I, too, can't really understand why people of other belief backgrounds seem to want to post on specifically Christian (or what at least looks like specifically Christian) sites, but I guess the Enemy just never backs down for any reason.

Yes, you are right that I'm looking for specifically Christian-based support in dealing with my grief, as I'm sure many people are, and find it somewhat frustrating to have other ideas or beliefs thrust at me in my search, no matter how strongly I stress my own convictions.  Thank you for inviting me to come to this thread.

I've read what you've written to other grieving people on other threads and have always appreciated what you had to say.  It is obvious that you have a strong faith in Jesus Christ, i.e. the Biblical God or the God who is presented in the Scriptures, and that is exactly what I'm looking for in support of my own grief.  Hopefully, we can all join in supporting each other in our individual struggles, which may be different types of losses, but are alike in so many ways. 

I am not unfamiliar with what it must be like to lose a child.  My younger brother died when I was 14; he was 13.  I watched my mother sink down into the miry swamp of depression after he died and know very well the toll the loss of a child takes on a family.  Having no understanding of grief back then or how to properly (hopefully - who know what "properly" really is in grief?) work through our grief, we did what most all people did back then, which was to suppress it.  That naturally caused a domino effect in my own life, as welll as the lives of my parents, as other losses cropped up in our lives because we had not dealt with the first loss completely or healthily. 

Then 6 years later when my husband died at 25 (I was 21), I did the same thing we had done when my brother died - repress the grief.  It finally came up years and years later when my mother finally died at 86 four years ago.  They call it "complicated grief" and it really was what its name implies.  Thus began the darkest time of my life these past 4-5 years.  My faith, which was always strong,  has been tested in ways I didn't even know possible.  I'm sure all reading this can relate in their own struggles since their loss occurred.  I have no close friends who have been able to offer any real support, so I've just struggled through, which has been most difficult.  I'm so thankful to the Lord that He has directed me to this website and now to all of you.

So, Claudia, this brings me back to the things I've read that you have written on the loss of a husband/spouse thread.  I knew you were Biblilcally based in your thinking and beliefs, so when I saw that you had written on the "I believe in God" thread, I posted there hoping I would hear from you, as well as other Christians, and that we might be able to help each other.  I want to "give" as well as "take", so I offer myself to any of you, as well, in any way that I can help you in your struggles.

In Christ,

Oneta

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4everjoeysmom

Thanks Diane and Sidvis for your supportive posts.  Please come back and visit here and share your faith and healing with others who are groeving and walking the journey as we.

The volcano, Tungarahua I think its called, is about 80 miles south of Quito, but several hours by car.  It is at or near a very popular resort called Banos.  The only affects we've felt from here are minor earth tremors occasionally.  One of the tremors buckled some of our floor tiles and they cracked, now needing to be replaced.  We've had a lot of rain too, so that coupled with the tremors has caused a few landslides immediately nearby where we live.  But so far, so good, and we really do feel God's protection over this ministry retreat site.  Thank you for asking and do please keep the people of Ecuador that are being affected in your prayers, if you don't mind.

You all are such a sweet blessing to me as well...  I love you girls!!  Hugs, Claudia

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By the way, just wanted to add that I, too, (I read that someone else had almost left) almost left BI because of the attacks from others on anything I said that was strongly Christian.  While I was away, I was contacted privately by another woman who asked me to be her email buddy, and she and I have supported each other for the past several months, but I am so thankful that you have started this new thread where we can (hopefully) express ourselves without fear of attack.  It's hard enough to grieve without your faith being attacked, as well.  I was literally asked in a private email by another grieving widow to "tone it down" in the things I said on BI.  I thought, "Well, I can't 'tone it down', and I don't want to give offense to others who are grieving, and it certainly isn't helping me if I can't say what I believe in my deepest being, so I just got discouraged and quit coming.  With the other lady I had become email pals with, I felt I should be content with just that.  A few weeks ago, she wrote me that she had been back on BI, so I thought I'd read on it -- that couldn't hurt, I figured.  Then I saw the "I believe in God" thread, so I thought maybe that was the thing I needed.  This is perfect, I should think, so hopefully it will work for all of us. 

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4everjoeysmom

Oneta, God bless you, and thank you so much for coming here and sharing.  I know the growing connection between us all will tremendously bless us and help us through these difficult parts of our journey and beyond.  When one is down, there will be one here to lift her up, and when we feel strong we can offer support to those being crushed by the weight of sorrow.  This is exactly what God intended us to be for each other.  I am so thankful for each of you.

I am so sorry for the loss of your little brother, as well as your husband at such a young age.  I simply cannot imagine losing my life partner, and becoming a widow so young.  I hate that society taught us to supress things at that era, and I am thankful that slowly we are finding ways to open up and talk about our grief, connect with others, and actually begin our healing journey in the process.

Like all of you, I know with great certainty that without my faith in an ever-loving God, who sent His son to be my Savior and Strength, I would not be at this point of healing.  I give Him all the glory for His hand in my recovery.  It hasn't been an easy journey for any of us, but I do believe blessings are abound.  Here is a quote from my daily devotion of today that I would like to share with you...  Blessings and Hugs, Claudia

"We strain to follow Christ, training to become more like him, pressing onward through pain and struggle where he requires us to change. Yet we strain, not for the sake of a good effort or the satisfaction of outshining a neighbor, but for the goal set before us. Take away the record and it simply becomes a voyage around the world.  Likewise, Christ stands calling us onward toward lives abundantly lived and the enduring prize of eternal life. Though we grow weary or encounter various obstructions, if Christ himself is our end, we do not run aimlessly.

Let us race as runners who know not only the prize, but also know that we are equipped to obtain it. For it is Christ who goes with us that we might be able to say with Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 

 

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4everjoeysmom

Please don't anyone feeldiscouraged should we encounter objections from occasional visitors to this thread.  We do have a right to have a place where we can grieve and share within our faith.  Should there be issues like that, I will choose to ignore what I can, and report unwarranted abuse and attack.  The title of the thread alone should suggest to those visiting that our beliefs are what they are.  But that doesn't necessarily stop the curiosity of human nature or the human will to "stir things up".  I really do pray for peace on this thread so that we too can share in the context that is most helpful to us in our healing.

Bless you all!!

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Claudia and everyone else,

As you wrote: "We strain to follow Christ, training to become more like him, pressing onward through pain and struggle where he requires us to change. Yet we strain, not for the sake of a good effort or the satisfaction of outshining a neighbor, but for the goal set before us. Take away the record and it simply becomes a voyage around the world.  Likewise, Christ stands calling us onward toward lives abundantly lived and the enduring prize of eternal life. Though we grow weary or encounter various obstructions, if Christ himself is our end, we do not run aimlessly.

Let us race as runners who know not only the prize, but also know that we are equipped to obtain it. For it is Christ who goes with us that we might be able to say with Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 

Yes, this has been my goal throughout this whole ordeal.  When it's all said and done, I want to be able to say, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."  I know that's what we all want for ourselves.

It really is too bad the way society didn't used to provide support for grieving families.  As I said, I saw the toll it took on my parents, especially my mother, when my brother died.  She was never the same after that.  As odd as it sounds, even though I was 14 and should have plenty of memories to the contrary, all I remember of her was sadness and melancholy.  She never really recovered from his death.  And he was her second child to lose, so I know that was part of why she never got over it.  She always said that I was the one with all the faith; she just didn't have any.  I didn't believe that, but I think it was just because her faith was so beaten down with no outside help to support her and lift her up that she just caved under the weight of her grief. 

I think it's so wonderful that you were able to say to your husband that you feel you are more at peace now than at any time in your life, in view of your situation.  I'm not there yet, but hope to be some day.

I'll write more about my particular situation and my struggles later.  Right now I need to get started working.  This is so wonderful and I'm so happy to have found this outlet for myself that it's hard to get off and get to work, but alas, I must.

Oneta

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4everjoeysmom

There is a woman in our nearby town, here where we live and work, that lost a son a little over 20 years ago.  When I lost Joey, she recounted her deep grief for many years after her own loss.  Her son Patricio is a very close friend now to my husband, and he also shared a lot about his mother's grief after losing his brother.  Patricio's mom is a strong woman of faith, and she shines now through the eyes and soul of a life lived hard and with great pain.  The family is fairly poor and they work very, very hard to not only make ends meet for their family, but they also minister and give to families that have less than they do.  She is a true inspiration to me.  But the big point here is that she does shine, and she shines with the glory of the Lord as her Rescue.  There is always HOPE for us through any circumstance.  We need to always remember that, even when we don't have the energy to seek it.  Because even when we aren't looking, HOPE will come to us....  I believe it!

 

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TO BigMike'sMom:

Hi, Patti, my dear sister in Christ...  I want you to know how terribly sad I was to read about the horrific way you lost your son, Mike.  Like you, I am Catholic.  How bittersweet it was to read about the green scapular. It's not often you hear about a young man having a scapular in his possession. My teenage sons wear a brown scapular and have a very strong devotion to our Blessed and Heavenly Mother.  There is no other person able to fully comprehend the pain of losing a Son, as She does.  The Holy Rosary is such a wonderful devotion, also.  It has always soothed my broken heart. Just wearing a blessed rosary makes my soul feel better.

I pray that the Immaculate Heart of Mary caresses your grieving heart, as She has caressed mine on so many occassions. My sons and I will keep you, your family and Mike in our prayers tonight.     

PAX 

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Patti,

I, too, tried to make it without drugs or counseling for a long time.  I felt, with my husband's death being so long ago (at the time it was 32 years - long story), there would be no one who would understand my particular problems, and in spite of great effort on my own to stay afloat, I continued to spiral down, down, down until I was sure I would drown in the swirling, dark waters of depression.  I was finally persuaded to see a doctor for my problems with insomnia, not specifically depression, and he said I was experiencing a form of post-traumatic stress.  He gave me an antidepressant and sleeping pills.  I didn't take either very long, but long enough to help pull me up out of the deep depression I had sunken down into.  I call it "the pit".  I was in the pit for about two years.  How much I worried my family I'll probably never know.  It's so hard to experience the loss of someone as dear as those we've lost, but it's been my hope, as I know it is all of yours, that I grow from the experience.  I had no idea at the time I started sinking down how deep it would become or how long it would last or how I could possibly learn something from such an experience when all I was trying to do at the time was just survive.  I think we've all learned something about God's love and mercy and protection as we've walked our individual roads of grief, and I'm sure we have much to share with each other. 

By the way, there is a website (and you may know of this already) for daily devotions that I have really derived much strength from that you might be interested in.  It's called Sacred Space.  It's a Catholic website, and I'm not Catholic, but I love it and found it helpful when nothing else seemed to be helping me.  I highly recommend it to anyone, not just those of a Catholic background.

Blessings,

Oneta

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I am here and have been here reading all the posts.  I think it is nice to have a thread we can talk about issues without fear of offending others because as Claudia has said, our beliefs are very offensive to those who don't know the Lord.  I haven't been posting too much right now.  I think in our 2 steps forwards and 1 step back I am on the back end right now.  I just am not putting my thoughts together well. 

I remember one night about 4 years ago I was feeling a little blue and specifically asked the Lord to help increase my faith.  I also asked specifically that each of my children would be written in His book of life.  I wanted to know that my children would be with me in heaven.  I looked on the wall and I saw a cross on my wall. It was from the street light and the blinds, but I had never seen it there in the 3 years we had lived here.  It was right at the right time and I really had an assurance from the Lord that my children would be safe in Heaven.  A few days after that my son Micah accepted the Lord Jesus as his savior.  :)  Soon after that Joshua did.  My son Jacob has also accepted the Lord.  

My family has struggled a lot in the last few years because my husband has bipolar disorder.  Last spring he tried to kill himself and was committed to the state hospital and stayed for about 3 months.  He had struggled with depression for a good 2 years before that and our finances pretty much hit rock bottom with a lot of debt due to his illness and spending.  When Jeff was in the hospital I took a spiritual gift survey and I had always had mercy and service on the top.  I was pleasently suprized to see that faith had moved up to the top.  Living through severe trials and seeing God work through them has made a difference and my faith has grown.  I had never considered myself in that way before.  I was actually kind of proud...Pride does go before a fall yes?  Well Jeff got home form the state hospital on July 1st and we had a great 3 weeks.  Then came July 20.  Our oldest son Joshua died in a swimming accident.  He was only 10 and struggle with bipolar himself at such a young age.  Poor Jeff just had 3 good weeks with him before his death.  It has been really hard for my husband dealing with the guilt of not being a "good father."  Jeff has a knee surgery this month because of a broken revision component and is worried about it so his mood has been swinging more then I like.  He has not been sleeping and fluctuates between irritability and wanting to spend too much money.  Then I have to be the bad guy and say no we cant spend it. 

So back to the faith issue.  Somewhere in the Bible it talks about faith needing to be tested to prove it is real.  I have often thought with a sad kind of humor I wish I had never asked for increased faith.  (I don't really think that seriously but gee whiz....be careful what you ask for).   Maybe I have enough Lord....can you stop with the growing experiences for awhile?    So anyways.  I am not sure why I wanted to type this out to everyone here.  I have just really been feeling down lately.  I love the Lord and have faith in eternity.  I have faith my son is there with the Lord.  I just am feeling so sad missing him and overwhelmed with just everyday living.  Keeping up with the housework and enforcing chores in the kids.  Homework issues.  Being loving towards my husband who is suffering as well with mental illness on top of such a horrendous loss.  God has been so good and faithful to us.  It is just good to have somewhere to come and vent and talk about some of the hard things going on in your life. 

God bless each of you as you struggle through earthly trial and try to bring glory to the Lord God Almighty in all you do and say.

Sal

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4everjoeysmom

Sally, I'm going to begin faithfully praying for the situation with your husband.  I know this must be a tremendous addition to your burdening sorrow.  One thing we can ponder on when we do feel like we've failed our children in any way is that God is the ultimate parent.  Where we are weak, He is always strong......

I'll wrte more later.   We're heading to the city soon to pick up some friends who are flying in this evening.  Love and blessing to all...  -Claudia

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Hi, Sal.

Isn't it a funny thing that we ask for our faith to be increased, and then we get it increased in a way we sure didn't plan on?  Several years ago the Lord told us he was going to take us through "the school of Faith".  After it started, we asked (kidding of course - but not really - sort of seriously), "Can we just make it a summer course?"  Of course, we've since learned it's a lifetime course; you don't ever really graduate - not in this life, anyway. 

One of my daughters struggles with bipolar disorder.  It's been a terrible battle for her and for us, too.  Because of how severe it's been in her life and being a single parent now, she's had to rely on us a lot to help her raise her daughter.  My daughter has been on medication for probably about 13-14 years and has just in the last year finally found a doctor who seems to know what she's doing and has gotten her on a strange cocktail that seems to be doing the trick for her.  (I say "strange cocktail" because her regular doctor asked her who had her on the weird combination of meds.)  It is so hard to deal with bipolar depression, whether it's the patient or whether it's the family.  How terrible it must have been for your husband to have had to struggle with that, feel he was getting it under control and then lose your son! 

I will add your family to my prayer list, especially in regard to this situation, as I have some idea what you're dealing with.  ~Oneta

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Claudia,

I read on the other religion site that you had asked about dreams.  I'm responding on this site for what I hope are obvious reasons.

I used to have a lot of trouble dreaming about my husband.  Lately I've asked God to allow me to dream about him, and sometimes I do.   I hope to protect myself from dreams that God would not permit or directly give me by doing that.  Hopefully it has worked.  I have had several very distinct dreams about him and others not as distinct.  I think in our fear that we might receive dreams that are not from the Lord we subconsciously block any dreams He might send us.  (just my thinking...)  I certainly haven't ever had any dreams about him since I started asking God to send them that bothered me or caused me distress, and almost, if not all of them, have given me encouragement.  The worst thing I've experienced is to have a vivid dream and then wake up and realize it was only a dream and I wasn't really with him after all.  Just my thinking on the subject.  ~Oneta

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Pax and Oneta, Thank you so much for your kind words, prayers and understanding of how I feel.I am starting a new anti-depressant today. I know with God,and all of you ,I will also "Fight the good fight and Finish the race" Mike's coach said that about Mike in his eulogy at Mikes memorial mass at the university he was attending. I also feel very comfortable sharing my feelings with all of you here on this forum. God Bless You!Thank you God that through Claudia starting this forum I feel I can "get back into LIfe" This is my prayer.

Patti-BigMikesMom

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Sal, I am going to pray for your husband too and you and your family. I can't even imagine the pain you must be going through.I can just do nothing if that is how I feel that day but you with all the responsibilities that you have to deal with, God Bless You, I think you are definetely "fighting the gooD fight"(I don't know if I quoted that right) With much deep felt empathy!

Patti

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Claudia, I am so glad that you started this forum. I began feeling at times with some of the posts that I was not comfortable talking about my faith when others did not believe in God or had a Christian faith. It is one of the most important steps in my healing. I have to ask God everyday to help me through another day during this 5 months without my son. God has been such a big part of our lives and I am thankful my son had a personal relationship with God. Hopefully, as I become stronger in my journey I may have the opportunity to minsiter to another parent on their journey. You have helped me so much with your postings. My husband and myself have said if we did not have our faith we would have no hope at all. We both look forward to the day when we are called home to join our Lord, son and many other loved family members.

Sal, my prayers are with you and your family. All my prayers and love to each, Lana

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4everjoeysmom

Lana,  I'm glad you're here.  There should always be a place where you can grieve openly without worrying about how your coming across in your faith.

ok!  I must be losing it..  (kidding)  but yesterday I posted something about dreams.  Last night I had a dream that I was being given photos and various things to bring home by family members.  (I just recently spent 7 weeks with my family in the States, so that may have been the crux of the dream.)  Then in a very blurry part of the dream, I was sitting face to face, talking with Joey.  It felt like it was a picture of a conversation of past and more a memory than actually an in-person visit.  But we were face to face none-the-less.  All that I can remember about the conversation is that Joey was going to buy some kind of recreational vest and get a place at the edge of Miami, (near the Everglades, I suspect), and function as a ranger of sorts.

It was very strange...  Patrick is the one that always wanted to be a ranger.  He grew up loving the show Walker, Texas Ranger.  When traveling through Dallas before Thanksgiving this year, as a gag gift, I bought Patrick a badge with his name on it as well as Texas Ranger.  He loved it!  Anyway, I guess my subconscious was pondering on my desire to dream of Joey, and somehow my recent activities, Joey and Patrick all kind of melded together.  Kind of funny.  I am not left feeling sad or anything.  If anything I feel encouraged that maybe I will see Joey in more dreams.  After a year and a half I have only recalled 3 dreams, very brief, and the several nightmares I had in the first weeks after his passing, which I could do without ever having again.

Oneta, I think you are right about your theory, in that God protects us from dreams we shouldn't have.  He is our Lord in wake and sleep, so it would make great sense to be so.

I hope each of you finds a special moment this weekend to do something kind and pamper yourself if you can.  We have friends visiting, and today is our cultural experience day for day-1 of their tour.  We are going to the indigenous market places.  That should be fun.  I'll write again soon. One of these days soon I need to catch up with some other dear friends by e-mail...  where is the time going?...  closer to getting to heaven, I suppose.  And that isn't something I am reluctant about anymore...

Love and hugs, and prayers for blessings of peace and His joy be with each of you,

Claudia

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Lana,  I'm thankful, also, that you feel free here to express yourself fully, including your thoughts and feelings about your faith.  I know my faith is too important to me and too much a part of my healing to not talk about.  I imagine many of us feel that way.  I know, also, what a comfort it is to know that our loved ones are safe in Heaven, and not only that but to know that we'll be reunited with them some day.  I don't think I could ever get over my losses if I didn't have that assurance.

Claudia, I think the more we relax about our dreaming and ask God to give us the kinds of dreams he wants us to have, the more we'll find ourselves dreaming of them.  I've read several books in the past about dreams/dreaming and dream interpretation.  I've always been fascinated by it since I've always dreamed very colorful and vivid dreams, since I was very young.  I've had some dreams that I would put in the category of "prophetic" dreams that I may share some time.  I think God can and does speak to us powerfully through dreams if we pay attention to them.  Other times they're probably just our subconscious.  Whether they're our subconscious or God speaking to us or simply allowing us to see our loved ones, I believe they can be an important part of our lives.  I have had a few dreams when I first started dreaming about my husband that made me feel sad when I wake up because he's not really here with me, and the dream felt so real that it was disappointing to wake up and find it was only a dream, but anymore I mostly just feel happy to have dreamed about him.  Just my thinking on the subject.  I hope you have a good time with your friends.  Sometime I would enjoy hearing about your work... Equador, right?  That's where the famous missionary, Jim Elliott, was killed along with his friends trying to reach the Auca (it's probably not spelled right) peoples.

Hope everyone else has a good day.  Looking forward to sharing more and reading more of each other's stories, struggles and victories.  ~Oneta

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Hello Claudia and other fellow Christians,

I'm new to Beyond Indigo and have not read the negative reactions from non-Christians, but that is definitely to be expected.  Faith in Christ, according to the Bible, is going to appear completely foolish to the world, so ridicule is to be expected.  One would hope that people could at least try to be supportive in some way on a GRIEF SUPPORT site, even if they don't share religious convictions.  I'm glad you've created this site as a specific place for Christians in grief to meet.

I am the Mom of four children, two boys and two girls.  My sons are both deceased.  Phil died at age 20 in a car/water accident.  It was particularly horrific because it appeared that divers were in the water to save Phil, but they were local firemen who had no training and wore buoyancy suits which lacked weight belts, so they literally floated a few feet above Phil's car, unable to dive down.  They waited that way for 40 minutes until a diver with the correct equipment drove from another town.  The police held back bystanders (one of them my other son, Matt) from jumping in the 33 degree water.  Matt was only 16 at the time, depending upon the officials in the situation to help his brother.  Nearly two years after Phil's death Matt decided he should have somehow gotten around the police to be the hero and pull his brother from the water.  Matt became so convinced of this and so depressed that he shot himself to death one night after becoming very drunk.  This was just before the second anniversary of Phil's death.  

Phil died in 2001 and Matt in 2003.  Multiple grief has a numbing effect, which I believe is a blessing from our Father God.  He gives us numbness as a coping mechanism - He built us that way.   Throughout the intervening years I've learned that pain is really the only way to grow.  "And we know that all that work together for them that love God, for those who called according to His purpose." God has made my faith stronger and stronger, while walking me step by step through each day.  Sometimes it seems to be a pattern, from pain to emotional outbreak, back to numbness until I can tolerate the next wave of pain.   I now live with this odd mix of joy and pain.   I can once again rejoice at the beauty of a painted sky, yet I can be aware of the deepest sorrow at the same time.  I'd be happy to die any given day, yet I know it's also important to be here, with my remaining daughters and grandchildren.

These are the tools Christ has helped me to use:   Reading the Word, prayer, routinely listening to sound radio preachers (the ones who stick with the Word), listening to black gospel music on my one hour commute, singing in church, giving testimony in churches of how I came to faith and how God has helped me through double tragedy, grief groups, writing, watching movies that the boys liked, burning candles by the boys photos at our family gatherings, planting flowers at the the graves, holding a fundraiser for the dive rescue team established after Phil's death.   And then there are wonderful forums like this one. 

Reading through some of the postings I've been nodding in agreement and identification.   I'm sorry I have forgotten the name, but one woman wrote about witnessing the accident that killed her son, Mike.  I am amazed at how she has kept her sanity and faith, just as some others have been amazed at my faith.  How great is our Lord that He can keep such a traumatized sister on track with Him! 

Someone mentioned Ravi Zacharias.  He is a great encouragement.  If you get a chance to listen to Alistair Begg he is good, and John McArthur is outstanding for expositing the Word.  He can come across as very rough at times, but he's worth listening to.   My husband and I also find it helpful to read about the logic of belief in Christ.   C. S. Lewis is wonderful and scientific input from the likes of Hugh Ross and friends is invaluable. 

Well, that's all I can contribute at this time.  I look forward to visiting this site more.  Thank you all for sharing your struggles.  Somehow God uses our sharing in a way that's combination spiritual/tangible.  I don't know how to describe it, but it works!

I'd be happy to tell the (brief) story of how I came to believe in Christ.  Maybe another posting.  

Love in Christ,

Rody  

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4everjoeysmom

Rody, You certainly are an inspiration to us here who strungle through a single loss of a child.  I cannot bear to imagine losing both of my sons.  I'm so very sorry for your loss of the most precious gifts from God, your Phil and Matt.  I can only imagine the torment that Matt must have felt that drew him to end his life here in such a tragic and despairing way.  Oh, how your heart must have been so shattered, and perhaps still---as you said, in moments witnessing the beautiful paintings of our skies and at the same time knowing such sorrow.  I'm so very sorry, dear Sister.  I'm really happy that you've come to join us and share.  You not only inspire me, but i;m sure we all will find inspiration and edification from one another--as God meant it to be.

Yes, it was Patti, Mike's mom who described witnessing the accident that took her son.  I can't imagine that either, and she too inspires me to hold fast to the Lord, no matter my circumstance.

Oneta, yes, Ecuador is where Jim Elliott, Nate Saint and three fellow missionaries gave their lives in trying to reach the Auca, or waodani tribe.  Their story is amazing, and can be seen in movie format in the film, End of the Spear.  Their widows went on to live with teh Waodani for years, bringing them to salvation, and seeing them transform into loving and godly people.  This tribe killed their own at one time.  And now the man who actually too part in the murders of those missionaries, and his son, speaks openly and shares the gospel with many.  What a powerful testimony they have.  I've enjoyed the writings of Elisabeth Elliott from time to time.  She is brilliant!

Ravi Zacharias is one of my favorites to listen to.  His talk series, Let My People Think, is wonderful.  I've heard of some of those names mentioned, but out of them have only read C.S. Lewis.  I'll have to look for the others.  I love C.S. Lewis.  The Screwtape Letters was fascinating to me, and so insightful in the tricks and silliness that can set us off track.  I read his semi-sci-fi trilogy, which was interesting, although i am not much into sci fi.  I began reading the Narnia Chronicles (more fantasy adventure type reading) after arriving in Ecuador and having a little difficulty with culture shock and missing home.  Joey died a few short months later, and a month or so after, I picked up the Chronicles again and read them all.  I don't know why, except for the wonderful and child-like way Lewis paints heaven, I found so much comfort in reading them at that time.  Lewis also wrote about grief after losing his beloved wife, and I read a small devotional type book on Joy.  I totally recommend his work to anyone.

Our day today was full and fun.  Everyone is resting right now, but we plan to be up and ready to go for dinner at 8:00.  We shopped the indigenous markets, and our friends found some lovely things to buy as gifts for family members and closest friends.  We had fun just watching them, doing some translating, and helping them to negotiate good prices.  Today is their only sight-seeing shopping day that we've planned, and we got it all conquered, so everyone is pleased.  Now we can get down to some serious ministry focus.

My husband and I operate a mission training, retreat and work center in the rainforest.  We have a ministry partner, native Ecuadorian, who along with his wife help us to serve in their Quito ministry/missionaryguesthouse as well.  Our ministry is multi-fold.  We work all year round as an outreach and discipleship ministry, just the four of us, but then also host visiting short-term mission teams that come (currently mostly from the US) and present blessings to the people of Ecuador through project based ministries--like construction, vacation bible school, medical and dental, economical, evangelism, and just about anything else you can possibly imagine that would help an underpriviledged nation of people.  We work with nationals here on many fronts, and we also host national church group meetings, seminars, retreats and so forth in our rainforest location.  It is the spiritual retreat extavaganza on all fronts--truly an amzing place to work and live.  It's a long story how we came to receive this calling, but the short of it is that 2 years ago my husband and I gave up everything, sold our home, cars, american dream, super successful careers and such and invested our lives into long-term ministry here.  It was a shocker to lose my oldest son Joey just a few months after stepping onto the mission field.  But I have to say, in my faithfulness of coming back after the memorial and continuing in God's will for my life, I have been blessed beyond measure in peace and joy, and the beautiful gift of seeing so many come to Christ beyond what I ever imagined.  In two years we've seen over 2000 people come to know Jesus as their personal Savior in one on one ministry.  I've had doors opened to minister to grieving moms here as well, and I can think of countless times where young men my sons age have been so moved by my testimony and that of Joey's.  It has just been amazing.  And the amazing part still is that our ministry is a baby, being only two years old.  We're just beginning, and it excites me!!  With it comes many sacrifices and trials too.  But the journey over all is truly seeing the advancement of His Kingdom here on earth.  People are being blessed immensely.  I could wrote a book, and maybe some day I will.  What I see on an almost daily basis is so profound, that even I am completely silenced in awe much of the time.

Sorry to have made this post so long.  Can you tell jesus excotes me?!  And though I too have great and deep moments of sorrow, missing my Joey, I like to think of myself now being able to take him with me everywhere I go.  He touches many lives through me, and it is my dream to build upon his leagacy while building upon my own, which in total is to build upon the Lord's and glorify Him.  This is where my healing is coming so enormously.

I'll check in again soon.  I'm just so happy that so many are coming in to say hi.  I really and truly hope that this will be a place where great healing and victory can take place and become our greatest worship in our testimony to His grace and mercy.  Peace and blessing be with you, my sisters.  Love, Claudia

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Hi, Rody.  Thanks for stopping in and introducing yourself to us.  I echo Claudia's words of sympathy at the loss of not just one child, but two, and both in such terrible ways!  I am not here at this site, myself, because of the loss of a child, but my mother lost two sons, one before I was born, and then my 13-year-old brother when I was 14.  Without such a strong faith as you seem to have, you couldn't talk the way you do of their deaths.  Please keep coming back and sharing with us.

Claudia, I am very, VERY acquainted with the ministry of Jim Elliott and his wife, Elisabeth, as well as the others of their group.  We have watched The End of the Spear at least twice and found it so inspiring.  We have quoted his line, something about, "he is no fool who loses what he cannot keep to gain what he can never lose".  We (my husband and I) are very interested in your ministry, as well.  I intend to copy and paste what you've written here and emailing it to my husband so he can read it. 

I guess we're all kind of getting acquainted here.  I feel a little bit out of place since this was originally a site for the loss of children, but came here because Claudia started this particular thread for believers in Christ.  Be checking back in later.  ~Oneta

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Oneta,

Please dont feel out of place here.  :)  We are all Christians who have suffered loss and I welcome different perspectives.   I am also very interested in the perspective that you have since you lost a sibling at a young age.  My living children are dealing with this now and seem to be coping but I know it is really hard on my 9 y/o since he was there when Joshua died and couldn't save him and because they were so close in age.  They were buddies as well as brothers. 

Sal

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Rody,

Welcome to the forum.  I am so sad to hear about your double loss.  To lose a child is so very hard but to lose another to suicide is beyond imagining for me.  My prayers go out to you and your daughters.  I thank God for the faith we have in Him and the hope and encouragement He gives us.  It is all that allows us to somehow endure and keep going with our eyes on the finish. 

Sal

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Sal,

Thanks for the encouragement.  Yes, it's true that there is one thing that definitely binds everyone together here on BI, and that is the common bond of grief. 

Thanks for asking me my perspective on losing a sibling at a young age.  It's very interesting that in all my life, I've never been asked to share my perspective on the loss of my little brother, which I think shows the neglect children in our society have received until recent years.  All of the focus used to be put on the parents, forgetting that the surviving children are grieving, too, and that they need attention, love, encouragement and healing, also.  So I thank you for all the grieving siblings out there, whether we are still children or, like me, have grown to adulthood.

I guess this would actually be my first point to mention, that the other children are hurting, also (which obviously you are well aware of and concerned about).  They may feel a wide range of emotions from simply missing their brother/sister to deep, profound guilt that he/she died and they didn't.  They may even feel that their parents wish they had been the ones to die instead.  They may feel that they must "make up the difference" or be both themselves and the deceased child for their parents.  They may feel jealous that the deceased sibling continues to receive so much attention, even after death while the parents are grieving, to their neglect, the living children, and then feel guilty that they feel that way.  For much younger children, they know things in the family are very, very off - very, very wrong - but can't understand what's wrong.  They know that their brother/sister is gone, but may not realize that they're not coming back.  I read last night - I don't remember if it was on this board or where it was - that the surviving child said to his mother a few days after the death, "I know that so-and-so went to Heaven, but it's time for him/her to come back home now."  They have a limited understanding of death and cannot fathom how permanent it is.  I'm sure there are other things that could be mentioned, but these are the things that immediately come to mind.

I struggled with probably all of the above but the last one, since I was old enough at the time of my brother's death to know that death was "forever"'; I knew Charles was never "coming back home".  But I received no attention from anyone adult when he died.  I received no attention from my peers, either, because they didn't know how to express their sympathy.  My very best friend who was friends with me from 2nd grade until this very day recently told me she didn't even go to the funeral because she had never been around death, and it scared her.  My band instructor who had both of us in his band class didn't go to the funeral or say anything to me about it.  I know that he didn't attend the funeral because I saw him in his car as the funeral procession was heading out to the cemetery.  He obviously had not gone to the funeral since he was coming from the other direction. 

I had some feelings that my mother must have wished it had me instead of him because he was the second son for her to lose.  I'm sure she didn't feel that way, but her withdrawal from me and the rest of the family after his death spoke volumes to me that she did feel that way.  No amount of telling me otherwise would have ever been believed by me at the time.

I also felt "survivor's guilt" that he died and I didn't.  I remember trying to strike a bargain with God in the bathroom at the hospital the day he died.  I told God if he would just let Charles live, I would do this or that... I don't even remember now what my bargaining tools were, but I certainly remember doing it and then feeling guilty that it didn't work.

Surviving children may feel a sense of loneliness.  From the moment of my brother's death until this present day, I felt like an only child growing up, even though I was already 14.  And it made me especially sad to think that for the rest of my life, anyone who would meet me would never know him or meet him.  In family settings his name is never mentioned because none of my children know or ever knew him. 

In addition, I felt the need to be my father's "son" now.  He was building hog barns that summer and needed help with some of the heavier work.  I know I really wasn't able to give him the help he needed, but I felt I had to try.  I've kidded about that since then as "the summer I had to be his boy", but it's kinda sad that that was how I felt about it.  And I felt sorry for my dad, too, because he had to depend on me to help him with heavy farm work when I wasn't equipped to be much help at all to him. 

Like your sons, Charles and I were very close in age, 16 months.  We had been very close, and his death brought with it a great emptiness that nothing in all these years has ever filled.  I'm sure your children will feel that way to some degree or another.  Hopefully, with attention, counseling, ministry or whatever ways you are able to help them, it will not be as big a hole as I carry in my heart.  After all these years, I can be reduced to a puddle of tears very easily when I think of him.

I don't know if this gives you any insight to helping your children through this loss, but I hope it does.  ~Oneta,

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Dear Rody, Welcome to this forum.I, too am so so sorry for the loss, here on earth, of your  sons Phil and Matt. My heart feels for you. I am Patti, the mom you so kindly spoke of in your post.Your post helped me so much and inspired me.My heart goes out to my son,Matt,23 yrs old, who was in the car with Mike,20 yrs old,His only sibling, his brother, his buddy, his best friend,they were so close,even went to colleges in Florida together 45 minutes apart.We live in Ohio. They shared their friends with each other,many being siblings. Matt has finally started to have a smile on his face, once in awhile. I do not know how to help him, what to say to him.I don't know if I should talk about Mike or when too pick the right time to talk to him.My husband and I are totally different when it comes to grieving and I guess I would say in our personalities  as far as showing our feelings,sharing are feelings especially talking about Mike. I want to talk about Mike all the time but my husband gets angry when I do. He says "Do we have to talk about this all the time?" Thats how he sees it but we don't ever talk about it. I bring Mike up and he says that, so we aren't talking or sharing. He especially doesn't want to talk about the accident, what happened,or anything. I needed to know everything because I guess I was in shock and some things    I don't remember, maybe that is what God does "numbs" some of it or otherwise I would go crazy Matt is like his Dad is some ways and some ways like me, so when all 3 of us are together they kinda are the same in that they don't want to talk or at least my husband stops me from talking about Mike. As far as being right at the accident, I look at it as a blessing, in some way. I am a nurse and I would've had to know every detail, which I know, but the biggest reason is because I was with Mike when he took his last breathes.It has been very, very painful and like I said the counselor said I was also suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome but I am thankful, I was there. AT first all I could picture in my mind was the car,my two boys trapped, Matt screaming "mike,Mike" and Mike lying there barely breathing.I too wanted to do something to help, anything,especially being a nurse, but I couldn't, I couldn't get to him. I could only lie under the car and see him. I am so sorry I am rambling, I had 55 years of life experiences and faith in God, and being a nurse and realizing sometimes there is nothing any person can do,and believing it is in God's hands but your poor son, only 16 yrs old, I can't even imagine how he must have been feeling those 2 years. Please pray for my son Matt, he said to me "Mom,it should have been me that died, Mikey had it all going for him" It broke my heart more. I answered Matt, it doesn't matter how good you do in school, how popular you are etc what matters is whats in your heart. I have taught my kids about God and what the purpose of life is etc but I am sure that is just how my  Matt felt. See I don't know how to handle his remarks. Do I just listen, do I try, like I did ,to let him know how much he is loved and how awesome he is. You said you have pain then emotional outbreak and numbness and then back to pain, I know what you mean.This past week since I have been on this forum, has really helped me. I am trying so hard to be positive, think positive with God's help. I am going to go to court tomorrow. I talked with someone on the loss of a child forum and she said she went to every pre-trial hearing etc. I haven't gone to any because the prosecutor told me it wasn't necessary,but after talking to her I decided I am going to go. It is a motions hearing. I will see the guy who killled Mike face to face. I haven't seen him since the accident and I absoluely do not remember his face. I am going to have an 8x10 picture of Mike with me,like the otherlady told me too. My husband and son cannot go because they have been suponead as witnessess for the trial. Honestly, if this guy would have had some remorse,said he wanted to get to know God and wanted to turn his life around that would be good enough for me,but that hasn't happened, not a call or a card or anything. His mom hired a big,expensive attorney from a different city.I can not believe I am going on and on,maybe I shouldn't pust the send button.....I am sorry I did not mean to talk about me and my sorrow, I meant to just say I am so sorry for you but your post inspired me. God Bless you, my sister and friend.

Patti Big Mikes MOM

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Dear Oneta, God answers all . As i was wrting my post to Rody, asking her the questions that I needed to have answers for about my other son,Matt you were writing your post about the feelings of a sibbling in their terrible loss.Thank you. I will hold those remarks inside of me and try to remember and use them when I am with Matt.God Bless you. I was just going to write a post to you and tell you that I was glad you were here with us on this forum,even though you didn't loose a child ,and see how important and inspiring your words were to me. God Bless you.

Patti-Big Mikes Mom

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Thank you Oneta for giving your thought and feelings about losing a sibling.  It is helpful as I try to help my kids deal with such a horrible loss.

Here are my precious living children at Joshua's funeral.  What a sad sad day. 

 

post-18451-128153886875_thumb.jpg

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Sal,

Funerals are always sad, but the funeral of a child is so much moreso than others.  And you can tell by looking at the faces of your children that they are suffering terribly.  We can only pray that God heals their hearts, as we also pray he heals yours.  I'm happy if anything I said helps you help them.  I really (obviously) can relate to them.  They needs lots and lots and lots of TLC, not just from you and your husband, but from all the adults in their lives. 

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Patti,

My heart just goes out to you SO MUCH over this.  It is just a tragic story all the way around.  Your son's pain, your pain, your husband's pain.  I thank you for what you said about what I had written earlier to Sal helping you.  I hope it can help someone.

It's okay to ramble.  I don't remember just when you said the accident occurred, but it sounds like it wasn't too long ago.  Rambling is so understandable in the early stages.  Our thinking is all scrambled up.  I know when I was in deep grief over my husband's death (which I have said before is complicated because he actually died 35 years ago, but I repressed it and it came up five years ago when my mother died) I couldn't think straight, I couldn't put together a coherent thought, I couldn't remember anything that was said to me or that I said to others, I couldn't concentrate on anything, I couldn't sleep, I shook all the time, I cried all the time, I had headaches all the time, my chest hurt.  I was a mess!  So rambling when you're in shock and disbelief is quite understandable and maybe even healing.

I just want to comment on one thing you asked about and that is about Matt.  You asked if you should try to talk to him about his brother. You also said that your husband won't talk about him or really even allow you to talk about him, and if Matt is around when this happens it shuts him down, too.  You said that he feels guilty because he survived when he feels his brother was the one who had everything going for him.  This is the survivor's guilt I talked about.  I had it when my brother died and when my husband died.  I guess most people have it to some degree or another.  My feeling is that you should either try to talk to him yourself, or failing that you should try to get him to talk to someone he feels comfortable with and respects, maybe a pastor or youth worker or family friend - anyone he looks up to and feels comfortable with.  He needs to get his feelings out.  He needs to be walked through this time just like all of us do.  Otherwise, it's going to build up in him and fester like a abscess.  It probably already has started to abscess, and the abscess needs debridement.  Being a nurse I think that's a good analagy for you.  He needs to heal from the inside out.  He's not going to do that keeping it all inside him.  Even if he won't talk with you about it, you can and should validate him continually.  You have the instincts for this.  You feel the need to tell him how much you love him and how important he is to you.  He has GOT to hear this from you repeatedly and continually. 

You both are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because you were both there and saw it.  You need special counseling or ministry for this.  I had this, too, because I saw my husband die in front of me and was helpless to do anything for him.  I had a ministry session that was very powerful when God just "came" and took that pain from me.  I stopped having those kinds of pictures in my mind after that.  You may not be able to have something like that for yourself or Matt, but counseling to help understand it and help put it in perspective you MUST have, and maybe medication, too. 

I don't want to come across as a big expert on these things.  I hope I don't.  This is just from my experience on the matter with what I've gone through in my life.  I hope this helps some.  ~Oneta

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To BigMike'sMom:

Hi, Patti!  I was thinking about you all weekend.  I hope your fragile heart was able to withstand court today.  I said a "Hail Mary" for you...  There is Holy Scripture,  that came to my mind, after I read your post from yesterday... it is found in Hebrews, Chapter 10, Verses 30-31...  Saint Paul wrote,  "We know the One Who said: "Vengeance is mine, I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge His people." "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."  This might or might not be of some consolation for you, my dear sister in Christ, but you have the assurance, while going through the court proceedings, with opposing, expensive attorneys and perhaps an indifferent judge, that this man will one day stand before God, at his 'particular' judgment, as we all will, and have to answer for the death of Mike....   justice will be metered out properly, if not in this world, in the next, okay? remember that... 

   In regard to Matt....  When I talk with my young, teenage sons about our own loss, I usually do it at night, when they are getting ready for bed,... they turn the lights out and I kneel down next to them... we still say our common Catholic prayers together...  it is a daily, special routine that is 'ours' and nothing that is spoken afterwards is "taboo"  or out of bounds...   it is a time when they have allowed themselves to cry with me, feelinig secure and comfortable enough to bare their heart and soul, away from the scrutiny of others....  it is a kind of moment that maybe you can create with Matt...  i hope you don't think it strange or weird of me to suggest, even if Matt is older...  but they are always children in our eyes, aren't they?

Patti, you are obviously a devoted, sensitive and selfless mother, who is there for her children, even when it came to the moment of a son's last breath... as horrible as that circumstance was, it was predestined to happen that way for both you and Mike....  God saw to it that you were not only the first person in Mike's life, but also the last...  an unimaginable  experience shared between a loving mother and a dying son ~ somewhat like the Mother of God and Her Son ~ a moment in time that most can not begin to fathom. It was a moment neither you nor the Mother of God had any control over... but you were there for him.

Now do what your true and loving instinct tells you to do, when it comes to handling Matt's wounded heart... ask your guardian angel for his help, for he is a true friend given to us by God... remember this prayer? ~  Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here.  Ever this day, be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide.  Amen.

PAX

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Hello sisters,

Patti, I will pray for you in attending the court hearings.  You have to be very strong for this kind of thing.  You will know if it's the right thing for you to do.  I will pray especially for your Matt.  I absolutely agree with Oneta's advice in her last posting. She put it beautifully.  Let Matt know how much you love him, give him opportunities to talk if he wants to, and encourage him to talk with a counselor or pastor, someone who is trusted and will listen well.   He may take the road of following his Dad's example.  Young guys are often loathe to open their hearts to their Moms, but you can always remind him that you are there for him, no matter what. 

I think it comes down to asking for God's will to to be done.  I can't think of a better thing to pray for than God's will.   We can't engineer what we want to happen, we can only pray and leave it all in our Father's hands.

It has been such a blessing, again, to read your messages.  Thank you for all the warm welcomes!

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Dear Patti,

I also wanted to say, don't worry about rambling!  It helps us know how to pray for one another and I learned more about your situation and all you are dealing with.  I hope you continue to share here and hopefully the rest of us can be of some support. 

There are many other things I want to share, but it's late and I have to get some sleep.  I will write again later.

God bless you,

Rody

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Dear Claudia,

I am blown away by your descriptions of your new ministry!  Wow, that is fantastic and amazing.  I think I covet your lifestyle!  That's a good thing, right?  I want to know more...is this an independent ministry?  Or is it established under the auspices of a denomination?  Hablas espanol muy bien o mal como yo?   Please let me know more about all of it!

My husband and I have seen End of the Spear -- a wonderful story of a great Christian brother.  

Thank you for your encouragement to me.  You have obviously been blessed with strength from the Lord to carry on your ministry as you have.  God bless you guys all over!  I can completely understand how carrying on in ministry is a healing thing for you.   In the times I've been able to minister for Christ since the boys died, I find it to be healing and strengthening. 

Well, I can't wait to hear more about your life and work.

In Christ,

Rody

 

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4everjoeysmom

Dear Everyone,  I am still here, just tending to visitors this week, which is a job that finds me running from the moment my feet hit the floor in the morning (around 6 am) until I fall, completely ehausted, into bed about midnight.  I've been doing this since Saturday, and have just a couple more days.  I skimed some of the posts over the past few days, and I am in prayer for eahc of you on the various points you shared.  Patti, please do let us know how the court situation is going.  So many are praying for you...  what a blessing that is.

Rody, thanks for your strong encouragement.  I'll send you an e-mail after my guests leave and shore more in depth.  I want to be careful not to dominate the thread....but yes!  Living this mission is very exciting in many ways.  Bless you and big hugs.

I miss you all, and will catch up very, very soon.  Love, Claudia

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Hi Everyone, I WENT TO THE MOTIONS HEARING ON MONDAY. I CARRIED AN 8X10 PICTURE OF MY DEAR MIKEY. When I arrived at the courthouse, the victims advocates met me and walked with me to the courtroom. I had to walk right passed the guy who killed Mike, his girlfriend and their approx 2yr old baby. I held the picture in front of me, looked straight at him and just kept walking. My heart was beating so fast. I wanted to say something like "how would you like it if someone took your son away from you but I controlled my tongue and my thoughts. Luckily, he was sitting on a bench far down from where we sat. I couldn't believe that he was laughing and playing with his child right in front of me, like it was no big deal. Eventually he went around the corner with his child ,and his girlfriend sat looking down, on the bench. It was a closed door hearing, so only the judge, the prosecutor and his 2 lawyers were allowed in the courtroom. the synopsis is that the judge set the trial date for April 23. No more postponements, no more delays. The pretrial hearing will be April 21, this is also the motions hearing and his chance to change his plea from not guilty to guilty. The bad thing about the date of the trial is Matt's 24th birthday is April 24. The trial is scheduled for 3 full days.I made sure his lawyers saw Mikey's picture when they walked by. I wanted all of them to see that this is a person that was killed, and that person has a Mom. I am sure it didn't make a difference to anyone or affect anyone but I feel that I did something to show that this isn't a case # but real people. I prayed that morning and asked God to help me "act like a lady" and be gracious. He sure listened and from what the ladies from victimes advocate said "you did great and we're proud of you. I don't know if I could have done it." so I guess the Lord answered my prayer.I have to keep telling myself "leave revenge to God" Thanks for all your prayers, they helped me so much and for your caring.God Bless all of you.

Love,

Patti(BigMike'sMom)

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Patti,

So glad things went well for you today!  That was a real test of character for you!  Not many people could have done what you did as graciously as you did.  The human side of us wants to lash out, but you let the Holy Spirit control you.  I'm sure the judge took note of that fact, as well.

We'll keep praying for the next step in the process.  April 24 is a hard date for me, too.  It would have been our wedding anniversary, #38.  ~Oneta

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4everjoeysmom

Patti, I am proud of you too!  It's not always easy to stand aside and let the Spirit be our guide...  In the light of a difficult day, you were a beacon on the hill.  I know God is with you, and I pray for special blessings on you.  Lots of love, Claudia

Oneta, God bless you for being here and being such a support to us.  I pray we can repay by standing in the gap for you in your hours of need...  Love to my sister in Christ, Claudia

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Hi, all.  No one has posted here for several days.  I hope we can keep this thread going.  It gives me more encouragement than the others by and large, so I hope we don't neglect it.  I guess I don't have anything in particular to say or share right now except that I hope to be able to continue sharing with one another in ways we can't really do on the other threads.  We're all at different places on our grief journey.  I'm sure we have pearls of wisdom we can share with each other that will be helpful at one time or another.  ~Oneta

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4everjoeysmom

Hi Oneta and everyone!  We had some visitors from the States here at our ministry site in Ecuador for about 8 days.  Had a great time, and we're really excited for their enthusiasm, support, and the way they were hugely blessed by being here.  Michael, (my spouse), and I went to a nearby town this morning for church services and a graduation ceremony for the young children of the associated Christian school.  they put on a little skit, and lunch was served for the kids, parents, and a few ministry folks that were visiting today, us included.  It was really great.  Michael and I got to talking with the visiting missionaries, and of course they always want to know more about us.  So, that entailed talking of losing Joey.  I do alright most of the time when speaking and sharing about him, because I really do try hard to focus on the eternal.  It makes for such conversations to be much more balanced and many less tears as well.  But wow!  I told Michael on the way home that I think truly I will soend a lifetime trying to process losing my son, because what most people cannot fathom that have never known such a loss, I live it every day.  Not a moment goes by where I am not keenly aware he is no longer here in this life.  It feels so strange and sad, yet I know there is such a heavenly side that is far more than I can imagine with my finite mind.  It's such an odd place to be...  to say the least!

I wonder how you all are doing.  Patti, I know these have been trying weeks and days for you.  Sally, I see you;ve been connecting with another new mom that found BI and lost a son close to that age of your own.  I've been reading quickly here and there, in between activities, chores and meal preparations.  Things are quieting now, so I will likely be visiting and posting more again.  It ebbs and flows.  But I have no intention of letting this thread die.  It's a need for many of us.  Amen?!

Love and Hugs to all my sisters in Christ (and brothers out there too), Claudia

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Hi, Claudia!  Glad to have you back.

I can so much relate to what you're saying.  For years and years of my l life, I never talked about my husband's death.  Most people who have known me the last 30 years have no idea that I was ever married before, let alone that I suffered such a devastating loss.   As I have worked my way through this "complicated grief" (that is the technical name for it I have learned) and have shared with a few about it, they just look at me with blank stares.  They have no idea what to even say to me, much less how to try to say anything that would be the slightest bit comforting.  Their awkwardness is apparent.  I know that all of you deal with this with the people you talk to, also.  One thing is for sure, though, and I'm seeing this as we age; everyone will some day deal with death in one way or another, either their own or someone they love.  It is these people I hope to be able to help, maybe guide through a little bit.  I have had to grope my way through mine pretty much alone.  I searched high and low, internet, book stores, everywhere I could find, and I've never found anything more than articles written about "complicated grief" or "repressed grief" or specifically for young widows.  Most widows are the age I am now, not the age I was then, which is one reason I repressed it when it happened.  There is a couple in our church who just lost their adult son in November.  The father mentioned as a prayer request his daughter-in-law.  He said that she isn't dealing with it very well yet.  He feels she's not really in touch with the reality of it and was worried about her.  I told him she's still in the numbness stage and may be there for a while, but I asked him for her email address so I could write her and see if she would want to email me and share her struggles.  So far, I have not heard from her, but I only wrote her last week.  It may take her a few weeks to decide to open up to someone.

By the way, just for clarification and to let you know, my husband and I, also, are in ministry.  He is a pastor of a small independent church in Texas where we have been for the biggest part of our married life. 

Just to change the subject a little, we were at a movie yesterday and saw a trailer for Prince Caspian from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.  Claudia had mentioned it in one of her posts.  It looks wonderful!  Can't wait to take the granddaughters to see it!  It comes out here in May or June.  ~Oneta

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