Has John really been in heaven for 8 months already? As we celebrated this past Memorial Day weekend with weird weather, homemade water slides, and a wonderful barbeque…it crossed my mind…in the middle of all the festivities, that John has been away for 8 months.
They say that grief works in mysterious ways. I was aware of this fact, as I was reminded of the work that the boys have been doing every week with their grief counselor at school. John goes to group, and Jake works individually. They both have seen Ms. Meredith every week since this year began, on Tuesdays.
The grief counseling is provided to the district because of a grant made possible by a family who suffered the loss of a parent. Their 13 year old daughter didn’t cope well with the loss and chose to end her life as well. Out of such a terrible tragedy, this grief program was born. I will be forever grateful because of the help that it has given us in our time of need.
With school ending in a few weeks, the program is winding down. Jake brought home his projects, and I haven’t had time to review the drawings with him, but he shared the special box he made to store his weekly messages to Dad. In it can be found updates and thoughts about whatever he wanted his Dad to know. It is so dear, and I will treasure it always.
John made it through his first year of high school, and an exciting first season on the JV lacrosse team. His dad is so proud, and so am I. Actually, we are all very proud of the work that we have done in dealing with ALL of our feelings and realizing that every single one of them is normal. To sit in a session with my 15 year old and hear him say: “There were times when I wanted Daddy to die, so he wouldn’t be suffering anymore…” What courage, what strength would he have to have to be able to express these feelings. I am learning to see my sons as the young men they are becoming, recognizing that they have been called to experience some elements of life and loss much sooner than I ever did- or could ever have imagined doing.
I don’t sit around and count the days, or even the months, they just cross my mind and catch me unaware. I do have a daily routine that happens when I say, “Good Morning” and “Good Night”, as I pass John’s photo. I smile, knowing that where he is…there is no measure of time…just an eternity of joy. I know that we will be together again…and it will be better than I could ever imagine….
Rachel K Schneider