It’s the beginning of a hard week. It’s the end of the second year. As Jay and I talked to our sweet psychologist Thursday, he told us as he has counseled grieving parents, you can’t put a cap on years, whether it’s one, two, three. He sometimes says four or more, especially in our public situation.
We flew Trey to St. Jude on Saturday, June 30. On Monday, June 30, Collin leaves for church camp. I’m glad he will be surrounded by his Christian friends so his mind will be occupied. As much as he tries to tell everyone he is just fine, I still believe next week will be on his mind. He is human, after all.
Speaking of being human, being human has taken over my complete being. I’ve been able to share with a dear friend whom I trust, and I know there is light at the end of this very, very dark tunnel. I just pray there isn’t a train in this tunnel somewhere. He said something very wise. He asked me, you have been so busy taking care of everyone else, making sure Collin is okay, Julianne, Jay, have you even truly grieved yourself? I had to say no.
God never promised us an easy road. He only promised that He would be with us in the valleys. I know that He is with me during this time, but sometimes, as some of my dear friends might be willing to admit, the nearness is hard to feel when you are all consumed with loneliness and sadness. I am so incredibly blessed to have my boss by my side. He also lost his son. We were talking yesterday about the differences between our grieving. He said how he tells so many people how strong I am and he hears from others how incredible I am, but he looked at me and said, “Lisa, you are not that strong.” Boy, he knows me. You just can’t lose a child and be okay. I truly believe only parents that have lost a child know what I am feeling.
We have received so many prayers over the last two years. I almost feel guilty asking for more prayers. But isn’t that we are supposed to do for each other as Christians? Lift each other up, encourage each other, hold each other accountable… I remember talking in my book about having “hang in there” friends when Trey was sick. That still applies when you are grieving. Some people can’t be around people that are grieving, and that’s fine. It takes a special friend to listen to you cry. I’ve done a lot of crying alone, but sometimes, crying alone does not do any good. People need to hear you so that you can WILL yourself to feel better.
It’s all so complex and I don’t claim to understand all that I am walking through. I finally had to cry out to Collin this week to explain to him that I missed Trey because I grew him in my belly just like I grew him in my belly and I want him back and I miss him terribly. I’m so thankful Collin listened to me as I was able to express my feelings for the first time…and it’s almost been two years. Jay is the most patient father and husband, but he grieves too, just in a different way.
I know what the word of God says. I know that Trey is in a better place. I know that Trey would not want to come back here. I know, I know, I know…but that does not stop our suffering on earth because this is not our home. I’ve never been in a valley like this and I pray you will intercede for me and ask God to lift me high above the mountains.
Jay and I will be with Trey’s friends on the 5th. They miss him as much as I do. But we will laugh and remember the days that brought us so much joy with my goofball son. And maybe release some purple balloons from the roof of the Peabody. After all, Trey was all about having friends together. I think that’s why he went to Jesus so peacefully because he was surrounded by so many that loved him and he had been at peace for so long.
My prayer is that those that have read my book know that our faith runs deep and we know that God is with us. You don’t walk through what we did and not come out the other side without Jesus holding your hand. I hope, if you have not purchased it yet, you will do so to see how God used Trey in an incredible way. We still marvel at how God brought so many things together. I still can’t eat oatmeal without thinking about him. He was “A Mighty Dragon.”
So for now, “When you don’t know what to say, just say Jesus.”