To Be Honest With You, I Wish. . .

Someone else had a hole in their heart like I do.

Someone else could figure out what to do with his favorite Oakley sunglasses that are sitting there and have not moved.  There are so many things that are in the house that I pass that are his.  But you just can’t De-Trey your house.

Someone else would wake up in the night screaming from nightmares and not be able to sleep.

Someone else would hurt for Collin who just wants him to be a normal 13-year-old boy who would love the game of football like his brother did.  We want Collin to be Collin.  He has a lot of hurts.

People would acknowledge you and hug you instead of staring at you when you walk by and say “That’s that family.”  We were at football practice last week and talking with another family.  We only said our first names.  When they asked if we only had the one son, we explained we had another son that had just passed away.  The father began to cry uncontrollably and apologized.  He said they had prayed and prayed for us.  It was so comforting to meet a family that we never knew that actually had been praying for us all that time.  It was such a blessing and bonded us immediately.

Someone would fill out all these death insurance forms for me.  No, I’ll do it.

The house was not as quiet.

I would stop hearing him calling my name, but I dread the day I stop hearing him, or seeing his face or recalling his touch.

I would begin to be productive at work instead of drawing pictures of bees at my desk.  I have begun to paint, thanks to Julianne.  I think I’ll paint the bee.  It has been therapy that I enjoy.  I have always wanted to paint.

People who have lost a brother, a mother, a sister, a father would stop comparing their loss to the loss of a child.  It is not the same.  Not even close.  You give birth to this child.  Feed it from your body.  It depends on your for life.

I had someone to empty the trash again without asking and who washed his own clothes.

He was here to wake me up when he came in to tell me about his night no matter what time it was.  “Night Mom, Love you.”  I’ve said this before but we had a different mother/son relationship.  We communicated well.  I’ll never forget when my brother-in-law was going out one night and my mother-in-law did not ask complete details of when he would be home, etc.  I said WAIT A MINUTE!  So the sister in me jumped up and said Terry, when will you be home!  I don’t know that I ever got a complete answer, but I remember thinking I would know every move my child made.  I’m not saying I knew every move Trey made, but we had a trust that if he went somewhere else other than where he was supposed to be, he would let us know.  I AM a mom that’s ALL up in my kid’s business!

You had a boss that has lost his son and understands everything I am experiencing.  He is more compassionate that anyone I know.  I have worked for Joe Duncan for 14 years.  I am blessed for work for a christian man who has taken me in as family.  He and his wife, Lee, are precious to our family.

You had the set of close friends that Jay and I have to lift us up and be there in our time of need.  I had a precious friend of Trey’s start school yesterday.  He sent me a text and said, “I don’t think I can do this Ms. Lisa.”  It made me realize so many more are hurting like us.

You had a church that has ministered to us day and night for the last six months, even driving to get our son in New Orleans when we had a surgery scare.  We could not have made it through this without Keith Cochran and our youth group.

You had a God that promises that even though we hurt now, our joy will come in the morning.  We will grieve for a time.  Some may and may not understand this scripture.  Habakkuk 3:17-19

“Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, YET I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.  The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hind’s feet, and makes me walk on my high places.”

You could truly understand how we feel; lost while wrapped in God’s arms the entire time.  We do feel lost.  We look at the pantry and do not know what to cook.  Our house is a wreck and we don’t know where to start cleaning.  So Jay does what he does best, cut the yard, and I go to bed.  Collin watches TV.  It might be that way for a long time.

I had Trey safely tucked in my arms again.  I believe someone told me that I needed to love Jesus more than I loved my son.  Until you have lost a child, you cannot imagine the love you actually felt for that child.  But I understand her concept.  I need to turn Trey over to the Lord, and as Trey so wisely said, His Will Be Done.  That’s what Trey wanted.

I was as strong as my son and I wish you were still here with me.

49 thoughts on “To Be Honest With You, I Wish. . .

  1. Lisa,

    My heart hurts for you, Jay & Collin. I pray daily for you all–that God will strengthen you and give you courage for each day & night.

    In Christian love,

  2. Im so sorry my heart aches for yours it really does as a family of christ we feel each others pain not as strongly as you do. Im praying for you and your sweet family. even tho we have never met I would be honored to meet you for coffee and pray with you. feel free to let me know.

    • We have no clue do we Lisa , no clue how special your Trey is to his mama, daddy, brother , grand ,aunt, uncle , cousin , friend …..the words of comfort for the level of your hurt are hard to find. Our knowledge of this heartbreaking trial is limited if we havent lost a child, nothing we know can compare. We can know that our PRAYERS are heard by the 1 that knows all things & in him we can find comfort for those in pain. Baby steps each day along with many Prayers & Hugs along your way. Gina

  3. You are a true inspiration. Trey was loved by many, and for people like me on the outside that have never met Trey, I still feel a bond. I hurt for you and your family, but don’t give up faith. You are strong and have turned something tragic to magic!! I had lost faith just through little things, but by this one big, I have gained it back and welcomed God again. Thank you for sharing your emotions and your love for God.

  4. Lisa: all I can offer is this: You have really been stretched in your faith and you have not failed. Your honesty has been so real. I love you and am more blessed than you can ever imagine to know you. To watch you go through this has been painful for me but I know that it is nothing compared to your pain. I am and will continue to pray for you.
    Also: even if someone could identify with your pain from a child that has died,it still would not be the same as your pain. NO ONE can know your pain…..except Jesus of course. So glad you are wrapped in His arms. He is the only ONE that really knows your pain. Stay there cause He is your strength.

  5. I do not understand the pain of losing a child. But I do know the God who is holding you in the midst of yours. I am grateful to Him for the privilege of being your friend and the burden to pray for you and Jay and Collin. Your willingness to allow Him to work out this pain in you before a watching world and continue to bring Him glory humbles and awes me. Your faith (“IS”) in God and His promises and unwavering commitment proclaim the name of Jesus makes me want to praise His name.
    After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

  6. It is through tears that I read this and so appreciate the sharing of your joys and pains with us. Your writings provide strength through the daily struggles we face reminding us that one day, we will all rejoice together. What a glorious day that will be! No words we speak can change the emotions you feel, but I will continue to lift your entire family in prayer-as only His words can bring comfort.

  7. Lisa, I’m just sending a warm hug from your sister in Christ. May the Lord help you through one more day of this grief and may He help you hold onto those smells, those sounds, those touches of Trey. Love to you from Pat McRee

  8. All grief differs. People say they know how you feel. They don’t. Every grief is unique to every person. But one thing is certain, the death of a child is among the most agonizing of all grief events. I know, because my mom lost her son, my brother. My mom hasn’t been the same since and it’s been 15 years. I personally cannot even imagine the pain that accompanies the death of a child. It’s unnatural, unfair and tragic.

    Great suffering produces great human beings. This is what God intends us to be. The road ahead will be difficult, but know that with each passing day, month and year brings you one step closer to the incredible reunion you will one day have with Trey.

    God bless you and your family.

  9. Ms Lisa my heart aches for your loss and I pray for you jay and Collin are such a lovely person and what a Christian should be

  10. Lisa,

    I have no idea what you are going through. I do not personally know any of you. I have three healthy happy boys (14, 6 and 2 months). But I will tell you that I have prayed, continue to pray for your family and cried many times for you all. I will continue to pray for you all. I go for a walk every morning and think about / talk to Trey and Jesus. You are an inspiration, as is your family and mostly Trey. He (your family) has made me think so much about life on earth and someday with Jesus.

    I would never say you are lucky in this but you are very fortunate that you have friends, bosses, church, school, community and so many supporters. Many would not. Yet, I know you would trade them all to have Trey. I hope that you never forget that your family and Trey have been tremendous disciples of God to so many. Trey’s passing will never be in vain as he is still witnessing to thousands. Take care of each other, lean on each other and make sure that Collin gets to live his life. Don’t stop listening for Trey and Collin telling each other “good night” when Collin goes to bed because they do and always will.

    God Bless You All,

    Steve Gilmore

    • I just read what you wrote. It makes my heart ache for you and your family. I have had a son die and it is the worst feeling in the world. My prayers have been with you from the time I started reading Caring Bridge and I will continue to pray for you. It is so hard to go through the days. It has been 8 years for me and God has been with me during that time. But there are days when it still hits me like it is brand new. Slowly over the last few years I guess I have begun to part with Chris’ belongings to my other kids and have kept a few things that mean the most to me. I am so glad that you have so many supportive people in your life. That means a lot. People that are willing to cry and laugh with you. May God’s comfort wash over you.

  11. I have no wise words…Just know you are prayed for by some many. I pray your broken hearts will begin to mend over time as only HE can do.

  12. Hello Lisa,

    I have never met you, although I feel I know you and your family, I followed every update from the beginning, I cried the day Trey went home, and I cry now when I read your posts. I will not even beggin to try to say I know how you feel, I have never lost a child, I have a 21 old year old that is my life, and I don’t know what I would do if I lost him. But I do hurt for you and your family and I wish there was something I could say to comfort you.
    I have noticed in the past couple of post you are falling, please hold on, I know I don’t need to say this to you, but I know you have lost half your life when you lost Trey, but you have the other half that needs you just as much.
    Even though you don’t know me, if you ever, ever want to talk, cry, scream …. let me know, I’ll be that ear, sometimes it might help to do it with someone you don’t know, and if I can be of help, I’ll listen 🙂
    I hope you get through this, I know you will, your faith is inspiring and even though you may not think so right now, you are the strongest woman I know, and if I had to go through a difficult situation I would want Lisa Erwin talking to me and praying for me.

    I hope I didn’t offend you, I really hope you start feeling better


  13. I say a prayer for you and the Erwin Family every time you post a new entry and then ask God to forgive me for my daily complaints and whining. Lisa you are such an example and testimony of our Loving God! I admire your strength, courage, love and continual faith you have in our Heavenly Father with all you have been through and sadly what you continue to go through. Thank you for being so honest and open with even complete strangers as myself, who you are touching through your words. Thank you. Continual peace and blessings for the Erwin Family.

  14. Oh how I wish I could take your hurt away, Lisa. You are right, nothing could compare to losing a child, I believe this. Not having lost a child, but knowing the love that I have for my children. I have seen what my mother n law has gone through in the last couple of years after losing her 29 year old daughter to stomach cancer. She has mentioned some of the same things you have. I don’t know if our lives will ever be the same after losing her. It’s been almost 2 years. Life goes on, but not as we know it. Still praying for you all.

  15. My heart aches for you and your family. I cannot imagine the pain you are experiencing at this time. But please know that many, many people are praying for you and your sweet family. Lots of thoughts and prayers from our family to yours.

  16. Mrs. Lisa,

    You grieve, miss him, remember his smell and touch, talk to him, keep any of his things you want, smile/laugh/cry when you think of him. – – – b/c WE ALL are here to pray with you, support you and help you and your family get through this time in your lives.

    It is completely ok to not make a delicious dinner or worry with the house being spotless!! No one will judge you! You are handling this the way YOU can. 🙂

    Praying for you and your family everyday!
    Love in CHRIST,
    just a friend that you don’t know but who loves you and your family!

  17. Lisa, my heart aches with you. I have never met you, however, my daughter did meet you at St. Jude just before Trey went to live with the Lord. She brought you the football to Collin and Trey from Peyton Manning. I don’t know if you were aware or if she told you but she is being treated for a brain tumor. So I DO know what it is like to have a child (33) years old who has cancer. She will be through with her chemo at the end of this year. She has had two crainiotomies, followed by 7 weeks at Johns Hopkins. I have drawn such strength from your Careingbridge and now from this site. Thank you for witnessing to me and my daughter. Prayers continue for you and your family!

  18. I don’t have children so I can’t possibly understand what you are going through. However, when I was in HS (Bartlett) one of my dear friends, Scott passed away from cancer. He was also a St. Jude patient. Trey’s story reminds me so much of his. He was a baseball player, a friend to many, and an inspiration to all who knew him. I will turn 30 in November, so high school seems like forever ago. Please know that your son and his story and strength and faith will live on in the people that he knew and those that heard his story. I think of Scott ALL the time. For example, everytime I see his baseball number (#20) or see a boston terrier (his family had one). I have kept Trey’s family and friends in my prayers. Trey’s life will touch many others for many many years to come. His strength and faith are an inspiration.

  19. Many prayers of comfort, especially for mental strength to even think about getting out of bed or making that list, let alone get something checked off of the list–my prayer of baby steps – to even breathe…know that you are covered in prayer daily in my prayer/devotional time and ‘double-digits’ on the clock. God will lift you up!!
    God bless and many smiles to come your way!

  20. No one can say I understand unless they have lost a child…No matter how grounded you are in Your Christian Walk…it is unbearable….our lives will never be the same until our Homegoing ….praying for your Family

  21. My heart continues to hurt for you and your family. And I continue to pray for all of you. You’re so right, losing a sibling, parent, grandparent in no way compares to losing a child. Grief is a personal process and is a fluid process…be good to yourself. And may the loving arms of God continue to embrace you.

  22. Lisa,
    I have read every one of your entries on your journal on caringbridge and have also followed your blog. Unfortunately, I do know your pain times two. I had 3 handsome, smart sons and we lost our oldest Kyle and youngest, Kristopher in a plane crash on 11/11/10. Craig, our middle son is left without his brothers. They were so close and we miss them every minute of every day. I am from this area and have wanted to talk to you a million times.

  23. I have followed your posts from the beginning… OH how i hurt for all of you ! I would do anything to help the hurt go away! I have not lost a child either.. but I have had friends that have and keeping up with Trey and all of you.. I feel like another set of “FRIENDS” have. I think of ya’ll so often! Pray for ya’ll often.. Trey and your whole family are still a huge inspiration for the world. I, too, had stopped going to church and always believed in God but just was not living FOR HIM.. even though i knew i should be! This has changed my whole life. We now go to church Sunday and Wednesday! I will forever be changed by this! I just so wish I could help the pain your family is going through. It just breaks my heart. I am a Paramedic.. It’s in my nature to “FIX” everything…and everybody! If I ever meet any of ya’ll in person… I will HUG you.. I will not just “whisper” who you are! I went to school at Glenmore Academy too but I think you probably were in the grade with my brother. I am still praying for ya’ll! Trey, Lisa, Jay and Collin .. you are all Such an inspiration and have changed so many lives.. I KNOW GOD is so proud of you all! God Bless you All! (((HUGS))))

      • Sorry .. I tried to reply from my phone but it kept saying “error”.. My brother is Trey Neblett. No I am not a Paramedic with Memphis.. I used to WANT to be.. but after doing clinicals there years ago.. LOL NO WAY.. but that was long before they changed things and the Paramedics ran NON STOP … Poor things! But they are all still “family”.. and I would still do ANYTHING for any of them!

  24. My heart aches for you as I read that. I can not even imagine how you hurt. I have 3 children and the thought of losing them is horrible. I will pray for your family as you push on!! You inspire me with your strength and I have not even met you!! God bless you, Jay, and Collin!!

  25. Lisa I have also been following you from the day1 what you said is true, poor collin has to be suffering as well. I see my boys and how much they love one another and I can’t imagine what collin can be feeling, then you and jay. I pray for you all ! And poor collin it makes me so sad just thinking about it, thankyou for sharing lisa!

  26. My prayer for you and your family is that you remain strong in the midst of your grief, and that you feel His presence, His peace, and His amazing grace. With much love all the way from London, UK.

  27. Dearest Lisa, Your “I Wish” is so much like Christ’s request in Matthew 26:39. …may this cup be taken from me. then the next sentence so exibts your own faith…..Yet not as I will, but as you will. Your tremendous faith and dependence on our Lord is so evident and continues to inspire me to look at mine own. My prayers for you and your family continue. In the mean time I share your tears. Much love to you thorough our SAVIOR.

  28. I followed your post on CaringBridge and prayed for your family throughout your ordeal. I have always wanted to write something but never felt I could find the right words or say anything that had not already been expressed. However after reading your post today, I found myself compelled to write you. You and your family have been such an inspiration to me and many others. I truly hope that I am able to show such unwavering faith, courage, grace, humility and honesty when faced with adversity. Thank you for allowing me share in this journey with you and your family. It has definitely caused me to put things in perspective.

    I wish for you continued love and support from your family and friends and that God continues to keep his loving arms around you and your family as you maneuver through your new normal.

  29. My heart aches for all of you. Loosing a child can not be something anyone can imagine!! I think I would want to die if u list a child or grandchild. I will continue to pray very boldly for all of you!! May you feel God’s comfort someday soon.

  30. Lisa,
    I think of you and your family daily. I don’t know how you feel and can’t imagine it. What I do know is that you have helped me strive to be a better mom, wife, and friend. You have helped me realize what is truly important in this life. Thank you for sharing Trey’s life and your walk through these difficult times…your Christian example and your honest words are an inspiration. I hope you find healing in your writing…and that you are comforted in knowing that so many pray for you and care…even those of us who have never had the priveledge of knowing you. Thank you and God bless…..

  31. Lisa,
    I think of you and your family daily. I don’t know how you feel and can’t imagine it. What I do know is that you have helped me strive to be a better wife, mom, and friend. You have helped me realize what is truly important in this life. Thank you for sharing Trey’s life and your walk through these difficult times…your christian example and your honest words are an inspiration. I hope you find healing in your writing, and that you are comforted in knowing that so many pray for you and care…even those of us who have never had the privilege of knowing you. Thank you and God bless…..

  32. Mrs. Lisa,
    I’ve looked at all of your posts on here and on Caringbridge and all i can do is sit there in tears and read how strong you and your family truely are. I didnt know Trey, but he is definitely the type of friend anyone would die to have. He has changed my life and helped me become a better Christian! Got put him on this Earth for a reason and Trey did his job! Every night i pray to God thanking him for putting Trey on this Earth because he is an amazing role model and i pray for you and your family to help yall get through this rough time!
    Jesus replied, “You do not realise now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
    John 13:7

  33. Lisa, you don’t know me, but I know that the Lord had me read your Caring Bridge site just before Trey went home to be with Jesus. I sit here with tears in my eyes. I am so so sorry. I have been so grateful that Jesus is called the Man of sorrows and that He is acquainted with our deepest grief. I am the mom of a fifteen year old son and your posts encourage me afresh to remember what a gift he and his sisters are. Habakkuk 3:17-19 is one of my favorite passages and one I have gone to over and over again for comfort when I have needed it most. I love it especially in the Amplified Bible:

    17 Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, [though] the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls,

    18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation!

    19 The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!

    May God pour out His favor on you for choosing to praise when praise is such a costly sacrifice. You are a beautiful example to so many you do not even know personally.

    My love to you, Shawn

  34. I understand this. We have a precious daughter in Heaven with your son. It is so different from any other type of loss. From one mother to another – stay the course. Christ is all and soon we will see our precious children again. And we will understand – but it won’t matter.

  35. Lisa,

    While reading your post tears ran down my cheeks. My heart aches for you, Jay and Collin, I ask God to give you comfort during this difficult time. I thank you for sharing Trey’s life with us, he was an amazing person! Thank you for also sharing The New Normal for the Erwin Family.

    May God Bless you.

  36. Your son brought me back to the lord. & I give all my thanks to him and your family. He inspired so many people to love Jesus. He was one maraculous boy…

  37. Dear Lisa, All I can send is hugs and prayers and love. I just watched my mom and dad bury my brother Drew April 15th and I also watched my other brother Jeff and his wife bury their 18 year old son Jonathan November 5th, 2006. I am at a loss for words. All I know that I can do is pray for you and your family. XOXO Your sister in Christ, Katherine

  38. I just want you to know that Trey and your whole family have been in my prayers from the first time I heard about Trey being sick on the radio. I read his tweets and he seemed like he was a very positive young man right up till his last moments on this Earth. I wish I could have meet him in person, he seemed to so brave. I just know that he is in Heaven watching over you and the rest of his family and just waiting for you to join him one day. From one Christian mother to another, I will prey to the lord that you and your family have the strength to get threw everyday with joyful memories of your precious son.

  39. Trey is with you every day Mrs.Lisa. I know he is watching down on you. No one who has not lost a child knows your pain. All we can do is pray. I pray that you and your family get through this hard time. Prayers go to you guys everyday!!

  40. Hello! I’ve been reading your weblog for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic work!

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