Psalm 54:4 Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.
Lately I have been stepping out of my comfort zone. I am venturing out to places I have not been without Jackson, like the boys end of the baseball field, and back into the dugout to help Josh coach Jenna Claire. That is a battle I still fight, but I do it for Jackson. I can hear him saying "cowgirl up mom, keep going!".
Our son was a fighter, he suffered pain that most of us cannot comprehend. When he was 2 years old, he was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. That diagnosis took 3 weeks to get, all of which we spent in and out of the hospital. He went through horrible testing and procedures to try and figure out why our vibrant little man just could not walk anymore. After the diagnosis was made, we started treatment. There is no cure for JRA, only treatment. Jackson had to receive an immune suppressant shot every night, and an extra one on Wednesdays. He hated the shots, but he never knew another way. It's all he knew. After about 6 months of that medication routine he was a new child, or the old one anyway. He was the fastest kid on his team, rode horses and RAN everywhere. He understood that without the shots, he would not be able to do those things. Every single night and twice on Wednesdays my little man would "cowboy up" (in his words) and take the shots. So you see, Jackson was never "normal" he was unique from the jump and we knew it. He was electric and people were drawn to him. So it makes sense that he would want his mom to just "cowgirl up" and step out of this safe place I created.
Stepping out has opened more doors than I was prepared for. Old bitter wounds have threatened to resurface by running into good friends who have become faded memories over the last 3 years. I have learned that as painful as it is for me to step out, it can be painful for others to see me. Maybe it brings up old memories of Jackson, maybe they just don't know what to say or do, maybe they don't like being reminded how fragile and short life can be. Maybe I just make people uncomfortable. I don't know that there is any one reason people avoid us. I guess I never noticed as I was so busy avoiding them as well. Now that God has led me to "cowgirl up" I am seeing people. I see people I miss, I see the boys Jackson loved so much, I see people who just don't know what to do or say to me. Every loss is completely different. Every person is unique with Gods own finger print on them. Because of that, there is no "what not to say & do, how to look or not to look at the grief stricken person" hand book. Grief is not a one size fits all. When words fail you, just be honest. In the attempt to avoid saying the wrong thing your face is already speaking volume. If you worry that talking to me will make you cry, then lets cry. Lets DO something, anything is better than nothing!
In close I want to say this. We are currently living through a tragic loss. You never "get over" or "get past" it. However, we are NOT tragically lost. We are still here, struggling to figure it all out just like everyone else. Life is a journey, if we continue to stand still in fear and not move, how will Gods plan ever unfold? We have to "cowboy or cowgirl up" and move when God wants us to move. It hurts, but its better than standing still being numb.