Friday, August 20, 2010

One Month

It's been a month today, since the end of one life on earth changed others forever, in the blink of an eye.

Some lives were only affected a little, what comes from hearing a tragic tale affecting a distant old friend, or  someone they never even knew.  How many times have I been there instead?  For some it amounts to a sigh and a prayer for the suffering.  And many will never know what they missed in him.

Amazing how many people, though, who have said the news stayed on their minds, heavy on their hearts for days, weeks.  Now a month. 
Cards have trailed off, but I'm still getting notes through other more convenient media.  I haven't asked about it lately but I'm sure my parents are too.  They have a big bunch of cards.  I have a stack too, and so does Grandma.  Notes and cards, so many thoughts and prayers.  So much evidence of the love of friends and family in the Lord.  I am grateful, for that and for so many blessings God has given since Clint's death.

But am I?  I would trade it all in an instant to have my brother back.  And I think anyone would understand that and likely do the same.  But it isn't our choice to make....

Bitterness?  The thought occurs to me.  Hmm, I hope not.  I don't usually dwell on it.  But sometimes the blessings, silver linings small and also arguably great, arriving since his departure, seem a cruel mockery.   It's not that I don't appreciate them.  I do.  But emotions are so often a mixed cup... and at the bottom of this one is that bitter taste.  I think, are these things worth it?  And the answer seems to be no.

Even the spiritual?  I hesitate.  I compare what he might have done in life, what might have happened otherwise.  Though it's a complete unknown.  There is no alternate reality available to me, no control group to test the hypothesis.  And it's easy to invent validations in imagination.

Am I selfish?  Yes.  Foolish?  Probably.

This is just a little thing.  It isn't properly represented by dwelling on it here in paragraphs.  It takes the form of passing thoughts, only occasionally more.  Yet it is one of many little things which add up to weigh heavy, through each and every day, under the surface.  I'll have to come to terms with each eventually.  Right now, my mind is still taking a long, slow inventory of everything it runs across, trying to fully grasp the unimagined reality.  I wonder how long it will take.

I wanted to post something today that I wrote today.  As though it matters how long it's been.

I've had Tom Petty's "To Find a Friend" running through my head since yesterday.  Odd perhaps, because so much of the song is really irrelevant, but what keeps playing over is the chorus:  "And the days went by like paper in the wind.  Everything changed, then changed again. It's hard to find a friend, it's hard to find a friend."  Each of those sentences resonates.  The last couple will make me start to tear up if I think about them.  But they won't leave me alone.

I'd kind of like to just cry though.  I'd like to be able to more.  Not that I haven't some, or can't at all, but I haven't as much as I might have expected.  Not that I ever thought much if any about how I'd respond if something like this happened before it did.  But somehow I had some underlying expectations.  How is that?  Maybe from the movies?  Who knows.  But you're supposed to cry.  Everybody knows that, right?  Ha.

I guess I think maybe it would somehow be easier if I could just have a good long cry and get that part over with, at least for a while.  I guess I'm maybe a little frustrated, although I only now realized that as I was typing.  What I have instead of much crying is sort of like a continual feeling that I might be about to.  Not always, but a lot.  It's weird because since I usually don't cry, I know I'm not really about to most of the time.  But it's something like it.  It feels somewhat like I'm trying not to, except I don't think I am, at least not when I'm home and definitely not when I'm by myself.  Maybe some part of me is, though, I don't know.

Enough.  I'll close saying that God is my constant comfort.  Even if this was His direct choice?  Yes, even then.  And He did allow it to happen.  There's no way around that.  Shall I then blame Him?  That would be to proudly claim to know better than He does.  I have (I hope) learned that much through previous trials.  I ask why, sure, but so far even as I ask Him I don't really wonder about it the way I used to with things, with the same challenging (rebellious?) attitude I had when my first miscarriage happened, for instance.  He's proven Himself trustworthy enough that I ask with the expectation that all the good He has for me will be revealed in time, or at least once time is over (Romans 8:28).  This isn't the first rough spot I've been through.  Is it the toughest?  I guess I'm not sure, since I'm still very much in the middle of it.  Has God prepared me for this?  Likely.  I know anything good comes from Him (James 1:17), and I want to praise Him for helping me through this far, however He's done it.


  1. Reading this reminds me of what Job's friends must have felt like trying to comfort and reason with Job. Who are we as men to understand such things? But we are certainly created to try to understand, and hope through our understanding that we see things through God's perspective as best we can, therein bringing ourselves comfort.

    I think I would be the same way when it comes to crying as an expression of grief. I've felt that way about crying over other things besides death of loved ones, specifically, it's always bothered me that I have yet to come to tears when hearing of Jesus' death for my sins on the cross. Of all the petty things I shed tears over, why can't I cry for my LORD's suffering? I know this is tangential, but the point I'm trying to make is that maybe the lack of outward tears doesn't mean the tears you shed in your heart aren't just as valid. God knows the thoughts and intentions of your heart, thankfully, and He can heal your heart regardless of how much grief comes through tears.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. I have been wondering how you are doing and am glad you have been able to write these last few days.
    We always wonder how we will deal with different things that come our way. We wonder if we are dealing with things the normal way. Do others deal with this this way or that? We each have to find our own way. We each have to take each day as it comes.
    I have found that writing helps in so many ways. When things get to hard and my mind gets so full of thoughts and worries, I will sit down and write out a prayer to God. It helps me to slow down my thoughts and worries and I can focus and give my thoughts to God.
    We don't know why things like this happen. But Clint was doing God's work and so many teenagers saw this, that you have to have some peace knowing he was showing others how to live for God.
    One thing I know is we want to know how you are doing. That we all are praying for you and your family. That we are to share our thoughts, trials, and burdens. There is a time to mourn and we need each other to get through times like this.
    Glenda Grogan

  3. Many have been where you are, to one degree or another, and feel anew the grief they once knew too well. So many years later, a remembrance may again make you feel as though you are about to cry. God gave you this brother, who moved from being taught by you, to being able to teach, and it is reasonable and proper that his passing should affect you so strongly. Thank God for the hope we have in His Son! Because, I'm sure many of us have also been in the midst of grief such as this, but without the comfort of hope for the one we lost.

    You have come through so many trials in your life. For what? Your faith has been tried, in varying degrees, by what you have suffered. Your faith is likely much stronger now than it was at those times, and you are better able to be a help and comfort to others who suffer similarly. I am reminded of the life of Abraham. How many trials did he endure? Sometimes he failed, but he kept going, and all those years his faith was increasing. What if God had required the life of his son when He first called him? No. He needed greater faith to make it through that trial, and God knew that.

    All of these years, all of these trials that you have endured, have served to prepare you for this great trial. If you continue to put your trust in God and in His word, you will come through even stronger. You will be even more able to give comfort and strength to those who suffer. Hang on to Him; while we have good intentions, we can fail you. But God is the One Who will bring you through as gold.

    We love you, and continue to pray for you and your family often.

  4. I still continue praying for you daily, Amber, even as I just don't know what to say to you. I know I have no words to comfort or ease your grief over your loss.

    Tears. . .hmmmm. I know when I really feel like I need to cry about something, I just feel such a huge weight, such heaviness. . .and I wish I could cry to relieve some of that. But it's hard to let go sometimes, too--esp when we have others depending on us. I really don't know--I've never experienced loss like this. I've been through heartache with my little brother as he's made really, really bad decisions and paid horrible consequences as a result. . .but I do still have him here. And that's just not the same. My only thought, I guess, is that there is no 'should' when going through the grieving process. We will each grieve in our individual manner.

    But I am so grateful you have comfort in the Lord and you are able to praise Him as you feel His presence in the midst of your grief. I don't understand everything, for sure, but I know God is good, and my hope rests in that fact.