For a parent who has lost a child those two words – “moving on” are repulsive and incomprehensible. It even seems impossible. Many feelings of guilt and remorse even accompany the thought of smiling again.
Now that we are in the month of August and with school approaching, I am reminded of the all the firsts without Jenae as a family. Living without our daughter was just wrong, unreal, and unnatural. Most times, we felt forced and unmotivated to live our lives. Anything we did brought a flood of memories and heartache. The thought of not spending anymore time together and creating new memories with Jenae was heart breaking. It is still hard at times, but through Jesus there is hope.
This month brings back memories and emotions. This is mainly because Jenae became sick on the last day of school and pasted three days later at the end of May. A few months later, summer break was over and it was time for the kids to go back to school. I remember thinking how can I take my older son back to school without his sister?! The THREE of us always commuted together, talked and shared about many things, and giggled along the way. How can Jenae’s school mates continue school with out Jenae?! The worse thing was and is that no one wants to acknowledge or talk about this. Some people we knew would even pretend not to see us in public and go the opposite direction.
No matter how badly we wished we could go back in time and change things to include Jenae, it was just not possible. We would be forced to live without Jenae. Our daughter who we loved immensely. We would also have to find a new normal that would fall way short of what we were used to and wanting. Our house felt like the dark times lived by the beast in the Beauty and the Beast movie. We were faced with a unwanted reality that we didn’t sign up for. Now what??
I can remember in the first month, not knowing if I had eaten anything all day… then grabbing a bowl of cereal near midnight to have some kind of nourishment. It took some time but we were able to endure through prayer, God’s strength, word, and encouragement. In the beginning the prayers helped us to get by the next minute, then later it was the next hour, and then day by day. So in my opinion, living without someone you greatly love is very hard but can only be done with divine help.
Even though it was hard to know God was with us at that time, we now see God’s hand that kept us from falling in a dark inescapable hole. Sometimes right at the last minute! Despite our own actions to try and bring our own healing, Jesus brought what we really needed. This a lot of times was in correcting our interpretation of His word and also through His grace in our lives. We are so thankful that He keeps His promises and has never left us nor forsaken us as many others did. When life gets tough; abide / trust in Jesus and wait upon Him. He is the source of strength, truth, comfort, and the peace that surpasses all understanding.