Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Do You Want Them Back - Repost

A fellow blogger (and someone I consider a friend despite the fact that we have A. Never met, and B. live on opposite sides of the country) wrote this great blog a few weeks ago that I wanted to share.  In light of events that some close friends and family are dealing with, I thought perhaps it was fitting.  I really think that it applies to all losses, whether by death or choice.  Thank you, Patricia at Legacy for sharing. And to those struggling to reconcile current events, for you...

I warn you readers. This is not going to be one of those crazy posts where you LOL. It's a serious one, but when I have an epiphany, it must be documented, since the occurrences are becoming a rarity.

I was driving to my office. I had just dropped off my daughter at high school with her iced caramel machiatto to help her get through her AP Human Geography test. Was sipping an awake tea of my own, sweetened with sugar-free vanilla (my new favorite no calorie drink at Starbucks. It's cheap too. Even better.)

I was listening to the radio. My listening is varied on the way to work. I have ten stations programmed into my car radio and my iPhone has Pandora (love) and all of my iTunes music too, and my car has one of those hookups where I can listen through my car speakers, so I always have good ear candy.
On the radio was a radio show called the Wally Show. I rarely land on this station, but the conversation had me hooked. There was a woman who wrote in to recount the story of the death of her son. I missed most of the story, and I know you are thinking this is not very uplifting for a morning radio show, and I wholeheartedly agree, but since I was wanting to hear the end of the story, I kept on listening.

She talked about something very familiar to me. It was the absolute devastation one feels when having experienced a major loss in life. If you haven't been reading all that long, I am one of those people you hear about who can plan a funeral in my sleep, because many people very close to my immediate life have died. She described the "not wanting to get out of bed, not eating, not sleeping, not living, just existing while the rest of the world goes about normal daily tasks" kind of reality that I am all too familiar with.

Then she talked of a time when she was pissed at God (check) for allowing this to destroy her life, she was crying out to God (check) and in that moment, she heard a very audible and real question come from God. (You may have some very strong beliefs about whether people can REALLY hear the voice of God, but keep reading, because it doesn't really matter.) What she heard "God" say is "Do you want Him back?"
At that moment, she realized that she didn't. She realized that her son was no longer ill, no longer feeling the inevitable pain of this world, no longer struggling and her pain was not for him, but for her. Her answer to "God" was, "No, I don't want him back."

This sparked something in me. Made me think about my losses. Do I want them back?

My sister was a recovering alcoholic. She really struggled in life. It was painful to witness. She was ironically killed, five years after her recovery, by a drunk driver. Wow. Irony. She once told me she often drove home at night and had no idea how she got there when she was drinking. She could have been the driver, not the victim. Ugh. No, she is out of her struggle with life. I want her to stay for all eternity in a place that would feel safe and welcoming. (Crying right now..)

My mom and dad were both irreparably affected by the loss of my sister when she began drinking and then when she was killed. It was so tragic to see my strong, responsible, amazing parents suffer. The only thing that miraculously began the healing process was their love affair with their grand kids.

Then my mom got sick. Terminally. I saw my dad for years, serve her in that illness. He changed her oxygen tanks, cooked for her, cleaned the house, did the shopping and kept his marriage vows in a way I had never imagined he knew how. When mom died, we were all broken, again irreparably. We knew nothing would ever be the same again, and it wasn't, but then came Doris.

My dad was married for five years and happy again before his massive and sudden heart attack last August.
Would I want them back? I have to say no. What I want is my life to feel whole again, which I can't say is impossible. Just because I can't see right now how it will all come back together, doesn't mean it won't.

Don't think I'm not happy. I am very happy. I have a wonderful family and unbelievably supportive friends. I have a great job, am healthy. I do love life, but my life is fractured. In spite of that I don't want any of my family back. I may feel alone sometimes, like no one really knows me, because there is no one with whom I can recall those childhood stories with, but I am not alone.

This realization has been a powerful step in my healing. Thanks for reading.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing your story. The grieving processes of a loss is so different for many people. Huggs to you.

  2. Susan! I am so honored you chose to share this blog to your own readers. When you asked to share it, I thought you might send the link to a few people. Either way, my writing is public and for the purpose of helping others and myself. Having said that, I just read this through, and it was amazing to read my own writing again weeks later, as it now impacts other situations. Thank you, friend, and I pray for your comfort as you process your pain. Hugs.


Thanks for leaving a comment! Look forward to more :) ~ Susan