This past week has been an intense one. It's been a roller coaster of activity and emotion. It's been a week of immense sadness and heart break. It's been a week filled with trying to come to terms with tragic loss. It's been a week of utter shock and disbelief. It's been a week of trying to reach out to help in any way possible and then not being able to reach far enough. It's been a week of asking why and not getting any answers.
On February 4, 2010 my youngest daughter in Tennessee and her husband lost his brother in a tragic car accident. It was sudden. It was unexpected. It was utterly devastating.
As I spoke with my daughter on the phone in the days that followed, all I could feel was helplessness, frustration and my heart completely breaking for their heart break, sadness and devastation. It just absolutely kills me when my kids are hurting. It's a hurt like no other and it completely consumes me. It sends me straight into the arms of Jesus begging him to please take away their pain and suffering. It reduces me to a pile of rubble at the foot of The Cross asking why them.
My son in law was intensely close with his brother. My daughter was intensely close with her brother in law and his wife. They are next door neighbors. They are the partners they worked closely with in their Duct Tape business. They are the very best of friends. My son in law's family has been part of our family since he and my daughter were in Junior High school in Tennessee. They have been together for what seems like a life time.
We take our lives for granted. We take the most important people in our lives for granted. We take the time we have here on earth for granted. We take love for granted. We fail to see how fragile and fleeting life really is and when it's suddenly gone from us, it leaves us scratching our heads in befuddlement. We feel betrayed. We feel mortally wounded in our souls. It ALWAYS leaves us asking God "why?"
It leaves us with no clear answers for the rest of our days. It leaves us with using our coping mechanisms to get by in the days that follow. It leaves us with never truly accepting that death is a part of life but each and every one of us WILL experience it in one way or another at some point(s) in our lives. It leaves us contemplating our own mortality and ultimately knowing that we will expire ourselves some day. It leaves us trying to picture what the transition from life to death will be like. It leaves us hoping that there really is a God and a Heaven and the after life is the home where we really belong. It leaves some of us hoping that there is no after life and we simply go to sleep for eternity. It leaves some of us wondering what we will be in our next life here on earth. It leaves us with immense questions and pain and confusion and anger...and worst of all, regret. It leaves us in shambles and wondering how we will ever be able to put the pieces back together again and resume life as usual.
As my kids work on accepting what has happened and getting on with life, I think of the young wife left behind and very grateful her injuries were not life threatening. I think of her contemplating what her next steps in this life will be. I think of her dealing with her grief and loneliness and feeling betrayed. I pray that God will keep her close in the next few months and comfort her in her deepest, darkest hours.
I pray for the parents and the other siblings dealing with such immense loss. All I can feel for them is that no parent should ever have to bury a child. I pray that God holds them closer than ever. I pray that their faith is not shaken and they will cling to Jesus and The Cross.
Life doesn't seem very fair sometimes. We try hard to make sense of all that takes place in our every day lives. But we're always left asking questions about why life is the way it is and never really getting clear answers. My experiences have left me taking one step at a time, one day at a time. I quit asking so many questions long ago. All it did was leave me confused and frustrated. Life is too short to spend it in a muddle.
To my dear children, I pray intensely every day for the healing of your hearts and the void you feel right now lessening as each day passes. To dear sweet Danielle, I pray for the healing of your body, mind, heart and spririt. Just know that God is never far from you. Please know that James is not gone from you. He simply has gone home to Jesus, and Jesus is keeping you wrapped in his arms.
Rest In Peace James Fitzgerald Walworth. 1982 - 2010