Straight up in bed I sat as if I was awoken from a dream, but I had not been dreaming. Dreaming required sleep and sleep would not come. Three days earlier I was sleeping peacefully while my son lay dead on highway 395. Pedestrian hit by car at 73 miles per hour. I sat there awake in my nightmare, I placed my hand gently upon my husbands back and said “ this wont be the last heartache we endure!”, he tenderly replied to me “no it will not.” He had already had the thought, but this was a new epiphany to me. The thought was cruel and unfair how could my heart ever bear another sadness? I just sat there in bed letting the gravity of the reality set in. The darkness overwhelmed my spirit and my soul. I felt displaced and homesick.
Five years has passed since that night and the epiphany has proven itself true in so many different ways. New heartaches, challenges and losses continued to come like the wrinkles on an my aged face and the grey hairs at my temples. Time moves on and we move forward. There is no other direction to go. Walking forward means walking away from our dead. My son was in the past and the present was dragging me right along away from the memories, away from the accident, away into grief, away to other heartaches to endure. King David in the scripture rightly proclaims, after losing his son, “I shall go to him but he will not return to me.” Clearly David understood the time travel of the bereaved. The bereaved do not return, they cope.
Coping : To contend; to strive or struggle; to combat. To encounter; to interchange kindness or sentiments. To make return; to reward. To exchange or barter.
I never knew the official definition of coping until I decided to write this piece and reading it made me smirk. To cope is to truly try to do all that the definition entails with one exception, the exception is that we never return! We barter and exchange we strive, struggle and combat and we even try to interchange the horrible for the greater good or future joy. But we never return, we don’t comeback. Like an earthling being transported to Mars, moon-boots helmet and all, Grief is like learning to live, walk and breath on a new planet. Our minds remember the old planet and long for our sandal shod feet and the comfort of gravity but our loss has transported us to another world. The distance from earth to the heavens quite accurately portrays the distance we are from normal from memories from home.
In the receiving line of my sons funeral a kind gentleman that I knew from work hugged me and offered this advice,” don’t loose sight of Amy Jo.” I understood the the interchange of sentiment I understood his thought and I could even take in the kindness and all that it was worth, but my friend was an earth dweller and his perspective was from that vantage point, he could not see that I was not coming back. he could not see that for the rest of my days I would simply be learning to cope in a different world and in a different time and that coming back was an illusion.
The Godly often die before their time, but no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. Isaiah 57:1