It has been eight months this Wednesday since Brianna passed away and you may be wondering…has it gotten a little better. Frankly, no it hasn’t. The pain is incomprehensible at times.
I don’t shop much anymore, only for essentials like food. Rod had a conference he was attending to represent the ministry he works for and was in need of a few items. I knew where these items could be found, but I tried a few other stores first. Sure enough the other stores didn’t have what I needed so onto the store I should have gone to in the first place. As I approached the store the sign above seemed to swallow me up, the letters seemed much bigger then I remembered. (For those of you who might not know, Brianna worked at Kohls for a few months before she was taken from us). As I entered the store all I could do was dig my nails into the palms of my hands to keep from crying, but I was determined to accomplish the mission I was there for and I figured if I had gotten this far I could accomplish it. The problem was that the department I needed to get to was in the middle of the store and all I could do once I reached it was to ask God to get me through this. I actually felt like I was having an anxiety attack, from what others have told me it feels like. I could barely make it to the counter, but I just kept asking my Father to help me. This experience at Kohls actually made me sick the rest of the day physically and emotionally. You might think-- you felt like that only by going into the store she worked at? Brianna and I had a tradition we started when she turned fifteen, we would shop at Kohls for Mother’s Day (for the both of us). That was our day not just mine, besides if she hadn’t been born I would not have been able to celebrate Mother’s Day. I believe God even allowed Brianna to get her job at Kohls because He knew how much she liked to shop there.That is how all-encompassing grief is.
The day of the tragedy, Brianna was on her way home from work and she had her lanyard on from Kohls. Since her phone couldn’t be found, the CHP went to Kohls to get her emergency contact information to get hold of me. I was at my employers that day when the hospital called me and I can’t even return to that job because the pain is just too great. When I received the call from the social worker, he told me she didn’t make it. Again, this encompassing grief! Sometimes I really don’t know how something related to her is going to affect me until it just hits me and the pain just takes over. It isn’t in just one area, because she was part of my whole life in many areas. She was sprinkled all throughout my life. I try to keep very busy and yet at times I wish I could just go to sleep and not wake up. The motivation I have to keep plugging along is not wanting Rod to be left alone, and the driving force I have to share Brianna’s story so more people can come to know the truth.
I share this with you because it so real and constantly present when a child is taken suddenly. It is ever before you, when you go to sleep and when you wake up. The other morning Rod and I woke and we both dreamed about Brianna, but couldn’t see her face. It made me realize that since a husband and wife is united as one they share the depth of the grief and yet can deal with it in so many different ways.
Since Brianna is not here with us, both Rod and I have had to relearn and create new family traditions. It has also pushed us into being very real with each other, since Brianna was our buffer. A good friend told us to be very careful with our relationship and to stay close to one another. At the time I didn’t really understand the seriousness of her advice until the months have progressed. For me I felt like Rod should be grieving the same way I had and since he hasn’t then he must not miss Brianna as much as I did. I even suffer from fear when he has to go on trips for the ministry he works for, afraid that he might not return. There are so many feelings that we all deal with and yet I feel like they were in a bag before contained, but now the bag has been broken open and they are all just floating inside me. This has taught me that many times I need to be gentle with others and truly be present within their hurt. The Father isn’t just walking along side me He is walking right in the midst of this horrible trial.
Some of you might think that during these seven months we have been able to just deal with Brianna’s death… how wrong that is. We have had to deal with persecution from our families, feelings of no justice in dealing with the reckless driver, finding out a family member has actually stolen items of Brianna’s after her death, friends who have left us and are not there anymore for us, and now looking for another place to live (and that will be VERY difficult, to move her items out of a room that has so many memories especially her very last ones). I just want to share with you a few things we are dealing with and how painfully real the death of a child is. As a grieving mother I ask that you truly make yourself available for those who have had to endure such loss, even when it is not convenient. You can go on with your lives and even complain about the littlest things, not really realizing that in a moment it can all be taken away.
I have realized I am broken and nothing here on this earth can fix it, only my heavenly Father can hold me together. I came across a verse that has brought me some comfort, I hope it does for you:
“Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees, tell fearful souls, “Courage! Take heart! God is here, right here, on his way to put things right and redress all wrongs. He’s on his way! He’ll save you! Blind eyes will be opened, deaf ears unstopped, lame men and women will leap like deer, the voiceless break into song, springs of water will burst out in the wilderness, streams flow in the desert.” Isaiah 35:3-6 Message
My Father will give me the courage I need for my fearful heart and He will redress ALL wrongs. Praise the Lord! I don’t have to worry and when I feel like I can’t make it, since it is moment by moment, He has promised to save me. Friends all we have to do is relinquish ourselves and all we are to Him (even that the Holy Spirit will put within us to do.) The good news is that Jesus is coming soon! Please continue to pray for us. Until next time keep looking up!