The age old question surfaces, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" And "why did God allow this to happen? Why didn't He intervene?"
On a previous post, I had shared that to help me with the question of faith, I am working on a cross stitch of the beautiful Footprints vignette. Each stitch is a reminder that I am not walking on this grief journey alone.
In my journal, I wrote the following...
I have been walking this grief journey or through the grief tunnel, one step at a time and have felt alone for no one can do this for me. But I must remember that I am not alone for the Lord is by my side. He has not forsaken me. He has guided me - without my being aware. In the days right after Josh's death, He has directed the creation of the blog. Also, everything came together for the service - a massive undertaking to organize in just two days, under the most horrible circumstances.
I have seen and felt God in all of the ways that people have reached out to us and have felt strengthened by the numerous prayers lifted to the heavens on our behalf. In the midst of all of the bad that is reported in the news daily - the corruption in politics, business and sports, people are good. Have good hearts. Are kind, giving and loving. Willing to share, help, encourage and lift up. We are still getting cards and gifts even though it has been over seven months.
Pre-Josh, I was getting cynical about people - their motives, superficiality and hypocrisy. Then this horrible, tragic event happened to us and rather than feeling shunned or stigmatized, beginning with Josh's friends, we were surrounded by love and fellow grievers. It was the kids first - I will never forget how those young people came over, gave us great big bear hugs and wept unashamedly while looking at the pictures of Josh and writing in his book.
Our neighborhood provided daily meals for weeks. Friends helped tirelessly in our home - organizing and serving food and helping with the numerous plants and flowers being delivered daily. The friends of our surviving kids came that weekend by plane, car, bus and train. All three of them had a "posse" of friends surrounding them - encouraging, supporting and helping them get through this tragedy. Our own family flew or drove from great distances - leaving their own family vacation and even canceling a long awaited trip to China to come and be with us.
Then the hundreds of people who came to the service; many driving for hours to be with us, give a hug, show their support, and share their stories of Josh. And the thousands who have read his blog. The outpouring of love was and still is overwhelming. People are good - I was losing sight of this.
It feels like the movie "Pay it Forward". After being the recipient of a good deed, you turn around and do good for someone else. Maybe this is what is being done through Josh's blog - as it has appeared to help many people who struggle with the harsh inner feelings that can spiral into dark thoughts.
I hope the blog is helping parents open up the lines of communication with their kids, regardless of age, so that all unresolved issues can be brought out into the open, talked about, dealt with and forgiven. I realize now more than ever, that life is too short to keep from being close to the ones we love.
I hope kids will realize that parents are trying their best but are only human. We have our faults. We cannot read minds. That if there are things that are bothering you or dynamics in the family that hurt you - speak up and say it! If it is too hard to say, write a letter. Be open. Express yourself. If you need help, admit it and get it.
Our son did not do this and I wonder, why didn't he? Pride, fear, embarrassment? Maybe he didn't want to be looked at or thought of differently. Maybe he was afraid of what would happen if he really said what he thought. I don't know, but I wish to God that he had been open. Because he would still be here. What he did is what is often said about suicide: a permanent solution to a temporary problem. As his mother, this is what pains me the most.
I know that I need help. It would be easy to just shut myself off from people - no visits, phone calls, emails or posts on the blog. But this is not God's way. He works through others to provide love, support, guidance and healing. Prayer is a bit difficult these days, but when I think about all of what has been done for us, I can say my own "Thank you" prayer to God.