Please use this blog to help us remember Joshua Lee Anderson, who made the tragic and fatal decision to take his life on Wednesday, March 18, 2009. Please post any memories or thoughts you may have in the comments.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November 18, 2009 - Eight Months

It is now eight months since the passing of our son and I don't know what to think, say or write. Feeling numb. Knowing it happened but not wanting to think about it. Not even wanting to visit his grave site today because I will have to face reality. It is easier these days to wake up, work, go to the gym, have dinner, watch a little TV, read and go to bed.

But then, without warning, a memory will flash in my mind. Like a snapshot, a still picture, a frozen camera shot, a frame from a movie. It could be a picture of how I found Josh, or of a black body bag going out our front door, or of him lying peacefully in his casket, dressed in the outfit that his brother got from his room because I couldn't do it, or of us at his grave site, saying good-bye.

I can be driving along, minding my own business and whammo - my mind goes to those first awful days. Or sitting at my computer, working away and in a moment of distraction, another flash.

They must be coming from my subconscious mind because my conscious mind has blocked them out. These memories are still too painful. Even in my journal, I cannot write about the events that happened just eight short months ago. The mind must know when something is too much to bear. The body goes into a self-preservation mode: protecting the mind, guarding the heart, sheltering the soul.

In Beryl Glover's book, The Empty Chair, she quotes a woman whose mother committed suicide at 70 years old. I can relate to the following metaphor:

Sometimes when you put a glass in the dishwasher, it fractures. My theory is that if you knock the glass against the faucet in picking it up, you fracture it invisibly. It looks intact, but when you put it in the dishwasher, it falls apart. I've thought of myself in that way, like a glass that had a severe jolt that doesn't show, but is more vulnerable now. (54)
I am functioning in my day-to-day life pretty well. Perhaps if you saw me now and didn't know what happened, you would not guess. But like the glass, my heart is fractured and although not readily visible, I am weak and vulnerable, emotionally. Unusual feelings for me as I have been used to being strong, rational and capable.

I now have to look beyond myself for strength - to family, friends and faith. This is hard too, because like most people, I don't like the feeling if needing help, much less asking for it. But there are some things that are just way too hard to bear on your own; losing a 17-year old, beloved son to senseless suicide is one.

These are the Bible verses in which I find great comfort. They tell me that God is not far; He is close at hand and desires to comfort, guide, lead and save me. He can restore my soul.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Matthew 5:4

The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quite waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death;
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:1-4

Thank you for the continued thoughts and prayers.
God Bless


Biggie-Z said...

Eight years after 9/11, the immediate events from 8:48am until about 10:30am are quite a blur. I remember snatches of things I did and things I saw, but I think my mind took care of me by blocking out a lot. Even so, there are occasional sounds or smells that trigger flashes of memories, and I still have a hard time watching any kind of explosions in the movies. These triggers come less and less often, though I think they are always just below the surface.

Thinking of you today, and we'll see you soon. xoxo

Roxanne said...

Last night I still had grandparents here from Makhaila's baby shower and I was trying to spend time and give to them. But I had such a lump in my throat and pit in my stomach. I have not been able to shake that feeling especially on Tuesday nights, or on the evening of the 17th. I have this feeling I want to do something to stop what happenend. I know this is not rational but I just can't stop it. Last night I knew it was Tuesday and it was the 17th so it seemed soooo intense. I am tryig to work today but tears fill my eyes every few minutes. I feel as though it just happened and that I can not breath. Sue I can only imagion the flashes in your mind. I think you are right that your body is in self preservation a computer but your heart has such deep pain that they pop out when you least expect it. When there is any little tiny space to break through.

The other day all the guys were talking about the Xbox game Call to Duty 4 and how people where in line to get it. Bryce came home with it shortly after it went on sale at midnight and I started to say....I bet Josh has it and you will get to play it with him....I stopped myself and just went off bymyself and cried. I know this happens to Bryce all the time and he just does not even know what to do with himself.

We are with you in this journey Sue each and every day. As always it helps me to read the words you manage to write. I pray constantly for each of you. I misss Josh just as much today as I did 8 months ago.

Love, Roxanne