26 Jul

IMG_1249Looking back over the last twenty-one months I realize I have passed through many stages (written August 2015).

Detachment:  This bizarre experience of living in the moment, fully aware of every single detail—the losses, the precariousness of Gracen’s future—the people around me, their words, my responses and this awareness that my emotions had been somehow blunted from all of it. It was good—it was horribly bad—it allowed me to function but left me fearful on an entirely new level. What kind of person—what kind of mother responds this way?

Exhaustion:  Mental, physical, emotional and spiritual exhaustion. Catching  myself thinking, “I’m just so very tired.” repeatedly throughout the day. Even following a good night’s sleep, “I’m so very tired” echoed through my mind. “So tired.” And there are still days like this; days where physical fatigue has little to do with this blanket of exhaustion that near suffocates me at times.

Brokenness:  Not just broken but utterly, completely shattered. So broken that healing is beyond comprehension. And yes, that thought, “I’m just so broken” flitting through my mind repeatedly, day after day.

Anger:  At a lack of justice—at missing out on Bethany & Katie’s lives, their futures—at Gracen’s failing health—at ruined credit—at the flashbacks that plague me—the pervasive apathy that steals my motivation and overcomes my will power—and on it goes.

Fear:  Okay, terror—for the future—of my Savior—of His plans.  Steeped in anxiety. Fighting off panic. Waiting for the next blow. Anticipating the next loss.

Resistance:  To moving forward. I can’t go back but don’t make me imagine a future void of all I planned for my life. I can’t go there. I just can’t go there. I don’t want to go there. I don’t want to live in bitterness and loss, yet can’t imagine a future different than I’d planned and dreamed of. Can’t even imagine an alternative that holds any appeal.

Resignation:  No way to change it—certainly no way to fix it—no way to make it better—hands tied—unpalatable choices—acceptance—bitterness—deep, desperate sorrow.

Lost:  So very, very lost.

Death Wish:  Oh, to fall asleep and never awaken! No more churning thoughts. No more disappointment. No more fear. No more sorrow. Just blessed silence and oblivion. Sweet, sweet nothingness.

Purposelessness:  A vast, yet overwhelming, sea of possibility. Life has always moved me from one thing to the next. High school moved me to college, college to the workforce, the workforce to marriage, marriage to parenthood, parenthood to what? There are no more next logical steps. Too much time—too many unexplored possibilities—no desire to explore—no motivation. “I just want . . . ” flutters through my mind and stops. I don’t know how to finish that sentence. Everything I really want I simply can’t have. And it’s a repetitious thought too. How many times will I stop short until something fills in that blank? Will anything ever fill that blank?

Unwanted Purpose:  Full-time caregiver? Please, Lord, No! Not for my baby! Not for my courageous, tenacious and oh, so sassy girl! No more surrendered dreams! No more isolation! No more crushing disappointments! No more untreatable pain! No more loss! Please, Lord, no more heartbreak!




I’m tired.




I just want my life back!




So very broken . . .




I just want my kids back!

I just want my kids back!

I just want . . .




It’s only a matter of time until the next shoe drops . . .










Lost, lost, lost. . . 







Cut loose.

I just want . . . 


Adrift, adrift, adrift as the tide flows in and out – straining to hear the still small voice whispering any kind of hope for my remaining days in this world of sin.


Posted by on July 26, 2016 in Grief


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8 responses to “Stages

  1. Nancy

    July 26, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Oh yes. I am at death wish/purposelessness. The agony.


    • Janet Boxx

      July 26, 2016 at 8:46 am

      Nancy, I hurt for you! Please, get help if you think you might be enticed to act upon the death wish part. I do believe as purposeless as we feel, that God does have something in store for us. But the waiting for it to be revealed is agony as you’ve discovered. The transformation of our minds and hearts so that we can be open to receiving that which He has for us is a painful, step by step process. I’m praying that you as you walk through these stages – that you will find God faithful and feel the vast extent of His live for you. That the Holy Spirit will transform your heart and mind and you will find peace, healing and a fulfilling new purpose while you wait for that longed for reunion.


  2. Stacy

    July 26, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I have experienced all of the above and it hasn’t been 3 months yet but I was already experiencing dome of these things due to disappointment & deferred hope in other areas of life. Prayers for us all, but special prayers for Nancy today.


    • Janet Boxx

      July 26, 2016 at 10:45 am

      Less than three months – special prayers for you, Stacy! I hope you have found “safe” friends. Those who allow you to vent without correction, to repeat yourself countless times as you struggle through what you know to be true as opposed to how you feel. I hope you have experienced God’s faithfulness and His love and provision through friends and family and even strangers as they serve as the hands and feet of Christ in your life. I pray your heart finds shelter, refuge and healing in God who understands the devastating loss of a child from personal experience even though He endured it for the joy set before Him. We also endure for the joy of reunion set before us.

      I am no stranger to the devastation of deferred hope and I hate to hear that you were all too familiar with that prior to your recent loss. I would love to hear your personal story if you’d like to share it. And please forgive me if we have spoken before and I’m not putting the name with the story. I suffer with the common malady of brain fog so common to the bereaved. It embarrasses me greatly as it appears that I don’t care for others when in reality, I’m just mentally, emotionally and spiritually overwhelmed.

      Praying for you, Stacy.


      • Stacy

        July 27, 2016 at 9:14 am

        Janet, thank you for caring enough to ask about my story. I suffered separation & divorce 17 years ago and raised my 2 sons as a single mom, working full time. There have been many difficulties, some consequences of my choices, their choices, choices of others who were supposed to love & care for us. I’ve done my best to help my elderly parents who live a state away and lost my mom in 2012. May 12 of this year, my 21 year old died in a car wreck. The past deferred hope that I spoke of is restoration of my marriage. However, I reached a point last year of not being sure that’s God’s plan for me and I’m accepting the fact that I may be single the rest of my life. I am right there with you on being “mentally, emotionally, and spiritually overwhelmed”.


      • Janet Boxx

        July 27, 2016 at 10:22 am

        Stacy, everyone’s story is important and past difficulties have a way of compounding which has great influence on relationships – both with friends and family and with the Lord.

        I’m sorry for the many difficulties you’ve faced; especially that you faced them alone so much of the time. And losing your Mom – seems no one is ever really prepared for that loss; the absence of the woman who loved and nurtured them. For most it’s a uniquely painful loss.

        There will be a day (and it’s closer than it’s ever been before) when all these sorrows and bitter disappointments will pass, but that day can feel hopelessly far away. I will leave you with the perspective a stranger granted me on eternity – it just felt far more personal than the perspective I’d previously held. She told me that I would have much more time with my daughters in heaven than I could ever have enjoyed here on earth.

        We often forget that one of God’s greatest pleasures is the work of redemption. I think we will be shocked to discover the complete and utter fullness of God’s redeeming work in our lives when we see Him face to face. And the rivers of tears we’ve cried and He has painstaking preserved in a bottle (because He deeply cares about the pain we have suffered) will pail in comparison to and serve as a stark reminder of the blessing of eternal life redeemed from and unblemished by sin. Our joy will be complete.

        I remember vividly what life was like for me three months out. May you find hope and consolation from the Lord in the midst of this hurricane of a storm raging in you life. I’m praying for your surviving son today. Only heaven knows the full extent of his heartache and the ways in which he is vulnerable to Satan’s lies and attacks. I’m praying for a hedge of protection around him as he walks through the valley of the shadow of death with you.


  3. Stacy

    July 27, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Thank you so much for your compassionate words and for prayers for my younger son. He is 19 and has a 5 month old son. I am very proud of him for accepting his responsibility for his child, who was born 5 days after Evan’s birthday and was 3 months old when we lost him. He has been a rock for me and for his girlfriend & baby thru all of these huge life changes in such a short span of time. Sometimes I try to think of what he must feel but I can’t. I never lost a sibling and did not have the pain in my childhood that he and his brother had. So I truly appreciate all prayers for him and for me to not lean on him too heavily and to remember he is struggling just like me.


    • Janet Boxx

      July 27, 2016 at 11:50 am

      It’s okay to lean on each other, and maybe your leaning on him is giving his a much needed outlet for his grief. He is needed. He is doing something of value in the midst of this tragedy. Yet, I also understand your concern for leaning too heavily upon him. It’s easier to lean on those we can see and physically touch than it is to lean on the unseen Lord. Finding the balance – that’s the challenge!



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