It has almost been a year since my Pebble went to Heaven, and I’m still struggling to climb out of the darkness, the black pit that grief shoves you in. At first, I didn’t even realize I was in this sorrowful hole. My life was a complete daze, blurred, and unimportant. I wasn’t living a reality. I’m not sure when I came to, but when I opened my eyes, pure darkness surrounded me. A faint light from high above shined into this tiny, gloomy pit. I didn’t care, at the beginning, that I was trapped in this god-forsaken place. My son was gone. My whole world was shattered, but I slowly and faintly, began hearing voices. Voices of my loved ones calling for me. I heard my daughter’s sweet voice calling for her mom. My husband, in a very distant cry, heard him needing me. I, eventually, looked up. I couldn’t see anyone, and the pain of not having my baby boy in my arms tortured my soul. I laid in a fetus position again, hoping I would soon see my baby again. As I laid there, cold and miserable, my father’s voice came to me. He, too, was calling for me, needing me. I closed my eyes, praying it was just my imagination, but then, I heard my mother. Her cries of desperation, searching for her daughter’s return home. I could hear my sister, my nephews, my cousins, and my friends. The voices increased in volume, and my daughter’s would usually be the loudest. She sounded desperate for me. My eyes sprung open, but seeing nothing in the dark besides the faint light from above, I managed to pull myself up into a crawling position. For the first time since my son’s death, I decided to move. I began to hear another voice, but this one didn’t sound like the other ones. It wasn’t an external voice that I was hearing. It was almost coming from my own heart. I heard the sweet, soft sound of my Pebs telling me, “Go, go, go…” His famous words when we would race together. His three little words he would yell when he would run the bases. He was telling me to go, to move, to live. I sobbed, not wanting to move. I wanted to stay in that hole with him, in my grief forever, but he knew that my loved ones up above needed me, and I knew that too. I began to move reluctantly. The darkest pits, filled with pain, suffering, anguish are dark and steep, but once they feel movement, it’s almost as if they adjust to the person’s emotions. The steep slope began to adjust as I began climbing. It was extremely difficult at first. I slipped, fell, but I kept trying and kept climbing, the slope began to not be so steep. There were many times I wanted to just slide down and return to my hole that I once laid in, but the voices were constant, “Mom,” or, “Sis.” Some voices I heard were of my name or my husband calling for me, “Babe,” but the loudest was of my Pebs. “Go, go, go,” and so I did. Every fingernail claw that penetrated the dirt, I felt myself getting stronger. Every step, slip, or every tear, I felt life seeping into my soul again. I allowed myself to look up every once and a while, and I would inch closer to the light, I could see more of the hole and from up above. I began to see things in a completely different perspective. I never had been so close to dirt or mud before or really looked up at things from the very bottom of a pit. Everything looked different. The tree branches and their leaves looked majestic, swaying gracefully in the breeze. I would look at these things before but never really saw them. Grief has a way of revealing things to you that were always there but never really saw them.
I believe I’m still climbing. One day, I will be free from the pit that we call grief, but, as for now, I’m still trying to get out. I’m still moving forward. I get to communicate back to the voices now. I interact with them, and we occasionally laugh, sing, talk, cry, but I’m not completely out of the darkness yet. I’m being renewed through this journey, trudging, crying, and struggling. Every step I take forward, God is renewing my soul, my spirit, my heart. I believe this is why I see things in a different perspective. I’m not the same person I once was a year ago. When I fell into the darkness, I had a choice. I was going to be changed regardless, whether I wanted this change or not. Life had dealt me a new set of cards, and there was nothing I could do about it. My only choice was to stay in the darkness or to live. When the choice was made to move forward, His Holy Spirit took over because of faith. I believed He was with me. He would make all things for my good. As I moved forward, I prayed like I’ve never prayed before. Called onto Him every step of the way because I needed His strength to move me. He lovingly and full of mercy has stayed by my side throughout this entire journey. “You are so strong,” I hear people tell me, but they don’t know I’m still climbing. They don’t know my breakdowns. They don’t know my emotional battles. They don’t know it is His strength and not my own. They don’t know.
Grief will take you into depression, unbearable sadness and agony, and unless there is a stronger power than our own flesh, our human nature will start searching for worldly “medicine” to make the pain go away. Parents that I have met who also lost a child, found temporary relief in anti-depressants, alcohol, drugs, and an abundance of worldly, sinful things to take their minds off the agonizing pain. My life would have been the same if I would’ve stayed in the dark pit of grief. Thank God I was already a believer. Thank God I had people praying for me. Thank God I was able to still see all of His blessings before it was too late. My Heavenly Father is not done with me yet. I know if I keep climbing, one day, I will exit this hole a new person ready to fulfill his purpose for my life. I will stay faithful, believe in His promise, and live once again. I will continue to listen to the voices that early on urged me to move. I will hold them dearly to my heart and know that I am needed and loved. I will, especially, keep listening to me sweet Pebs as he tells his mama, “go, go, go.” I am daddy’s. Mama is moving. Mama is going to leave this dark pit soon. Mama will live happily and joyful again and one day very soon, we will be together again.
“There is no way out, only a way forward.” -Michael Hollings
“The relationships of our life are a system, an interlocking network, and when one element is affected, so are they all. The death of a loved one will unbalance the whole lot….It is a good time to pay attention, to make these relationships as good as possible. If we are buoyed and fed by satisfying relationships now, there is less other-directed energy floating around, trying to attach in unrealistic ways to the one who is gone.” -Martha Whitmore Hickman
“He gives strength to the weary and increases power of the weak.” -Isaiah 40:29