Monday, 23 April 2012

I am Too Sad to Live


Yesterday I found these key search words in my stats: “I am too sad to live”.

Someone with a very heavy heart found my blog by typing in these six painful words.  I would never have known of her visit if I hadn’t for some reason clicked on my stats button. I wonder if that grieving person found anything of help. 

I wish I could help.

"I am too sad to live." I think about these words. Can you imagine being that sad? Anyone that’s grieved over the loss of a child will understand. I have felt too sad to live.

One day after I’d sat by the side of Thomas’ grave, letting my grief pour from deep within me in huge noisy sobs, I drove home feeling too sad to live. As I bumped along the country road, I let the unthinkable enter my mind: what if I turned the steering wheel sharply to the left and let the van roll off the road, down the hill, through the fence and into the paddock?

But as quickly as I had this thought, another took its place: What would death mean for me?  Would God take pity on my suffering state and save me?  Even if He did, I wouldn’t find myself instantly in Heaven. I wouldn’t be reunited at once with Thomas. My pain would continue. And so I kept on driving along that country road.

I was so sad after Thomas died (sad is such an inadequate word). I wondered why I didn’t die of a broken heart. At the very least, I expected to wake up one morning and find my hair had turned white overnight. But my body betrayed me. It showed no signs of my internal agony.

How does grief feel? How does it feel to be too sad to live? I had a constant huge throbbing pain in my chest that never let me forget, even for one moment, that I’d lost my son. No medicine can take away that kind of pain. My world shrank until it consisted only of this suffering, or was my suffering so immense that it filled the entire world? All I know was that nothing outside my pain was of any importance. 

My thoughts were consumed with my baby and his death, and I asked over and over: Why? How will I survive? Only God had the answers so He also occupied my thoughts.

One day I realised something significant: everything that happens to me, happens because God allows it. It all must work towards my good and be part of His plan for my life… even if I can’t see it. I was so tired of begging for my situation to be changed, for the sorrow to be lifted. I gave in and said, “God you know how I’m feeling. You are allowing me to feel this way. I will try and accept it.”

I remember how fed up I got of riding the roller coaster of emotions: having hope one day that things were getting better, then being plunged down into that deep pit of pain yet again, struggling to resurface and plod on… I wrote: “I am so tired of suffering, though I don’t suppose it will kill me. It just needs to be endured... and that is so very difficult.”

Suffering won’t kill me. Even though I was too sad to live, suffering didn’t kill me. Whether I liked it or not, I had to struggle through that immense sorrow to the other side. I kept praying; I kept trying to accept the pain; I kept hoping…

And God heard my cries and I did survive.

"I am too sad to live." My heart turns over in sorrow for someone else. That old familiar throbbing pain echoes once again in my chest. I pray for that grieving parent. I know there is hope.

Please pray too.

24 comments:

  1. I know a pain similar to this Sue, I will pray for this sad Person. I remember that knot in my stomach, the swimming in my head, my heart felt ripped apart etc and then the words came "Let it be done according to your will". I will Carry this Cross, But Lord, you will have to carry me, just like you He did and still does from time to time. Love Leanne

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    1. Leanne,

      For those who have grieved there really isn't any need to describe the pain. We all know what it feels like and how difficult it is to bear.

      Yes, I really feel that giving in and trying to say the words, "Let it be done according to your will" is the key. I rather expected God to come instantly to my aid as soon as I got to this stage. I expected to feel Him carrying me as you described. But it was still a long time before I felt the presence of His comforting arms. I still had to keep plodding along. But I did keep moving and I did survive.

      God still carries me from time to time too.

      With my love and hugs. God bless.

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  2. Sue, I will be praying for this person through the day today. My mass this morning is offered for this person's intentions. I hope he/she returns to your blog and is aware of the love and prayers coming his/her way from all of us. Thank you so much for sharing this so that we can all pray!

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    1. Stephanie,

      Thank you so much! I always pray for anyone who is grieving. I always wish I could take away their pain or at least lighten it. I can't do that so I pray. We are all bound together by our circumstances, and the prayers we often for each other. I am just so grateful that people prayed for me when I was in such need of help. Thank you so much for your prayers for this person.

      God bless you!

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  3. This is just too sad, but your words are beautiful and full of hope. Praying with you, Sue.

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    1. Vicky,

      Yes, it is very sad. My heart just dropped within me as I read those words. I hope my own words will give just a little hope to anyone grieving. They just flowed onto the screen without me doing any searching for them so I guess they are heart felt. Thank you for your prayers.

      God bless!

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  4. Heart-wrenching post, Sue. The thing about grief is that the present moment seems so permanent. There are times when it's difficult to see hope (even for those of us with strong faith). I will also pray for that grieving parent.

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    1. Ellen,

      I agree! A grieving person feels so stuck in the present moment. Being told that time will heal or one day you will be rewarded in Heaven or one day you will be reunited with your child, mostly doesn't help. That joyful time in the future seems unattainable. First we have to survive the present sorrow. I guess it helps to accept the present moment with all its pain or at least try, instead of fighting it.

      Prayers of others helps immensely as we are all aware. Thank you for yours!

      God bless you.

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  5. I'll pray for your visitor too. I thought you described grief so well, Sue.

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    1. Willa,

      If you think I have described grief well it is only because you know grief too. I am keeping you in my prayers. I know you are having a difficult time yourself. Thank you for praying for my grieving visitor.

      With prayers xx

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  6. Prayers for your reader. I too remember days of heart-rending ache where every breath seemed an excruciating effort :-( May the Holy Spirit send some hope to all those who feel this way today.

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    1. Beate,

      I am sorry you know grief too and the physical pain that has to be endured. When we suffer I am sure we increase in compassion for others. We know what it feels like and want to help others through their own sorrows.

      "May the Holy Spirit send some hope to all those who feel this way today." That is a beautiful prayer. Thank you.

      May God bless you!

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  7. Too many good points raised in this excellent post for me to comment on all. But I'll persist and try.

    First, let me join you in prayer for that person who searched with those keywords. May God help that person in their hour of need.

    Second, sometime, perhaps you'll teach me how you found out that that person typed those words. I didn't know you could do that on a Blog.

    When we lose someone we often go through a variety of emotions all at once and the sense of loss affects people in different ways at different times. As you say, in your case, you felt like driving off the road. This is understandable under the circumstances and the great pressure you were in. I'm sure many do feel the same in similar circumstances and may the Good Lord be by their side as He was by yours when driving the van.

    I for one am glad you did not drive off the road. A lot of good has resulted from little Thomas' death. Your courage, strength, perseverance and Faith meant that you did a lot of good in writing about Thomas in your books and Blogs and no doubt helping many people in the process. You've helped more people than you can ever imagine. And the Lord loves you for it.

    And you've brought up a lovely family too. No doubt always blessed by the Lord.

    The Good Lord certainly knew what He was doing when He sat next to you in that van.

    You're right in saying the Lord allows things to happen to us. And if we accept them, however difficult and heart wrenching that is, we open a channel for Him to turn our pain for the good of others and for us.

    This is a brilliant post and I thank you for writing it.

    God bless.

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    1. Victor,

      Thank you so much for your comment. And for your prayers for the grieving person.

      Grief does involve a lot of pressure. The pain builds up and you think you can't endure any more, and you look for an escape or you want to just lie down and never get up again. I often found that when I was at this stage, down at the bottom of that pit of near-despair, God would send help. A friend would call or the phone would ring... the pressure was released and I could keep going.

      That day in the van, yes God was by my side as I was driving along although I didn't realise it. Maybe He was influencing my thoughts as I came to the decision that I just had to keep living whether I felt like it or not.

      Victor, sometimes I wonder if readers get fed up of hearing Thomas stories! Yesterday I wrote a grief post for the Apostolate of Hannah's Tears blog. I decided not to post it here but write something a little more uplifting for my next post. However, I couldn't stop thinking about those six sad words and last night, I just found myself writing this story. I didn't even have to think much about the words. They just appeared. So I wrote a grief story for this blog after all! Strange how things happen.

      I haven't been looking at my stats so I don't know why I was checking them the other day. But I did. If you click onto 'stats' and then onto 'traffic sources', at the bottom of that page there is a heading 'key search words'. These are the words that readers type into the search engine. My blog must have appeared in the search results and the person then chose to follow the link.

      I imagine you know all about accepting difficult and heart wrenching circumstances, Victor. You are in my prayers.

      God bless.

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  8. Colleen in PA24 April 2012 09:18

    Hello, Your post reminds me of exactly the emotional unbelievableness we experienced losing our baby 7 years ago. I will pray for this grieving parent. I remember those graveside crys you mentioned and the thoughts while driving. It all seemed so impossible. Then one day the sunlight looked like sunlight. Food smelled like food. I laughed at something. Life started to turn around. It is a slow process that is only made better by asking God to hold us up. Thank you Sue for your wisdom. I hope you continue to bless many people who are grieving.

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    1. Colleen,

      I am so glad you stopped by to say hello. Thank you!

      Grief can be very lonely. I always found it comforting to hear that other grieving parents had similar thoughts to mine or did similar things like sobbing loudly at a grave-side. It helped prevent me from thinking I was going crazy. Maybe others find sharing helpful too. I guess that's why I'm still writing about Thomas although he died some years ago.

      I am sorry to hear you lost a baby too, Colleen. You understand. Yes, suffering can seem all encompassing for so long and then one day, life starts to reclaim our attention: "Life started to turn around." It always seems so impossible at the beginning but we get there in the end with God's help. There is certainly hope.

      Thank you for your prayers for those grieving. I will pray for you too.

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  9. "I am too sad to live." Those words are heartbreaking. God must have led this person to your blog and I will pray too. You have such a deep understanding of this kind of suffering and this post is incredible. This is what I meant the other day when I spoke of authenticity and honesty. Your words touch people deep inside and I am so thankful that you didn't drive off that road, Sue... the world is a much better place because you are in it. God bless you, my friend.

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    1. Mary,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. It is hard to admit our secret thoughts sometimes. We don't even want to admit them to ourselves. But I have found that having the courage to be open and honest gives others permission to share their pain too. (I guess that courage comes from God! I couldn't do it by myself.) And of course, all my wonderful friends like you have rallied around and offered your prayers. Isn't it a blessing to belong to such a caring community of people?

      Thank you for your friendship, Mary. And may God bless you too!

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  10. Yes, it is a blessing. And thanks to your post there is someone out there "too sad too live" who is going to be prayed for by many people. I hope whoever it is reads your blog and understands that there are people out there who care and that they are not alone.

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  11. Oh, I cannot imagine. Although I do image. I try not to, but I am paranoid that one of my children will get hit by a car. Doesn't help that it nearly happened the other day. But his guardian angel protected him. I think about what would happen if my husband got killed while in Afghanistan. I don't try to think about it, but sometimes I do. It just pops into my head. I don't know how people do it, but I know they do, and that is the only thing that would give me hope. People like you, Sue. People like my 3 other friends, who have lost a baby, after they were born. I cannot imagine, but I only know that God would help me get through it. But I'm sure it would be so incredibly difficult.

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    1. Elisa,

      Yes, it is not difficult to imagine the pain of losing someone so very dear. I don't have to do much imagining because I remember so well. And like you, I don't want to think about it happening again to any of my loved ones. We love so much it would hurt tremendously to lose. The only thing that keeps me calm about future possibilities is knowing how God helped me survive when Thomas died. He would lift me up again and bring me through anything. Not that I want to be in that situation again... I guess I would try to accept it, struggle at first and then surrender to God who loves us so very much... and grieve. The other thing I was thinking about was prayer. We should always keep close to God because by doing so we will remain at peace and trust Him and accept more easily whatever happens.

      Elisa, I know it is very difficult with your husband in Afghanistan so I am praying for you and your family. May God keep him safe and return him to you when his duty is over. God bless!

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  12. I will pray for this person as well.

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