This is my Facebook post from 8/20/2018. I am sharing it a day early leading up to my two year anniversary. I want to share how far I have come on this journey and the healing process. I can only hope these posts have helped others. Writing has, once again, proven very therapeutic for me!
ONEYEAR AGO: This is a hard day! This is a milestone that I may acknowledge, but will not celebrate! This day marks one year of not having my son, Cody, grace this Earth! How did I get here? I will tell you how I have coped to this point… faith!! My guiding force!! Another guiding force is the strength I gain from my family and friends.
Glenn and I never wanted to be here and deal with losing a child. We know others have been here too, but each situation has its own detail. Knowing this does not make any of them less to deal with in any way, shape, or form! Knowing we are not alone makes us sad but gives us hope that we can, and will survive!
There are several stages of grief: denial; anger; acceptance; and forgiveness. Some situations do not hit all levels, but it will at least hit one. I think I hit three during this first year. Some levels lasted longer than others. Denial hit first… waiting for sounds such as his loud truck pulling up in front of the house, the garage door opening, the tv to come on late at night and be too loud for me to sleep, and his alarm going off in the morning signaling the start of another work day. The denial for me was thinking these would still happen. They had to! It was part of my normal routine. But they did stop much to my dismay.
I think I touched on anger, but it was brief. I wanted to be angry at Cody at first, but when your actions result in the ultimate price paid, what would my anger accomplish? He was by himself in the vehicle (thank you, Lord!) and he was a grown man and knew his actions were his own. I had spoken those words to him many times over the five years prior to that fateful night. We are to blame for our own actions and reactions, but cannot be held accountable for others’ actions and reactions. This made my options for placing blame quite limited. I did get angry that I can’t add new memories or photos. I accepted what has happened and tried to make peace with the fact Cody has gone to a far better place to wait for us. Therefore, forgiveness seemed easy in this situation.
Facing all the “firsts” since that day was hard! The bandaid has been pulled off and the healing has begun. We, as a family, have faced the sadness head-on and with as much grace as possible. This does not guarantee our roller coaster ride is over, but it has made one full lap around the track and allows us to be more prepared for some of the dips and turns in the laps that follow.
I cannot express my appreciation enough to those who have kept us in your thoughts, prayed with us and for us, and spent time reading my journal entries and poems throughout this first year. Writing has been therapy for me for many years, proven even more so during all of this! For all those that knew Cody, please keep his memory alive by never forgetting stories of him and continuing to share. I will not promise they won’t make me cry, but this is another oxy-moron situation: I cry at the sadness these memories may create, but my heart swells with pride that the memories still hold value to those who share! I actually love Facebook for having the memories pop up every now and then! I look at those as a sign.
The strength all of you have provided has encouraged us to get up and face each day this past year. ‘Difficult’ does not begin to describe the emotions involved in this path, but ‘faith’ does! I praise our Lord for being with me and my family and friends as He provided much needed strength every single day!! We will continue to celebrate the life Cody lived and all the wonderful, hair raising, and hair-brained ideas the kid had in the 24 years we were blessed with. His journey will continue on in our hearts, and I know the day we meet again, it will be as if no time has passed. Until then, we count the blessings in front of us, take NOTHING for granted, and thank the Lord for each day we are given for our “dash” between life and death! Our actions will speak volumes after we are gone, make them positive, and continue to find a positive in every day…
Below are the pictures from the beginning and just before his last days with us, both joyous days. His dash in the middle will live on forever through us! I love you, son!! 😢🌈🕊🙏😇❤️🇺🇸
#gonebutnotforgotten #foreverinourhearts #thedashinthemiddle