Thursday, March 10

Session 5 and a Rough Week

This week started off a little rough.  On Monday I received a copy of Dad's autopsy report.  There were a lot of questions that I still had about what happened that day and I needed them answered for closure.  Little did I know how in depth this report would be.  10 very vivid pages of description.  10.  I got the report while I was still at work and it was really difficult to finish out the day, but I did.  Later that night Mom and Athena came over and we spent some much needed time with one another.

The report was unimaginatively difficult to read.  It painted a picture so vivid and I have not been able to shake it from my mind.  I want to remember Dad as he was before; smiling, laughing, loving, taking pictures, napping on the couch, taking me on dates, and being the best man he could be, which was pretty dern good if you ask me.  I'm sure that someday I will be able to see that, and only that.  But this week that has not been the case.

I had my 5th session of group counseling on Tuesday.  It was the smallest class yet, only 4 of us showed up that night.  Next week is spring break (seriously, what is spring break? I sure don't get one) so we will not be meeting that week.  Our opening question was, in lieu of next week's absence of class, what are you going to do to take the time to sit down and focus on your grief?  I had no idea.  I've come to really look forward to Tuesday nights and I'm really sad that we wont be meeting next week.  I jokingly said that I would just show up and cry on the front porch - that was immediately discouraged. Haha.  But I said that I want to do things that relax me so I can focus, I want to continue with my journaling and work on the list of things I am needing in order to gain closure on his death.

Next they passed out journals.  We were instructed to write a letter to the person we lost.  It didn't need to be about anything specific... just write to them as you would talk to them right now.  I wrote three pages.  *SHOCKER* Afterward they asked us if there was any specific theme to our writings.  Mine jumped all over the place; I miss you, I'm angry at John but I don't want to be and I want him to find the Lord and find forgiveness through Him, I hope you're still proud of me now that you can look down on me and see all of my demons, there is so much I need to tell you, so much unfinished business, the house feels empty now that you are gone, I miss your laugh, I miss your smell, I miss your hand on mine, I miss your heartbeat, I miss your eyes.... etc...  it opened up an avenue for them to ask a lot of questions that were really difficult for me to answer.  As I talked through my choking throat and teary eyes I responded to one of their questions, "Do you think your dad would still be proud of you now?"  I know he is.  I know that no matter how much of my life he can see he would still be proud of me.  "What do you think your dad would want for your life now?"  He would want me to lean into the Lord, to ask God for comfort, direction, peace.  It was rough.  Rough, but good.  I'll definitely be missing it next week.

Yesterday was especially difficult for me as well, I can't figure out why but I was an emotional wreck.  I composed myself enough to get to the church for pre-K choir and was exhausted as I sat in the room waiting for the kids to show up.  I had 8 kids last night, one of the biggest groups in a while.  At the start of class we were all sitting around a table coloring pages that spoke about how God loves you and me.  The little girls started talking about Disney World, I sat between two of them and said, "Oh I've never been!  But I hope that someday, when I have kids of my own, that I'll be able to go!"  The sweet girl to my left looked up at me with her big, sparkly brown eyes and innocently said, "Well you have a daddy!" I smiled through my sadness and said;
"Well, no sweetheart I don't have a daddy."
She looks at me confused...
"I did have a daddy."
"What happened?"
"He died."
She looks up at me with sad eyes, now the entire table's attention was on me.  As I sat there squatted down looking at them I had to keep my composure.  Another little one chimed in:
"Where did he die?"
I choked for a moment, realizing I couldn't explain to a 4 year old that my perfectly healthy 48 year old dad took his own life.  I quickly responded,
"He died at work."
"What happened?"
"He was ready to be with Jesus..."
"He was old wasn't he?"
I laughed, thinking, that is probably the only type of death these precious children have seen or heard about...
"He was older, yes.  But he was ready to be with Jesus, and now he is in Heaven and someday I will get to see him again."
The conversations were moved into a different topic as class started.  It was the first time I had to tell a child about losing my dad.  I think I handled it pretty decently, but inside my heart was crushed.  These kids are so full of life and happiness, I miss those days where the only type of grieving you had was if you lost a pet gold fish.  Boy how things change as you get older.

I'm VERY happy that today is Thursday.  One day closer to Friday :).  Nikki comes in again this weekend, she will be here tomorrow actually!  And I am really looking forward to her hugs and smiles.  Our very close family friends will be moving back to Tennessee this weekend so tomorrow night we will be spending time with them and saying our "see you laters."

Needless to say, I am really looking forward to the weekend, to a break from reality and some good quality time with my family.  Please continue to pray that we all stay strong through this horrific time, that we all lean into our God and find our strength and peace through Him and not down any other type of avenue.  It is so easy to take advantage of a situation like this and fall into bad habits.  I pray that this doesn't happen for my family.

This Sunday I am leading two songs in the early service.  Both are absolutely beautiful... One in particular has spoken to me this week.  I'll end with its beautiful lyrics.

No mountain, no valley 
No gain or loss we know
Could keep us from Your love

No sickness, no secret
No chain is strong enough
To keep us from Your love
To keep us from Your love

How high, how wide
No matter where I am
Healing is in Your hands
How deep, how strong
Now by Your grace I stand
Healing is in Your hands

Our present, our future
Our past is in Your hands
We’re covered by Your blood
We’re covered by Your blood

In all things, we know that
We are more than conquerors
You keep us by Your love

1 comment:

Josh said...

Nicki, I knit this week has really be en the pits. We wish it could be easier, but just know that you, Josh and your whole family are deeply loved. We'll miss you guys. Josh & Bek.