WTF: One Year Strong

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

After my dear friend, Aileen, encouraged me, I started this blog in 2013, the day after my son turned 20.

“Do it for me,” she had said at one point, which ended my more than two-year mental debate of whether I should make WTF, Where’s the Faith blog a reality or not. From there on, I only wrote posts, for the most part, sporadically.

I relaunched the blog last year on March 31. A couple months after we buried my 26-year-old son, my close writer friend, Laurie, asked me about the status of the blog. I explained that I had abandoned my writing projects, especially writing posts about faith for a faith-themed blog! She countered me, saying, “Write posts about how you have NO faith. How you question faith. How each and every moment is the dark night of the soul.”

I followed Laurie’s advice and since that time I have posted on a weekly basis. With the exception of one post that was accidentally scheduled, the schedule for my posts is the same: Every Tuesday at 1:51 p.m. This is when the Russellville, Kentucky, coroner notified me of my 26-year-old son’s death by suicide. Some grieving parents build organizations, charities and foundations in memory of their lost children. I build faith in the bricks of words, hoping that my pain will help heal the world.

What I have learned in this year-long journey is that even when you feel abandoned, no matter how bone dry your faith-o-meter is, locate solitude. It might be by a veil of a mighty falls or besides a tiny trickle of a backyard stream. It might be inside a church, synagogue, temple, mosque or a wondrous place like the Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge, New Hampshire, where my once young and whole family found rest and rejuvenation many years ago. Don’t disqualify a barn, shed or cave and other random places that can serve as a refuge from the world’s noise. Fold yourself away and unfold the natural beauty within, warts and all.

For me in the final chapter of my life, often I become in sync with myself by sitting alone quietly in my bedroom and entering into the temple of peace within me. In this personal temple, among the space solely reserved to grieve my son, and the less intense spaces representing my life span, I find my sacred place and sanctuary, a sense of spirit. In my personal temple, I unhinge the rein of control. Here is where I try and write these blog posts and allow the dredging of my words to take on a form of their own, allow them to drip out and expose the most vulnerable parts of my emotions. The uncomfortable parts that want me to take cover and overeat, overact, over-everything and cancel out my humanness and, instead, retire me to a supermarket aisle where I feel like I’m on display in a row of polished cans of sauerkraut.

During these last 12 months, however, there were also times when the noise threw me into confusion and calamity. I lost complete direction. The monster mind reared its evil, ugly lying head, and I thought of ways to end the absolute pain of the grief journey. On those nights, while I felt like I was sinking in a caldron of boiling water, miraculously, one of my newfound blogger friends would reach out and pull me up with an inspiring, reflective and/or galvanizing comment. Or I would read a blog post from another blogger friend, who was not in a good frame of mind, and I would reach out and try to pull him or her up with a helpful, encouraging comment.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, THANK YOU blogging community! Thank you for filling my life with your eye-candy photos and artwork; sage wisdom; daily musings, dreams and fantasies; spirtual beliefs; food recipes; how-to advice; lifestyle interests and, most of all, sharing a generous slice of your private pie, pain and perceptions and, in turn, affording me a dose of Vitamin D rays on the cloudiest of days, and helping me wait around long enough to witness another sunrise.

In other words, thank you for filling my faith-o-meter. Every single drop of your hope and faith has helped fuel me thus far. Amazingly, the faith fuel has appeared from all sides of the globe. For instance, I was very touched by one of my newest blogger friends, Anand, who explained “putra shokam.” In India it means the grief associated with the loss of a child. Anand’s mother, a world away, walks on the same putra shokam path as I do. I think about Anand’s mom as if she were in the ZOOM mode of my mind. I mirror my steps in hers and know that in love as in faith, there is only one universal language.

Anand also generously shared a very intimate post with me about losing his brother, There are always songs to sing.

I meditate on the profound words in the post and the beautiful eyes and smiles in the photo of him and his brother, 17 months older. I think of my daughter and her “twin” who was 21 months older. Anand’s brother died four days after his 25th birthday. My daughter’s brother died 61 days before his 27th birthday.

I’m not sure if I or my daughter can sing quite yet and create music like Anand, but I do think our bond has created a latticework design and repurposed the uninvited litter of grief that we pick through on our grief journey. The latticework is not only beautiful in design, but it sustains us as we use it to support each other.

One day, I hope my daughter and I will find solid footing, climb up and sing in the manner Anand writes about, because I do know that deep in all of us there is a repertoire of music waiting to be surrendered and released to the world, no matter how off key our voices are, because in love and faith, all voices sing in the unison of a common language and are powerful enough to reach the farthest distances on the globe and bring the house down.

Faith Muscle

20 thoughts on “WTF: One Year Strong

  1. Wow, I have to catch my breath reading your posts, Stacy. Anand’s words were so powerful for me also: “he left me with the wisdom of surrender. Those were his songs that stayed behind. And so, there are always songs to sing.”

    This gave me chills! My son died almost 30 years ago. I did not understand the wisdom of surrender. I just surrendered to ever feeling alive again. It was when I discovered the songs that stayed behind and began to sing again that I returned to living. Wow. It is my story.

    Thank you so much for your beautiful writing. Your gift with elegant language is to rip open the heart and soothe at the same time. Your writing is remarkable.

  2. My Dear Stacy,

    It is not.your pain or mine but THE PAIN that connects us. Love & pain are the two predominant emotions of humans.

    Pain is a purification process & love is a bonding one.

    We are blessed also. as we are pushed to keep our goals much higher.

    Sublime goals & lower negative emotions are not companions but enemies!

    The inbuilt strategy of the Creator!

    Let the divine grace & protection be with all of.us in this journey of life.

    Much love
    Prema
    Anand’s mother

    • Oh, Prema, thank you so much! I’ve only pictured you in my mind and my heart and now your words SING as I walk my (our) journey of life. In fact, I will print your words and keep them on my desk as a reminder of all that is good, pure and wonderous. You have two extraordinary sons, and I see how divinely and incredibly you’ve influenced them. I am honored to have you all as a part of my life. Walk in peace, my friend (I hope it is okay to call you friend, because I consider you my friend!), and always remember you are not alone. ❤️ ❤️

  3. Hi Stacy,
    This is such amazing writing as usual. It is so deep, transparent, painful and yet overflowing with faith and love.
    I am glad that, time and time again, you choose to carry on, and to grace us with your words and example of strength and beauty in the middle of dark times.
    I don’t know your pain, but I share in the gratitude of your words. I am sure your son is watching over you and is very proud of how you choose to honor his memory.
    I predict a lot singing, and dancing, days for your and your daughter in the future!
    Many blessings and prayers on this 1 year anniversary of returning to blogging! My heart is with you! ♥♥

  4. I know loss well. I do not know the loss of a child. It is hard to be cut out of a child’s life after divorce, it must be difficult to move forward or get up in the morning after the death of a child. I wish you strength and good memories.

  5. I am new on your blog, but I am just blown away by your beautiful writings about your emotions and your own grief. To loose a son (and your daughter, a brother) must be one of the most difficult things in life to face … I have only one brother and losing him would be devastating to me.
    My husband and I had five miscarriages (and no children) … and just thinking back at how difficult it was to deal with each of those losses, I can hardly imagine how extremely hard it must have been for you to loose a son (you’ve seen grown into a young man).
    I wish you strength and love 💌.

    • I am so touched by your honesty and thank you so much for reaching out. I read your comment this morning, and it took all day for me to process everything you’ve been through. All I can say is that I feel humbled to have an opportunity to share in your life. I love reading your fascinating posts. Again, thank you! 🤍 PS: Sibling death IS devastating, but my daughter, polar opposite of my son, is, by some miracle, putting one foot in front of the other and not only living life fully, but helping others in the process!

      • You’ve just reminded me of something else that was on my mind – reading about your daughter helping others (hats off to her, by the way 😊).
        I found it helped a lot with my mourning process to talk about my own losses with other women going through the same hardship … while helping others, it somehow also helped me with my own healing process.
        I trust the same will be for you and your daughter.

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