Tuesday, April 1, 2008

3 Months

Today marks three months since Midi and Nathan died and the lives of those left behind changed forever. I visited the gravesite today after work. I've been there a handful of times, but never alone until today. It was good to go today - good in the sense that it was real. Since no one was around I got to cry as loud as I wanted to, pray as earnestly as I could, and talk to them without feeling watched in any way.

Before my wife and son died my experiences with death were limited to grandparents. While I grieved losing them, what I'm experiencing now is a category unto its own, which (thankfully) not many that I've come across have experienced. I used to think that visiting gravesites was pointless. I confess that I used to look down on those who did, thinking stupidly that talking to their dead loved ones and sitting on the grass was a waste of time and not helpful. I even thought it illogical to leave flowers. All is different now. Going to visit the graves feels right. I don't feel that it is pointless. The first time I went, I felt the urge to talk to Midi and Nathan. The thinking part of me believed that they wouldn't hear me. But my heart told me that it was OK and maybe even good...for me. I also wondered how God felt about me talking to them. So before I addressed Midi and Nathan, I prayed to God. I told Him that I was going to talk to Midi and Nathan. And I told Him that if it was wrong or weird in any way, that He would get over it. Such is my relationship with God.

Lucas has been to the gravesite a couple of times, but I don't think that it is helpful for him. I think it is too abstract. Maybe some day it will be meaningful for him.

I've been told that the grief will come in waves. I have found this to be true so far. After three months, every day has not been a tearfest, but most have. For the past three or four days, I feel like I've been hit by one of the biggest waves of grief so far. Parts of yesterday and the day before were hardly bearable. I'm not sure that there is a trigger this time. It may just be a normal spike, like how it is when you are at the beach and the occasional big wave comes by. There have been times during this wave that I felt that I was going to drown. Or it may be that I've thought through my process of grief so much that my brain is taking a break and allowing my heart to take greater control of my body for a while. I can only hope that this wave will end soon because I can't take much more.


Anonymous said...

I continue to pray for you, Mark, and will today as well. Thank you for posting the beautiful pictures of Midi and Nathan.
May God comfort you today.

Drew and Erika Hettinger said...


I read your blog and I cry with you. Even though we don't know each other well, I think about and pray for you and Lucas almost every single day.

Midi's funeral was on my birthday. I cried more on that birthday than probably any other day in my entire life. People kept saying things like "Oh, poor you to have to spend a birthday in such a tragic way". But I didn't see it that way. In fact, I would say it was my "best" birthday ever. I know that sounds strange. But, it was a life changing day.

I learned that day what it means to "walk with God" like Enoch. The Bible says nothing about Enoch except that he walked with God, and that his faith was so great that eventually God just took him home. I agree with you that God didn't "take" Midi and Nathan...but I do know that they walked with God, and that they are now with God face to face.

I also agree with you that it just seems so wrong that they had to die for all of us to become better. I'm almost ashamed of myself that that's what it had to take to shake me out of my complacency. But please know that that's what it has done. I've changed the whole "purpose" of my life...it's now to walk with God...wherever he wants to go.

Your blog is a constant reminder to me of this new purpose which helps when I start to get too caught up in what's happening in the moment without thinking about the eternal perspective.

I can't imagine what you are going through...but I pray for you. Especially today while you are in the midst of this monstrous wave.

In Him,

Anonymous said...


We continue to pray for you, especially now. Thank you for opening your life to us.

The Savages

Anonymous said...

Mark- I am a friend of a friend. I heard of your loss in January and recently stumbled upon your blog. I was reading it and I felt my heart breaking, but in a supernatural way- as though through the gift of mercy I was feeling some of your pain. I began to pray for you and God gave me a vision: you were small and praying. Jesus was a strong man, sort of standing over you. He was using all of his strength and power to push away darkness that wanted to reach you. Light was surrounding you because Jesus was protecting you.

I hope this blesses you today and encourages your faith.

Anonymous said...

Sittser's book is a great one. I interviewed him several years ago. I remember him telling me that in one fell swoop he lost his past, his present and his future. His mother, his wife and his daughter. Your friend is right -- you have two choices -- pain with hope or pain with despair. I am praying you will always choose hope.