For over two years I have searched for peace and acceptance of Grants death; it’s a hard step knowing that as I heal and find peace I stray further from an imaginary place I would rather stay. My imaginary place consists of pretending he’s really not gone from this earth and life as I know it. I think when someone loses a child a million “what if’s,” and “I should have’s” go through your mind constantly. I guess blaming myself is easier than holding resentment against others or even worse in my mind blaming Grant or someone else for my sadness. Did addiction steal my son? Did Grant steal my son? Did the young man who gave my son the methadone that evening steal my son? These thoughts run through my mind daily, they can consume me for hours. I know Grant would be sad that I waste precious life searching for answers that won’t change anything or holding grudges against actions that were never meant to intentionally harm my son.
I know Grant would want me to be happy and live life with joy in my heart, not tossing and turning up the past over and over again. If I can forgive Grant for the choice he made that evening I need to learn to forgive myself for all the “what if’s” and find forgiveness and extend grace towards the young man detectives identified as ultimately the one responsible for Grants death. It’s hard because being human I want to blame someone for robbing me of my child but also understanding the human ways I deep down do know that no one intentionally tried to harm my son in the actions that were taken leading up to his death. Before I write about forgiveness I’ve felt I had to find meaning and then ultimately understand compassion. I would be naive to say I won’t have a lot more bitter feeling in my days ahead but I am working on the road to forgiveness. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions but I wanted to write about it because journaling helps me get through the steps and this is one I need to give to God.
I think about the Easter season and the days leading up to Christ dying on the cross, and I think that the reason for his pain and suffering is a good time to reflect. Christ suffered to forgive my sins and as much as I would like to say my suffering is too painful to do the same and that it’s easier to hold a grudge on something or someone this would ultimately rob me of peace and the healing Grant would want me to find. Losing Grant will forever ache my heart of hurt and sadness but that’s different than anger and bitterness. I believe heart ache can lead me to being a better person but anger and bitterness will rob me of love. “Mix bitter with sweet” and the bitter takes away all the pleasure of sweet. I realize there will be obstacles in letting go of my resentment. I have to learn how to forgive with gentleness and grace. Forgiveness, love and peace are qualities I taught my children but I guess this is an “easier said than done” effort for me this time. It is a hard thing to hold a grudge against yourself, you spend each day with yourself; you can’t avoid yourself in a target aisle. The “what if’s” will creep back into the mind without the help of God to help control it. I also have to realize that an act of forgiveness can be given without an apology and that forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation. I have to ultimately forgive, by that I mean I have to forgive and let go with nothing in return. It won’t bring Grant back. I can’t expect an apology. I have to forgive and let go for my own peace and happiness so I can focus on the sweet… my sweet memories, my happy days in the past and those to come. Forgive the past so that maybe someday when I see a picture of my son I can replace the tears on my face with a smile. Easter: Christ died with me in mind. He died so my sins would be forgiven so I have to ask myself how I am going to better understand forgiveness. I have to learn to forgive myself, forgive addiction, and forgive the young man who I believe had no intentions of bringing harm to Grant.
I don’t’ believe Jesus is asking me to say that it’s okay. Forgiveness isn’t saying that what was done is by any means okay. In fact I think forgiveness assumes that it was not okay. Jesus is not asking me to necessarily understand why somebody did something wrong, or even assume that the deed was done to intentionally hurt someone else, but that it may help in letting go of my hurt and bitter feelings. Forgiveness is choosing before God to let go of the offense, even if I will never in this life understand why. Forgiveness truly is deciding that I won’t get even, that I won’t punish someone, including myself. Jesus is not asking me to pretend as if the hurt has completely disappeared or gone away. I will forever hurt. My healing, I know will take time and my forgiveness is a part of that. My forgiving is giving the bitter hurt to God and allowing him to heal my heart of holding grudges, and hopefully heal my mind of the “what if’s.” Forgiveness is scary… it means taking down the walls that protect me and some days I’m afraid to. I can only lean on God and the whispers of Grant to empower me to forgive.
God made the ultimate sacrifice for my sins. He forgave me of every trespass that I have made, intentional and otherwise. How do I forgive a disease? How do you forgive addiction? How do you forgive cancer? I guess I think maybe if I can forgive addiction I can feel free of a hate that consumes me.
My Easter thoughts… I love you Grantie,
Easter Version of Hallelujah: http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0E02FMNU