Click below to hear the song, Worn: This reminds me of what I saw during his last year of life:
May 7, 1975 ~ October 14, 2014
His Soul I’ll carry with me, always
That picture above captures the essence of Chad, full of life and love. But then sometimes life gets in the way. He died October 14, 2014. Depression took his life.
No words can stop the pain or the screaming in my head; I literally feel my mind being reshaped as I try to crawl out of this nightmare. It’s as if Chad is falling off a cliff and each and every waking moment I’m rushing over to save him. It’s a horrendous feeling as I try to undue what’s been done. I don’t know how much longer I can do this.
I can’t imagine what it will be like when shock wears off, because as it is now, living is wanting to die. As much as I dread nighttime, I’m so exhausted from the battle of dealing that I usually fall asleep after prayer or a few pages on my kindle; if only it would last, but I doze and awake many times a night to the earth-shattering reality my son is gone, over and over again. It’s pure torment as crazy as those first few moments when I learned he was dead. I dread going to sleep, I dread waking up. I dread living for months and years with this pain. I can’t bear that he suffered and died. I can’t bear that he disappeared off the face of this earth.
When I awake each morning I bolt out of bed sobbing, but I keep busy every moment of the day as I struggle to make sense of it all. After I’ve finished with chores I turn on a movie, but almost everything is a trigger and it’s no more than a minute or two that I concentrate even as I check my phone every few seconds, or straighten a pant leg, or pull up my socks, or pick lint off a shirt sleeve all in desperation to clutter up my grief.
I’m consumed by the loss of my son.
Chad should not be dead, it’s insanity; he wanted to live. He wanted a good life and he worked so hard for that. He worked so hard for others. To think I refrained from calling him at work many times for fear he may reach for his phone and fall off his ladder. But, that’s love, that’s consideration, that’s being cautious, that’s how we care for those we love. All I wanted from him, was him, to know he was happy, and to be alive. I wanted to visit him and talk with him a lot more than I did, I wasn’t bogged down by a job, I had time, but I sacrificed out of respect. How could this have happened? I would die to undue this mess, to take away his pain, to give him that trip to Hawaii he said he was saving for. When he felt the love he was on top of the world. I could see it in his eyes, in everything he did, and in his music when he felt sad, or happy, or when he was troubled.
Not long after he came out here a few months before he died, he was going to start a small band with a friend. He said as he painted my house, “Hey Mom (he probably said, Hey Momma), come watch us practice.” He was in such a great mood that day full of hope and promise. It turned out he was too busy that month to really get the band going, but oh my goodness I loved that he wore his heart on his sleeve. He needed me and I’m guilt-ridden because I doubted just how much he did towards the end. Although, I thought about him every single day, prayed, and tried to find out what was the matter with him those last three weeks. There is so much more to this story and it takes every fiber of my being to keep it together. Like any parent who has lost a child I need to talk about everything.
PLEASE PARENTS, TRUST YOUR INTUITION:
Chad had never been one to call me and complain, yet I was the first one he called when something good happened. Although, in December of 2013 he called me in distress about some things that troubled me to the very end. There were some ups during February and March. He was attending church and that lifted his spirits. He was talking about going into some kind of ministry. We had a serious discussion about that and it breaks my heart that he didn’t have the right support. That would have changed everything. Chad had a great work ethic, but he worked too hard. It’s over now, to late, and that I sacrificed time with him is utterly devastating.
About six months before he died, his heart was heavy and I can only imagine what he was feeling. He called and asked me to write a poem for him. I wrote down exactly what was on my heart that moment, no edits or deep thoughts, only a rush of love filled the page, and then I emailed this to him.
A rush of love
Fills my heart
Each time I think of you
Just the name
Brings music to my ears
No matter the years
That slip away
Some things never change
I still see
The sweet young boy
You’d fill your pockets
With bugs and rocks
You’d walk in proudly
To show your mom
Exactly what you’d found
You’d pull out beetles, bees
Wood ticks too
My heart still warms
When I see that face
By Chad’s mom
My heart breaks that I didn’t stop the train. God only knows I wanted to. One day I’ll be in heaven with him (right now it’s difficult to even think of that because it feels like a far off dream), and like any parent, my heart wants him down here on earth where I can wrap my arms around him and tell him how much I love him. No words can stop the pain nor the silent screaming in my head. I’ve heard that expression before, but had no idea what it really meant until I feel and hear my own agonizing attempts to choke it off.
A few days after Chad left us, I was crying out to God to please show me who He was (because for the moment I had my doubts) & that I wanted to know Chad was safe with Him. I got in the car & as I turned the key this song was playing. I’d never heard it before, and even though it makes me cry I’ve listened to it many times. I’ve an idea that only a Christian can fully understand its meaning. It doesn’t make it easier to accept & I may never, but I trust His heart and in the end I will see why He allowed this terrible thing to happen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgrJakTHr6s
Chad wrote this song about ten years ago: Track 03
ADDED February 2015: Many times throughout the last four months, I have given my sorrow, my anger, my grief & myself to God every day & sometimes many times a day. I pray for understanding that others will know the depth of pain and the need I have to discuss everything that happened. I pray each day like I have for years that God will love through me and help me to always forgive. And I pray He will use what happened to Chad at least in part for His glory. In other words, to help others. Chad would say to this: “Ya, mamma.”
NOTE: I’m also praying for other mothers who’ve lost a child (some have lost two or three, believe it or not). It’s a hurting world and it hits home with a vengeance when you’ve lost your own. If there is anyone in need of an extra ear, I’m here to listen; for this journey there is never too much support. If you want to tell your child’s story in book form I’ll give you feed-back, or for a story I’ll give it a spotlight and tweet it for you.
For most parents who’ve lost a child, writing about them is vital; it keeps our children alive, and keeps us busy. This is what keeps me going.
The first two and a half months after I lost Chad, I searched the web hours upon hours drenched in tears and wanting to die as I looked for relief. I even searched: Does God ever raise people from the dead? I found that it’s possible; that thought kept me going at times. I also found that reading about or listening to what others had gone through was/is very important. Especially at first I didn’t want to hear that everything would be okay, that he was in a better place, that I should look towards the future, or that I should move on, because I was desperately heartbroken and I didn’t want to even believe that he was gone; I still don’t.