The beginning

Notes on Grief and Crisis: Dr. Lynn Rosas

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Where to start the journey is to look at your life and the loss that you or someone you love has suffered.  Maybe you even know that a loss is coming and you want to know how to make it through that loss.  I hope that by the time I finish writing stories and lessons (and you read and take them to heart) here that you are more able to deal with the issues at hand. The journey is not always easy.  To some it could last a lifetime, but I pray that you will be more able to deal and get on with your life than be stuck in grief. 

I am a Christian.  I hold a doctorate in Christian Grief and Crisis Counseling.  I am not a medical doctor and do not presume to be.  I go by the word of God which, for me, was a true gift of God.  I personally did not deal well with the main stream counseling of medical doctors because they didn’t seem to know the Lord, or if they did they just seemed to apply medical info and not godly info to me.  I needed godly help not textbook help for which they were trained.  Maybe you need that, or maybe you need both.  All I can offer is what I have learned and what the Bible has helped me through.  If you need medical help…get it.  Whatever help is available is surely better than no help at all.  We don’t have to be alone in our search to get better. All of us, at one time or another, will have dark days in our life.  Those days we just don’t want to get out of bed. 

My journey began into grief first when my grandma died when I was about 9 years old.  I adored her and she was sick and died and went to be with the Lord, but none of my questions got answered. I hurt and no one helped me understand.  Maybe because of their own grief but they didn’t see how deeply it truly affected me.  She was a beautiful and loving woman who loved me and the loss of her with all that was going on at home and around my life was really more than my little heart could take.  I hurt. But I am not going to talk more on her at this time.  I want to talk about my son and when he was killed.

His name was Marty. He was 20 years old and my first child.  He was married with a wife and one year old son.  He meant everything to me.  He was always a good kid…not because he was mine…but because he was a good kid.  He got along with everyone and everyone cared about him.  When he was little I used to have nightmares that he got killed and it was by a truck.  I had these nightmares for years and years.  I have had other losses and grief in my life but none as of yet has compared to the loss I felt when he was killed.  I worried constantly about this truck and color of the truck and didn’t ever want him in one.  I thought he would be killed while in this truck. That was not the case.  It was the vehicle that killed him.  I don’t know why the dreams all those years but they were so very real.  I can go by what people over the years said that it was silly or crazy or whatever…but they were real and they were constant. I could tell you that maybe my faith was  not big enough to overcome the fears and yes…the fear of losing him weighted on my heart for years.  

About a week before Marty was killed he came to me and told me that he was going to die.  (Yes, he was a Christian)  He had a look I will always remember when telling me.  He said he knew he was going to die soon not by his hand either.  He mentioned it a few times and told the neighbors as well.  He also told one of his friends and that he had to write a song and would he help him write it.  That they did.  I just call it, “Marty’s song”.  He had been working really hard and I said, hey why don’t I watch the baby and you guys go out to a movie or something.  They brought the baby over and when he went to leave he had a very strange look and said, “I love you mom”.  Oh, he always told me that but it was that look.  It was one I somehow knew he would not be back. 

After a couple of hours went by the phone rang and it was the indian police.  I answered the phone and the person on the other end told me that “Your son has been in an accident and he was being taken to a particular hospital and was not in good shape.” I remember not being able to talk and I think I gave the phone to my husband. All our other kids were at home, and his wife’s parents lived next door.  She had been hurt as well.  We got her parents and started to the hospital.  I was numb inside.  A numb I can never truly explain and a hurt because I knew what we were going to be told to me.  You pray you will never, ever, receive those phone calls that your child or loved one is in an accident, and you never want to hear “we did all we can but they are dead”.    We got to the hospital.  His wife was in there and she had a broken arm, but I will remember always what the doctor who came out said…which was only a few moments later.  “Your son is dead”…and then he walked away.  OMG he just walked away.  When we got there we got our pastor and he showed up and I am so grateful.  He came to our home so we could tell our kids.  Numb, numb, numb is all I can say.  Devestation of heart.  I didn’t even get to see him until the funeral.  I can’t even tell you if I cried a lot right then or if I just was numb of brain and heart at the time.  I do, however, remember the look on my kids faces when we had to tell them he was dead.  What had happend was that they were at a drive in.  A young man like 18 who was at the same high school as a couple of my kids at the time..a sport kid, him and his friends were drunk and he had sexually assaulted a lady at the drive in.  He tried to get away in his truck and there was gravel in the theater.  He came fast around a corner and Marty saw him and he pushed his wife out of the way but this young man ran over my son twice in trying to get away crushing his chest.  My son made it to the hospital and died.  He was 20 as I said with a wife and son, and a family that adored him.  The young man who killed him was arrested and out of jail that night even before my son died I believe.  They didn’t do anything to him in court.  You see, he had not done anything prior.  But my son laid in a grave and our lives were forever changed.  God gave this man ten years to the day to repent and change.  I honestly don’t believe he ever did change for he talked at school about the boy he “creamed”.  That boy was my son!  I had so much hatred in me over this young man it consumed me.  I might talk about this part later, but as I said God gave him ten years to the day…yet in the meantime this boy still drank and he still drove.  On the tenth year of my sons death this young man again was drunk and driving and ran into another car.  He was killed…yet he still destroyed another life because the man he hit had to have his leg amputated.  How a moment of sin and doing dumb things can change your life.  The thing is the dumb things one does can change numerous other people’s lives as well.  Ones they never get over.  

It has always made me wonder that in ten years did he ever feel the pain of what he did? Maybe! Maybe not!  I do know, however, that his twin sister became a Christian and missionary.  I don’t know her heart but I pray for her and his parents.  You see, we can only tell our children what is right and show them, and pray for them that they grow up and become great citizens and good people. People that care about others and don’t want to cause anyone else pain.   I would like to think he changed  inside and asked for forgiveness and I pray that he did but in reality only God knows.  In my sight his actions didn’t show it but for his eternal place I pray that he had asked God to forgive him.  It took many years to forgive him.  You see hatred hurts us and gives them control over our life.  He might have been sorry…but I never saw or knew of it.  All I saw was my son was gone at the hands of someone who that night chose to drink and drive.  I saw that my sons last deed was to save his wife.  My son never deliberatley   hurt anyone.  He worked hard and was smart, funny, loving, and in every way a good son.  I had him when I was young and not one day goes by I don’t miss him still…yet…God puts into us something that eventually we can go on in life and share our story to help someone else.  

People be careful what you do in life for the choices you make today can hurt others for years.  Sometimes just saying you are sorry won’t cut it.  Oh, if you ask God He will forgive you if you meant it…but sometimes those you hurt are still hurting and no matter how much of a good person or a Christian they might be pain is still pain and loss is still loss.  To some they might never get over what you did but remember that you can ask for forgiveness for your actions and many will forgive you, but if you ask God not only will He forgive you but He won’t remember it any longer for He puts your sin as far as the east is from the west.  

Yes, I eventually forgave the young man who killed my son, and yes I still hurt inside at the loss of my son…but hate for him only hurt me.   If he felt pain I would not know…but I knew mine.  It pretty much destroyed my family in many ways and I honestly did not know how to fix it for a time.  You just go on and get up each day hoping for a good day now and then.  

One day when I was at the lowest I had planned on taking my life.  I took a gun and went to a hotel where my family would not be the ones to find me.  I surely was not thinking clearly.  After sitting there for what seemed like an eternity…I heard God say, “I did not kill your son….don’t do this.  I have a plan for your life.” Of course you know I did not take my life but I went home and turned the TV on and there was a preacher on who out of the blue said, “God says, I did not kill your son.” Done deal.  So then my journey with grief began.  I don’t know how much of my personal journey I will talk about in the near future, I will try over time to let all my pain out so you can deal with yours.    I hope you will check back many times to see what I have to say and if it helps you or might help someone you know…please share it. 

Remember to write to me with comments to:   and in the subject line put “Grief and crisis: the beginning”.  I say that because I receive thousands of emails and don’t want to miss yours.  I don’t open all the emails I get or I would not get anything done.  So please write that in the subject line.

Have a blessed day, and I hope to see you soon.  Never give up! God truly has a plan for your life.

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