Friday, August 15, 2008

Update : 81508(2)

We made it to Nashville. It was an uneventful trip, which is good. Summer snoozed for about an hour-and-a-half and after waking up she watched Barney the rest of the way. Barney is her favorite, although she really likes this new dvd called Miss Patty Cake... I'm serious.

It seems obvious to me that we are entering a new phase in our grief. I think for both Nicol and I the shock has worn off (at least more than it had previously) and reality is setting in... and setting in hard.

We met a friend for lunch earlier in the week and she told us that we need to sink into the grief. Not all the time, there's no reason to dwell there 24/7. But when it hits, go there. If that sounds weird to you, it's not... believe me. It's not because there's no choice in the matter. As I said in a previous post, there's no escape. No easy way out. No switching on and off the light and, presto, everything is better. No resetting the X-Box or PS2 and starting a new game. No rebooting the desktop. No mulligans. Either we deal with it now or we will deal with it later... and "later" probably means a more intense struggle.

So when the bottom of the pit drops again, when another layer of emotional skin is sloughed off, when the darkness invades our heart's midday sun, when the oasis turns to mirage, when (to borrow a phrase) our grief is the ocean and our joy nothing but a fantasy island, when there's no energy to laugh or even smile... we need to sink and face what's going on inside our soul. We need to embrace it, stand nose-to-nose with it because it's real.


We are sinking. And it's a good thing. Sink we must. Don't be alarmed. We're right where we ought to be. I loved what Mary Beth Chapman told Larry King last week, commenting on the tragic loss of their daughter: When we hit bottom we didn't land on our feet, we landed flat on our faces, but the bottom was rock solid.

I don't know if we've hit bottom yet or not... somehow I don't think so. But I know that when we do, whether we land on our feet or on our head, the bottom will be firm.


On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

44 comments:

Mocha with Linda said...

I hate that you are all going through this. You and Nicol. Todd & Angie. SCC & Mary Beth.

But know that you are witnesses of God's sustaining power and of the sure and strong foundation at the bottom.

Praying for continuing sustaining power through the darkest of the dark days.

The Barnes Crew said...

Although we don't know each other you are most definitely in my thoughts and prayers!

Michelle Pugh said...

Greg, what a beautiful post. Just know that as you and Nicol go through this grief you have lots of people you don't even know praying for your well being~ God Bless you...

Angie said...

You are in my prayers everyday
Angie

the beasons said...

Just prayed for you!

georgia tarheel said...

We will be praying hard this week as you make decisions and lay sweet Luke to rest. There are no words of comfort to say to you and so I won't try. I will pray though, I promise.

I hope you brought the tea set with you. I bet tea time is going to be more therapuetic than you ever thought it could be!

lynette said...

I'm so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful son Luke. Praying for your sweet family as you make your way through the valley...

Twice Blessed China Mom said...

How wise you are to know that you do need to allow yourself to feel the feelings. I will continue to pray for your family, and I hope that you are comforted to know that many people you have yet to meet, care about your family.

Anonymous said...

Greg and Nicol,

We are praying for your precious family during this time of trying to adjust and live without little Luke. We gently encourage you to embrace the gifts of comfort, tenderness and support that surround you from our mighty God and all those who are sharing in your burden of pain.

As is evidenced in your blog, little Luke's legacy has ministered to more hearts in his brief time on this earth than most who strive for an entire lifetime to make a memorable mark in our world. Because of your writings, even though your heart is raw, there are threads of hope planted in the minds and hearts of those who are suffering in recognizable and some times silent pain.

When you find yourself sinking into that pit of grief, reach up dear ones for the countless hands extended to you and your family for strength to press on. You are promised that God will never leave you or forsake you, neither will we.

Wish we could be present at Luke's memorial service. We certainly will be in spirit.

Come To Me
When you are hurting, Come to Me and I will bind your wounds.
When you need to be assured, come to Me and I will give you My embrace.
When you can no longer go on, come to Me and I will carry you.
When you need comfort, come to me and I will wipe your tears.
When you are uncertain of My love, come to Me and I will speak My heart to you.
Always remember that in your need you are coming to the One who came for you. (Roy Lessin)

Much love, Dan and Jill

Wendi said...

Greg and Nicol,
My heart hurts so much for you both. After reading about your grief on Angie's blog I began praying for your family often. God has laid you all on my heart many times. I know what it is like to be where you are at. I know it hurts worse than physical pain and I know that some times you just wish you could breathe again. I also know the amazing healing that God pours in to your life as he holds and comforts you.
I'm so sorry for your loss.
~Wendi

Brenna said...

So glad that you have a solid rock to land on when that bottom does come. Our God is so good and I know he will see you through this time and every time that is to come. I am praying for you and your family.

Joyce said...

I am no expert on grief and definately not on loosing a child. I have experienced the loss of children close to me in particular 2 very dear boys. I too thought I could run from the grief and I sure did a good job of it, burying myself in work ... that was until the second boy died. After that I went to counselling and here I was informed that the grief will catch up to you .. Either you take hold of the grief or it takes hold of you. It sure had a good hold of me.
Grief is a hard journey and I am really sad that you are going on this journey. And I dont mean to be sinister - I hope for you that the journey Todd and Angie are travelling makes it a little easier - for all of you, that you are not alone on that hard journey.
In my lowest hours my cousin who lost her boy to SIDS told me to read the poem of the weaver - especially the part about the dark thread.

May God surround you so much that you never feel alone, may he give you both the ability to comfort each other and walk with each other while you still minister to a little girl who lost her brother, and may you always feel his arms surrounding you.
Joyce
(and no you dont know me - I have linked here from Angies blog)

maggieallen123 said...

You all have been on my mind and heart constantly since reading your blog yesterday. Thank you for your words. Sometimes it hurts to hear truth spoken into our lives but often it is what we need...when your friend said to face the grief...I would imagine that will eventually allow healing and knowing it is at that exact place where you will hear God's whisper saying I Love YOU Greg, Nicol, and Summer.
Sweet and caring prayers are being lifted up for you.
Becky

vaneblu said...

We dont know you, but we feel like we do... we will continue praying for your family, even in does rock bottom days

Andrea said...

I had someone tell me right after Wyatt died that "We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full." Marcel Proust. Also, "The best way out is always through." Grief is hard. It is probably the hardest work we will ever have to do but if we are to heal we have to experience it. It has been a hard and difficult roller coaster the last 5 months for me but I know that by going through this I will be able to heal. You will too. Thanks for your wonderful post. I will be praying for you on those dark and awful days.
Love,
Andrea

Baseballs and Tutu's said...

You and your entire family are in our prayers! We will always remember Luke through your stories! Thank you for sharing and including us in your lives.

Jennifer said...

I pray for you. I hate that you have to walk a road no parent wants to walk. God will always be there through your struggles and joys.

julie said...

I found your site through Audrey's site. Our son died shortly after birth on Jan. 31, 2006 from the same condition that Audrey had. Our hearts go out to both of your families and my husband and I will be praying specificially for you this week. I like that praise song that says "Oh Lord you never let go through the highs and through the lows...oh Lord you never let go of me!" He will sustain you on Thursday and give you grace on days you need it! Grief is such a hard thing but oh how it causes us to long for our heavenly home like never before! God bless!

Stephanie said...

I have followed your story through Angie's site, and have prayed for you from afar since Luke's passing. On the morning of his memorial service, I was checking for an update, and saw Angie's post about it being the day of the service, and she mentioned the time, which of course was the exact time I was reading. God, of course! Anyway, I just felt led to lay my hands on my computer as though I was reaching out to you and pray and cry for as long as my two year old daughther allowed. I also have a 9 month old little boy and I do pray for your whole family each time I sit down to nurse and rock him. You make me hold them a little longer, harder, and sweeter. Thanks for sharing.

Skerry said...

Praying for your family as you continue to mourn the loss of your sweet baby Luke.

heather said...

Praying for you!

candesintx said...

Much prayers and much love being sent.

May His grace sustain you on this journey.

The Wade's said...

Christ is the Solid Rock!!

You are in my deepest prayers...

CIRCLE OF LIFE said...

God bless and take care. please send regard to tood and angie

erin said...

My prayers are with you and your family as you have the courage to stare grief in the eyes. I could not sleep last night, and your family came to mind, so I did all any of us can, I prayed for you.

Lesley said...

Keeping you in our prayers!

God bless!

Lesley

take me away said...

I will be praying hard for you all.

Misty Rice said...

Dear Brother (and sister) in Christ -

Oh the pain, the hurt and the emotions you must be going through. If I could just take it away for a moment to give you a day of peace I would. I have followed you through Angie's blog, I found her though my friend because my daughter and Audrey had the same due date of April 14th. While one was going home to Jesus, the other was coming home to her new earthly family (mine). So these journey has been so dear and special to me.

I posted a prayer request on my blog as well and spoke of baby Luke the night it happened on my blog. I have kissed his little face on my screen many times and I have rubbed his cheeks as if they were real. I love him and I never knew him.

I see his wonderful personality in the photos. I see the happiness in his eyes. He was a happy baby boy.... he know he was loved.

Most blogs are written by women and so I wanted to say thank you for sharing your thoughts, your hurts, your honesty with the world. Thank you for being real about all of this.

I often pray and even told Angie last night that I pray that God will shine the moon a little brighter down on her and Nichole and gently rub their hair for comfort and bring peace through the night so they can sleep in peace.

So tonight I will pray the same for you.... as God's son, I ask that God let you feel his presence, his arms around you and his love and peace. I know it is easier said in words, but you do not hurt alone tonight, you are not alone.

We just heard this weekend at church about different types of relationships, and the most important one is our relationship with GOD.... because he is with us. HE is "with" us!!!

I have shouted, even cursed and screamed at God. I have told him that I didn't believe in him anymore..... but again and again he loves me and accepts me and forgives me.

So go ahead and be honest with God too, tell him how angry you are, its okay. He wants that kind of relationship with you.

Your family is in my prayers not only tonight or this week, but always.

Bless you and your family ---

Misty-

natalie said...

I've been following Audrey's story for quite a while now. I praised God for Nicol when she brought comfort to Angie and Todd when they lost Audrey and I've been praying for you since learning that you've lost your precious boy.

(This is a point) I've had two miscarriages this year. The wisdom you have about "being in the grief" is the most astute wisdom you can have. Even now, 4 months since the second miscarriage, there are moments when my grief renders me breathless and I just have to be there, with the loss. When I run from it, hide from it, deny it, I find the struggle only intensifies and I deal with it later, rather than then.

I can't imagine how you are feeling this week. But trust me that I am praying for you. A stranger that you don't even know is taking your burden to the cross, supporting you just a little.

Anonymous said...

Praying for and loving you with all of my heart!

Steff Van Alstyne

Kristy said...

I know you are where you are supposed to be,as you said, but oh how I pray that God would ease this pain and wrap His loving arms around you and Nicol and soothe you in this grief. I pray that He would make it known to you both that He is with you - in ways only you could know. I do not know you, but you are daily in my prayers.

Matt and Cristin said...

We are thinking of and praying for your family during these next few days. Praying for strength and to rest in God's grace and peace. He loves you guys so much.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you and your entire family. HE will carry you all.

PS:My kids LOVE Miss Patty Cake too! :)

noahandlylasmommi said...

praying for you and your family.

Eva said...

Nicol, Greg and Summer, Not a day goes by when I haven't been praying for you. I fight between wanting to call you daily and not wanting to get in the way. Greg, I check in with your sister, mother and grandmother every time I see them to hear how y'all are doing.

Nicol, I don't know how many days I've awoken with Resurrection or Esango running through my mind, knowing that I will be humming them throughout the day. I even when on line and watched a few different clips of Resurrection on YouTube one day. What a blessing your music is. I know that the words may feel hollow right now, but I pray that they will be a blessing to you both as well.

Greg, thank you for your blog. My Daddy has repeated a quotation for years that I love: "Thought disentangle themselves as they pass through the lips and the finger tips." Not only do they disentangle themselves, but they help us in our healing process.

Every baby I hold and treat brings my thoughts to Lukie and Audrey and I pray for both of your families.

I love you all and look forward to your next visit to see the family.

Eva

Eva said...

Nicol, Greg and Summer, Not a day goes by when I haven't been praying for you. I fight between wanting to call you daily and not wanting to get in the way. Greg, I check in with your sister, mother and grandmother every time I see them to hear how y'all are doing.

Nicol, I don't know how many days I've awoken with Resurrection or Esango running through my mind, knowing that I will be humming them throughout the day. I even went on line and watched a few different clips of Resurrection on YouTube one day. What a blessing your music is. I know that the words may feel hollow right now, but I pray that they will be a blessing to you both as well.

Greg, thank you for your blog. My Daddy has repeated a quotation for years that I love: "Thought disentangle themselves as they pass through the lips and the finger tips." Not only do they disentangle themselves, but they help us in our healing process.

Every baby I hold and treat brings my thoughts to Lukie and Audrey and I pray for both of your families.

I love you all and look forward to your next visit to see the family.

Eva

Daddy's Dream ~Mommy's Miracle said...

It has been 6 months for us, and I can't say it has "sank in" all the way. There is pain everyday. I hope to hit bottom soon, so we can start the journey back up. God Bless

amy said...

My heart is breaking for you and there are no words. Please know that I am praying for your sweet family.

seth said...

Praying for you and your family!
Sincerely, the Meeks family

Pipsylou said...

Praying praying praying!

Anonymous said...

Blessings today and always, as you enter the moment of laying Luke to rest near Audrey.
Know that we are praying for God's perfect peace and strength for all of you.

Much love,
Uncle and Auntie in Hermon

erin said...

Just coming back to let you know you are still in our prayers! May God hold you all in the palm of his hand~

anglswngs said...

I just want you to know that I have been, am now, and will continue to pray and think about you all...especially tomorrow.
Debbie
Annapolis

Erin said...

God bless your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers, as are Angie and Todd and their family as I know the burial will also be very trying on them. Thank God that we grieve with hope; though the journey there is long and hard, we will all one day see them again; whole, healed and complete in Him.