We can find it everywhere – the bright Christmas lights, ornately decorated Christmas trees, radio stations playing Christmas music, and of course the Christmas sales on gift items we would not pay any attention to buying the other 11 months of the year. The countdown began after Thanksgiving, leading up to a day that is filled with great joy and excitement.

Like most people, I usually look forward to the Christmas season each year: spending time with family, exchanging gifts and good cheer, sharing old memories and making new ones, and reflecting on the year that has nearly passed. This Christmas, however, will be very different. In spite of my best efforts, I know the good cheer will be more somber, the memories bittersweet, and the reflections more contemplative. I suppose this is to be somewhat expected; the memories of Stephen’s accident are still very fresh in my mind and still weigh heavily on my heart. I doubt there has been a waking hour in the past six months when I have not thought about my son.

There are some friends of mine who seem simply amazed that I can function at all, and cannot imagine themselves being as “strong” as I have been in this situation. If the truth be told, I do not look at myself as a strong person; I may appear calm, cool, and collected on the outside, but if you could look into my heart and mind you would find I am a total wreck. My wife has commented that she has not seen me crying openly for our son, as she has been doing; what she does not understand is that on the inside I have not stopped crying since the day he died.

What is it that keeps me going forward? I believe it has been because of the need for “someone” to make sure that all of the things that needed to be done on Steve’s behalf were actually done. From making sure all of the funeral arrangements and details were covered, to handling all of the paperwork, and to being the “voice” of the family, I have focused on each task and given it my utmost attention and effort.

The last of those tasks is soon to be completed – we have received word that the monument for Stephen’s grave is finally finished and will be installed sometime within the next few days. What will happen to me after that is done? Will I still be “strong” or will I collapse into a blob of uncontrollable emotion? Or something in between? I do not know for sure, but I will find out soon enough.

In the meantime, the Christmas countdown continues…

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This entry was posted on Friday, December 3rd, 2010 at 1:03 am and is filed under Today's Reality. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 comments so far

Beverly Turner

Mike, if you do begin to cry, and feel out of ‘control’ with it, remember that our Savior cried over the death of a good friend. How much more if it had been a son! If you do not cry, and the taking of the bull by the horns is your way of dealing with all this, then God will give you other outlets for your grief (like writing this blog!) Love to you and Chris and Matt and Michelle. Prayers going up for you.

December 3rd, 2010 at 5:53 am
Deneen Ansley


December 3rd, 2010 at 8:11 am
Christi Wood

I spoke with Deanna, and we will visit his monument. We will never forget Steve. He is with God, and at peace. I pray you will find peace until you are with him again. Love in CHRIST.
Your Friends,
Christi & Deanna Wood

December 3rd, 2010 at 7:37 pm

There are no words of comfort to erase the pain that you are going through. Most folks will say they know what you are going thru but they only understand the concept of the emotion as it relates to their own personal grief. Only you can identify with the pain you feel inside. Sometimes something is so deep and raw that crying just doesn’t make it any better. Some people will tell you that time will heal your wounds. Time doesn’t heal it; time makes death less obvious. Time just allows you to spread your grief over a larger space. In my college psychology class, I laughed at Kubler-Ross 5 stages of grief. I had forgotten them until I lost my dad 4 1/2 years ago. They are pretty accurate. Birthdays, holidays, the first time you did something together, the last memory you have are so personal, they will never leave you. I cried when my dad died, almost everyday for a year. Sometimes it hits me when I hear a song he liked, use a tool that he used, or remember something from my childhood. Those memories are precious. Just as they will be with your son. Let that be your comfort. He will be with you always. Peace be with you Mike, to you and your family.

anna m.

December 3rd, 2010 at 7:40 pm

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