Saturday, August 22, 2015

10 for 10.

I have a hard time understanding death.

Not the act of dying.  That seems simple to me.  Someone gets in a car accident, their organs stop working, and they're gone.

Sure, I don't understand all of the science behind it, but I know that much.

It's the other part that gets me.  The part no one wants to talk about.  The why.  Someone being here one minute and gone the next.  Sure, maybe cancer or a heart attack.  But why them?  Why now?  Why me?

It's the why that gets me.

I didn't know Jesus when we lost Kaden.  I didn't know that God had some crazy intense plan for it all.  I didn't want to try to understand why any of this was happening to my family and I.  The grief was all I could focus on.

And I think grief is a funny thing like that.  It causes you to forget the good and focus only on the loss.  The lack.  The thing that's no longer there.  It reminds you of that, time and time again.

I somewhat believe that grief never goes away.  It may get easier, it can be managed, but it's never absent.  You see a picture, a memory flashes back, and the feelings flood in again.

I also think it's okay to not be okay.  To be sad when you remember the loss and the hurt and the person who ceases to be.  It's something I've had to write on my soul since we lost Kaden.

It's funny how someone so tiny can make such an impact.  I still have the only picture of him and I.  It stay in my Bible, in Psalm 23, which was given out on a piece of paper with his name and picture the day we said goodbye to him.  His baby blanket and anklet from the hospital, along with cards of condolences from when he passed still hang at my aunt's house.

I still remember.  It's been 10 years and I still remember.  Kaden was a sweet kind of joy.  He was someone I don't think my family kenw we needed until he was here.  And when he left, it hurt.  It still hurts.

But I've learned a lot in the 10 years since he's been gone.  I've found the Lord in the pain and in the comfort He gives me in the moments I hurt the most.  There are lessons to be learned through the trials we face.  Here's 10 I've learned since Kaden died.

1 -- Tears are okay.  They are not something to be ashamed of.  They connect us in ways we may  never know.
2 -- God is constant.  He is always present and always comforting in our time of need.
3 -- Family matters.  They're the ones who understand when something like this happens, and they're the ones who understand still today.
4 -- Joy may not be easy.  Days will be hard, and sometimes it feels like too much, but we must feel the things we feel because we can't just lock it all inside.
5 -- Community is essential.  This is something I didn't learn and experience until college, but when I did, it began to change everything I knew.  It's good to have people who know to call when you just don't seem right.
6 -- Perspective is important.  I can't allow myself to shut down and shut off the world.  Plain and simple.
7 -- Truth is freeing.  I have to let others know how I'm doing for them to be able to do anything.  I have to be vulnerable with my aches and know that they are recognized.
8 -- I am not alone.  People struggle with grief and loss every single day, and there are people willing to step into my pain, say "me too" or "I'm here", and stay.
9 -- My pain is not my name.  It's a part of my story (a huge part), but it does not define me.
10 -- Heaven is my home.  This life is not the end.  M pain is not eternal.  It will one day be lifted off my shoulders by the One who died to take it all away.

I have a lot of words for a lot of love I have for a little boy who made a huge impact.

Kaden is not forgotten.  His memory lives on.  The joy of his life, though short, is constant.  I praise God for giving him to us, I'm learning to praise Him through our loss, and I will praise Him when the grief is too much to bear.

In loving memory of Kaden Michael Peterson.

June 21st, 2005 - August 22nd, 2005
Gone, but not forgotten.


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