Just Angry

As time has gone by..six years now, I have tried to not repeatedly  read all the things that my son, Brandon, has left behind. Yet, at the same time, I am drawn to his prayer/dream journal. It pains me greatly to know some of the desires of his heart that were never met..i.e. the love of a good woman and becoming a successful writer and filmmaker. He has written “I love too much” and that his affections were spurned by those he thought would be “the one.” Several times he wrote out prayers asking God not to allow him to destroy himself. He suffered in silence about this. He wrote “all I have is my words to You, (Lord) and these pages where I can say the truth of how I feel.” My son and I had many long conversations about girls, love, theological questions, doubts, his dreams, and his future. I guess some things were left unsaid because he was too embarrassed to tell me. His father was never an option because he is a silent, distant person who can’t share with others, not his children or me.  My son has received his sensitivity and affectionate behavior from me. I taught my children about God their whole lives. I took them to church minus their father. I have sat them down for heart to heart concerns throughout their lives minus their father. Their formative years have been greatly influenced by me on all levels. That being said, their father has been influential in other ways. He has been a good provider and attentive in all their school events. He does love us but he has a difficult time showing it. He has been there …but not. I have had to deal with the emotional issues and disciplines more often than he. This is why I take it to heart that I have been a failure. My genes have been passed on as more of a curse than a positive possession. My advice was well intended and always out of love and I know this but it does not make the outcome of their life’s challenges any better.

Lately, I have been very angry at God. I don’t understand why He would allow Brandon to die by his own hand. I don’t understand why mental illness is prevalent in my family. I don’t know why the devil gets to win here on earth (for a time). I have prayed a lifetime for only good. I have prayed for my family’s concerns. Why the torment? Why does my family have to struggle with an issue that has an everlasting stigma and no understanding even in the medical community? I question my faith. Maybe this has happened because I am being tested. I am failing this test. I go back and forth between peace and utter despair over what has happened to our son and what is happening to another of our children with mental illness. I am scared that suicide will continue to visit my family and destroy my faith. Is this the will of God who says He loves me and my family and will not forsake us? I would never will such as this on the children I love. I am getting tired of uttering my prayers…my groaning and moaning. I think of all that Job went through in order to prove the devil can’t have the faithful….that Job’s faith would never be an issue even in the face of the horrors that Satan was allowed to inflict on God’s beloved servant. Here I am…angry that my boy’s prayers were about his own proclivity of self destruction. That even though they were written about nine years before he died by said suicide that God knew the day Brandon was conceived how he would die. I do not understand. So much I know…so much I don’t. I am scared of my flesh and humanness…the failing of faith. What then? I can say that even though I am angry that I still love God. I know my son did, too.

I am really, really missing Brandon. I can’t stand this and I have told God how much I hate this world. I figure why not be  honest. Who are we kidding? I feel powerless in many ways. I know God does answer prayers. I know this but the biggest one was not. What mother would not say that her prayers for her children were the least important?

I miss you sweet boy. I love you forever and envision you in Heaven with a glorious smile on your precious face. I know that even in this anger phase…this questioning phase…in my continual flawed phase…that perhaps the one prayer that is acceptable is the one that Jesus taught us to pray.

Matthew 6:9-13 King James Version (KJV)  

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Somehow this just doesn’t cover all that I would want to say or all that I have come up against. Where is the thankfulness and gratitude? I don’t mean to be critical but it seems lacking in a way. Forgive me Jesus. I have said this prayer many, many times when I have given up on my own watery words. I actually think we can take liberties with this prime example of prayer. I don’t think it should serve as the one and only prayer said in rote fashion with little regard to its significance. It is a template for how to approach our Father. But Ohhh, how I could rewrite it from my heart’s depth. How I have taken the liberties that death has inspired.

Charles Spurgeon wrote as a last line to one of his devotions. “Father teach me to love You as I ought.” This is what I hope to learn from all of this sorrow. I hope that instead of failing and falling that I can be lifted by God’s own merciful hands in this life. I know it was His hands that delivered Brandon into Heaven. I am thankful for knowing that. I am very thankful for Jesus.

Brandon's pics3

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11 thoughts on “Just Angry

  1. Dale, I wish I had some theologically correct yet comfortable words to say to you. Your anguish is very understandable…and heartbreaking to read. Suicide is heartbreaking – but it is not-“understandable.”

    When faced with that impaling of ours-called the “Why, God?” since there’s no way to figure it out-I personally feel, we have 2 active choices.

    One, we can fight, rail against the injustice of it all etc.or two-give up that un-winnable battle, by surrendering-and trusting God. He knows what he’s doing-and “allowing”. Whether it’s annhiliation of our child by another’s vehicle, or death by impassioned response…” it” has been “allowed” to happen.

    I’ve come to feel that all I used to feel my children “missed out on”, is but a drop in the ocean of mature joy. There’s nothing lacking in their joy! “Paradise”, Jesus’ description to “The Good Thief”…is utter BLISS…I have come to believe that earthly “missing out on” …is like comparing missing kindergarten “cookies and milk time” to feasting at THE finest 3 Michelin star restaurant! But I did not arrive at this conclusion quickly. I, too, spent much time ruminating over what they’d “lost out on”.

    Now the tables have turned. I, long for Paradise…because “I” am missing out on what really is, true happiness and joy. Hang in there. This is the hardest battle out there. Every soldier gets worn down and discouraged at times…

    Love from me, to you and Brandon Bear.

    • Sending Brandon bear hugs. You should see the yellow rose bush ….with its new blooms and tiny buds. Yes, I always think I have given this cruel tragedy over to God and in the next minute…I have grabbed it back again. I think it is a tug of war…a spiritual war, at times. Love and peace.

  2. Dale, as a mother from where I stand on my own journey, I hear you and agree with what you write. One of my other children is struggling since the sudden passing of his sister. He does not understand the whys and it’s eating him up inside. I say enough, Lord. I cannot take anymore. I am not some biblical woman, I am an ordinary mother who prayed earnestly my entire life only for my children’s well being. My mother role means everything to me and you are truly only as happy as your least happy child. Maybe Amy is in paradise, but this sure feels like a living hell at times. Maybe this too shall pass and tomorrow I will have some encouraging words to share with you, but today from where I am standing, mother to mother, I agree and believe your anger and frustration is an appropriate reaction. I do hope your heart is lighter tomorrow, my friend.

    • My heart cries with yours and for our families, Dee. I go these terrible phases when I think I have lost my mind…my faith, but I know there are longer periods now of an inexplicable peace. You will find this out the further along this treacherous ground of grief that you travel. I do want to be a better voice of hope than I sometimes am. It’s just that my blog is my purging place. I know you know this all too well. Peace and hugs…Dale

  3. Hiya Dale. Cruddy day! Cruddy pain. Cruddy questions. Lord’s Prayer – really! Genes – why? Why why why.
    I have no words to take this from you. No advice to make you better.
    But I want to say thank you.
    Thank you for your courage of despair. The honest guts of pain and God and love and life and death. Words that are real. Pain that is real. Questions that are real. I thank you for allowing me to share your words and this post. And you are never alone, never suffering the word “suicide” alone. Never.
    Cruddy days deserve a short prayer:
    “Let me be enough for now, today, this moment.”
    ((hug))

  4. Dearest Dale,
    Spurgeon’s prayer, “Father teach me to love You as I ought,” I think is the same as the prayer the father uttered to Jesus, “But help me in my unbelief.” We go there because we are human, and suffer human tragedy – some more than others. I truly believe, though He could prevent our suffering, he weeps with us and for us. Until we meet Him face to face we won’t know the reason for His choices. We are only able to hand Him our burdens and walk one foot in front of the other as best we can knowing we’re not alone in the agony.
    All my love and prayers to you, sweet friend. ❤

    • Thank you sweet Susan. God is with us for certain. I can write only because He has made Himself known in miraculous ways. But even knowing all that I know doesn’t ease missing my “baby boy.” Love and hugs!

  5. Dale the day I had to ID Jaie, the entire trip I said the lords pray. Praying it was not my baby. Just a horrible mix up.
    It was not answered. My faith is destroyed completely in there being any type of ‘God’. I envy people who can keep their faith.
    I hope that gentler days are ahead for us all.
    We are ‘Vilomahed’ (Sanskrit). We, the Gray haired ones, have buried our dark haired children ❤️👼🏼❤️

    • My heart aches for you too. I never had to do what you had to do. I never saw my son again after he left our house for the last time. I have imagined how it would have been…..so awful. And yet I have regrets that none of us saw him after he died….not even his wife. Sometimes I feel as if we abandoned him by not going to see his body. I will never forgive myself. Never.

      Faith is something humanly flawed. We are like the tide that rises and recedes. Even though you say your faith is gone, I know it will rise again because that is just how it is. Your son is now with the Father who created him. We as mothers would never do anything to jeopardize being reunited with our children. We will get through and our weakness will be made strong once again. Hugs of love….Dale

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