October 12 2009
I take that day and Jordans’ birthday off from work every year. It’s been 4 years for us it doesn’t seem to get any easier. For about three weeks before and three weeks after, I’d have anxiety, depression, and anger. My surviving children might as well be bubble wrapped. I’m always so protective because I’m so afraid of what could happen. I’ve had different horrific dreams where tragic things happened to my other children and I’ve held their lifeless bodies in my hands, waking in terror. I would check on them in their beds and thank God they were alright. After a rain one day, I spun our SUV around completely doing about 60 on a four lane highway with cars all around, nearly missing them and went off the road backward. I said “God please no! I?” I thought it was going to be really bad, but “Thank you God” we were completely unharmed.
I started to have a nervous breakdown, and was detaching from reality in the first year. I was involved in recovery for my drinking problem about 4 months prior to my boys’ death. He was the only one that really believed it would be different this time. One week short of 4 months sober I drank again. Essentially having a tantrum with God for not giving me my life back. I said to Him “I’m miserable! I might as well be a drunk! I’m going to be a drunk and there’s nothing you can do about it!” A couple bad weeks later my children came to visit fathers day weekend. I told Jordan to go throw away this messy gel toy he just broke before he got it on his clothes. I had forgotten I had the can slap full of beer bottles. When I remembered I said “That’s the community can as he opened it (like they weren’t my bottles). He looked at me as if to say its OK dad. I felt bad but was at a point where I couldn’t help it. That was the last day I saw him alive. I’m telling you part of my story, how it affected me, and some of the ways I coped or didn’t. I have no Idea of your loss or how you’re affected by the circumstances of your life. I can’t imagine or sort my own feelings out at times. I wouldn’t even guess at yours, but if you can use any part of my experience to help, well that’s my hope. While I was drinking again my life sucked again, I’m basically a lunatic while actively drinking. The point is alcohol didn’t help me anymore, it didn’t make me feel good, and it just made me feel more intense and worse. I haven’t drank since I heard the news of his death. I was trying AA and the first 3 steps 1. I admitted I was powerless over alcohol and my life was unmanageable. 2. Came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. 3 Made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understood Him. I went through a lot of difficult times when I was growing up and months before my son died while I was trying to do this AA stuff I prayed- “God, if any of my children had to suffer like I have in their lifetime that He take them while they were their most innocent.” Days before my son’s death I was drinking some beers by myself, sitting at this little table in my shoe box of an apartment. This is while I was separated and half drunk, with some half assed wanna be spirituality. I was kind of talking to God and writing on paper how “I appreciated the ultimate sacrifice of Christ on the cross and how I too would make the same sacrifice for the greater good of mankind, because I felt that everyone was good at heart” (Drunk) anyway I figure I was talking to God and I was out of line that was Gods son that Wednesday 6/23/2005 my son Jordan died answering my foolish words and prayer. My son Jordan had came to visit me months ago and he was having problems fitting in and feeling different. He hung out with the goth kids, was also very unique. I told him the reason he didn’t fit in was because he had a light in his heart. I told him he should find God. Jordan started going to church and completely changed. He died while he was his most innocent (Like my prayer). After his passing I was given his Bible it was marked at the book of Job. All of Jobs’ kids died on the same day. This was the first full book I read out of The Bible at this point I have no religion or church, but I can’t go on. Nothing seemed real anymore, it was like I was half conscious. I was at work trying to figure out what to do and thought about AA and that third step about turning my will and life over to the care of God. Suddenly, I thought Gods’ will for me so far was for me to be divorced from my first wife and estranged from my children. Then separated from my second wife and to be estranged from those children and now his will is for my son to die. Thinking about the book of Job, I thought what if his will for me is for all of my kids to die! At that moment I felt like I was crushed and my core emptied out leaving me with a hollow feeling. There was nothing left. I couldn’t anymore, I just couldn’t. I said aloud “If that’s you’re will for me so be it, you can have everything my wife my kids, down to my very life, it is already yours, just please help me?” I haven’t wanted to drink since. As far as coping I’ve been put in a position where I’ve shared that experience with people and threw telling it and feeling it has helped a little. I try to help other people; it helps me not to think about myself especially during those 2 very hard times of the year. I’ve tried to get closer to God, I joined a church. Three and a half years later around Jordan’s’ birthday I got really screwed up (mental/emotional) and the priest gave me the anointing of the sick something changed, I feel different it’s still very hard. I have more clarity and grieve in a healthier way I can’t really explain it. Much like all of the feelings that go with all this there’re no words. At any rate I went to RCIA (school for adults to inquire and/or become Catholic). I wasn’t feeling it but over time I had an open mind and it started to feel right so I went with it. I couldn’t get through a day by myself. I tried grief counseling at Hospice at 1 year, I couldn’t do it anything helped. I will tell you God helped me and has been greater than I ever imagined He keeps me fully alive for the rest of my children and my wife. Try to ask for help if you can’t do it anymore or you’re having trouble. This works for me when I have bad days. Some days I couldn’t get past my grief. It has been about 6 months since I took the anointing and a day like that hasn’t happened. Love the ones that are still here and love the one that’s with God. Love is infinite and surpasses all. I pray on the day of my Son’s death to grieve in a healthy way and not to drift into morbid self pity. I light an all day candle in the morning asks God to tell my boy I love him. I say I love you Jordan or Son whenever I think of him. I say I miss you Boy and think of the familiar pat I used to give him or little things he’d say or do then smile with some big tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. I try to thank God for the very special time I had with him here, and ask him to take good care of him for me and that we one day may be reunited. My heart is with you.
I did cuss at God when my boy died, I didn’t understand, I still don’t understand. I understand that I don’t need to understand, I need to accept and come to peace knowing he is home he just beat me there. With love Jason
This corresponds directly with my blog “Destitute”
Thank you for reading this is from years ago, I found it and thought I’d share. I know it’s heavy; I wanted to provide perspective of my source of inspiration
I went to the ocean of my existence and set my thoughts adrift on a frail vessel. It seemed calm, I had no idea a storm was coming.
Having sailed the seas before I new these waters could be treacherous but I was ill prepared for the storm that entered my life. It battered my vessel from all directions, my thoughts were scattered. Shaken to my very core, I closed my eyes and hoped it would stop like a bad dream. Somehow suddenly all was submerged in the depths. I could not bring my thoughts to the surface they sank, down and down.
As I drown suffocating in this emotion, I succumbed, abandoning myself as there was nothing else I could do, I said God please help me!
I awoke on the shore in safe harbor with a newfound sense of security and trust, still bewildered, I’m approached by The One who saved me, He smiled upon me and said your vessel was crushed, your thoughts were damaged by the storm and cast to the bottom of existence, in it’s lowest place, they can no longer help you.
If you Trust in Me I can help you form new thoughts and build a stronger vessel that will remain unsinkable throughout all of existence, I will teach you all you need to know to navigate these waters and weather any storm.
I request only that you help anyone drowning or struggling to stay afloat in the ocean of existence. Tell them what I did for you and how they too can gain the same results if they only trust in Me and do likewise with still others.
I said “I’ll do anything, just please help me?”
He has remained with me since, we sail together and pull countless people from the depths that would have otherwise perished, we cannot save them all, Some want to save their old thoughts but they are too burdensome and heavy, so they sink with them. We can only help the ones who want to be saved desperately enough to abandon themselves as they grasp on and cling to the vessel.
When we experience terribly tragic events, or changes in our lives which are beyond our comprehension, it defy’s reason to think we can sort it out in our minds, by our own power. We end up having any one or a combination of issues manifest as a result. (mental breakdowns, life crisis, have anxiety, depression, substance/alcohol abuse and/or panic attacks etcetera)
The question that causes the most difficulty is “WHY?”
We don’t always get an answer and even sometimes when we do, the answer is unacceptable to us.
I don’t want to give you the wrong impression. I’m not a religious fanatic. I do however have a belief and reliance upon God, His subtle guidance and protection.
That being said the answer to our questions is simple.
With a heart broken and complete self abandon say something like I did
“God with what has happened and whatever else you want from me, you can have it all, everything down to my very life, I give it to you it is already yours anyway, as it comes from you, just please help me”
My daily prayer is;
“God, please guide my thoughts and my actions, help me to be of maximum benefit to You and the people around me, protect me from myself, Thy will not mine be done in all things, Amen”
Try this it works I know a life today I didn’t think was possible, I’m happy despite the soul crushing death of my 14 year old son Jordan Timothy Byers, on 6/23/2005 may God rest his soul, bless him and keep him until we meet again, Amen
May He also bless you according to your willingness and abandon?
It pays off to filter out certain content!
I had a mentor tell me “Garbage in garbage out!” He went on to say that I needed to be careful what I put in my mind, through what I watch and listen to.
We’re inundated daily with news, television, and people which can hit us with a constant barrage of doom & gloom, negativity and disfunction if we allow it.
Think about it you watch a sad movie you find yourself sad, listen to fast tempo music and you may find yourself nervous. If someone is always telling you the woes of the world or there always complaining or depressed it may impact your emotions, thoughts, or set the tone for your day. If somebody makes you angry how long can it last? Who else will be affected or deprived of your true self?
We cannot eliminate or completely control all of the information and situations that come to us.
Here’s what we can do;
We can recognize what’s being presented and cultivate change or navigate away from the things or people who negatively impact us.
Another wise person told me “we’re called to love everyone, we don’t have to like them or engage in long fellowship with them, just love them.”
We don’t have to stay in the fog, muck, and mire with the toads, snakes and rats. We can seek higher ground and we might even be able to help others find their way out of the swamp.
Identify the people and sources of quicksand in your life and try not to go in it.
A kindred spirit blogged great stuff yesterday which inspired this.