My Joe.

Nine years ago today my son walked out the front door, smiling and laughing.  I don’t know why, but I turned around from where I was sitting to watch him.  My last words to him, “I love you, Jody.”  That was the last time I saw my boy alive.

A part of my heart died that night, along with my son. There are days when it is not easy walking through the world, a sonless mother.  I miss my boy. I miss his smile and his laugh. I miss everything about him.  Nine years.  That is nearly half of the time he was here. I know that the official date of Joe’s passing is March 31, but for me, it will always be March 30.

Shortly after Joe’s passing John and I attend a bereavement meeting at a local church. We were lost. We were grasping at anything that would keep us from drowning in our grief. A woman sat down at the table with us. When we told her that we had recently lost our son, she placed her hand on top of mine. Tapping my hand lightly she said, “You will never have joy in your life again.”

She was wrong.

I think about Joe every day. I think about what he is doing right now, in spirit. I feel him around me often. Usually at my lowest moments. One thing I know is that Joe would not want me to pitch a tent in grief.  It has taken me a long time, but I have made peace. I no longer ask why. The heat is out of my wound. I have plenty of joy in my life. Don’t misunderstand, I will always miss my son. However, the level of suffering I feel in my heart is not a direct reflection of how much I loved. Joe would never have wanted us to carry his death like a stone around our necks. Joe’s death has done the opposite for me. I am now very aware of just how fragile life can be. Joe’s passing has made me see the joy in everything.

During the last few years before my mother’s passing, I valued the time that I spent with her. I did not take even one of those moments for granted. I never ended a conversation without telling her that I loved her. I was constantly taking pictures of her and sharing her quick wit with others. I made her relevant and she knew it. I have no regrets with my mother. I had the same relationship with my dad before he passed. Just before his death, I crawled into his bed with him and told him what a wonderful father and husband he had been to his family. I did this with a strength that I did not know was possible.

It is because of Joe’s death that I was able to live the last few years with complete joy. I think now about the timing of the passing of my mother and father. Dad’s passing, March 23rd, less than one year after Joe. And, my mother’s passing on Friday, March 13th, 2015. They are all back together again.

I continue to miss my relationships with these three wonderful people. That is okay. I am no longer grieving. I know that grieving is necessary. I just also know that it is not meant to be a way of life. Joy is a way of life.

Rest in peace, my joyful boy.


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  1. Cindy Says:

    Sue, you have such a gift. Thank you for your compassion, love and wisdom of God❤️