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Thread: Remembering Jonathan

  1. #31
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    Rose, Sending you love and hugs! Happy Birthday to your angel boys. You have honored their memory in so many ways. Crying in the shower can be very theraputic. I'm so glad you can share pictures and stories here with us. Because of your boys and the life you've had with them and the joy they brought to you, you are able to see and feel what those around you need. I agree with Virgina it's a true gift and you are using it beautifully every day. Thank you for always sharing the ups and downs.
    Mary Grace

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  3. #32
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    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    Virginia and Mary Grace ~

    Thank you for your love and prayers. It means everything to us to know that you are walking beside us on our journey.

    Indeed, Jonathan and Michael defined my life's purpose. I am a caregiver. They taught me how to love unconditionally, and from them I learned how difficult life is, when everything isn't just perfect. I understand suffering, pain, fear, and absolute courage.

    My training and experience as a journalist, teacher, and counselor taught me how to listen carefully to others. I tend to absorb others' pain, feeling complete empathy. I have listened to so many life stories, many heart-breaking and gut wrenching. And because I am Jonathan's and Michael's mother, I understand.

    When I reflect upon my life, I can see clearly that God laid out a specific path for me. He blessed me with my two Angels, and he gave me the tools to be their advocate and to help others. I am so grateful for these blessings.

    My life hasn't been easy, but then, whose life has been?

    No one here on BrainTalk has had an easy life.

    We are here on Earth for two reasons. We all share the same purpose: to learn and to love.

    And here we are on BT everyday doing just that.

    Oh, and Virginia, thank you for mentioning counseling grieving parents. I actually did that on line for about 6 years, after Michael passed. I wrote a monthly column on a grieving parents website, which also had a forum. I have all of my columns and have attempted a few times to organize them into a book. They would need extensive editing now, as I used the forum members (we had about 2,000 grieving parents) as my study group, giving questionnaires and turning that into a column topic. My guess is that the statistics from then would still apply now. That is why I titled my column, "Common Threads."

    I have grieved for all of my family members, so many wonderful friends, my sons' friends from school, pets, and, of course, my beautiful sons. Without question, grieving for my children is more painful and difficult than any other grief. And every grieving parent will verify that truth. Nothing compares to losing your child.

    Most grieving parents will also say that losing their spouse (usually a husband, as few men frequent these grief forums) was the closest to their grief for losing their child. The combined grief was overwhelming.

    I know where I've been, where I am, and what is waiting.

    This is the path I was given. I will walk it, bent over, crawl, whatever is required to follow this path to its end. Every time I give, I receive. Yes, every time.

    I leave you with the wisdom of John:

    A couple of years ago, as John was helping us turn Jonathan, relieving Jim, we thanked him profusely. He asked us to stop praising him.

    He replied, "I love you, I love Jon, and I am able to help you. This is easy for me. But it is so important to you as a family. You need help, and I can help you. It's a blessing for me. Anyone, who gets the chance to help you is blessed. And, if everyone in the world helped just one person, imagine what a wonderful world it would be. Just one person."

    That sums up everyone's purpose.

    And here we are on BT, helping each other. Fulfilling our purpose in so many ways.

    We love you all and send you and your loved ones healing energy and prayers for strength no matter what may come your way.

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  5. #33
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    Default Nine months



    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    Tomorrow, it will be 9 months since Jonathan passed. The same amount of time I carried him under my heart.

    I recall so vividly my 89 year old grandmother sitting beside my mother's casket, weeping, mourning for her "baby girl." She looked at me and cried, "I carried her under my heart for 9 months."

    Immediately, I understood her pain.

    Jim encourages me to let it go, to be happy that our boys are together in Bliss. I am happy for them. But I can't let go of my longing for them.

    I carried them under my heart, and I held them in my embrace for 32 years and 49 years.

    They withstood unimaginable pain and trauma, and they persevered with a mission.

    From experience, I know that the 9 month marker is filled with anxiety and pain. So, I have to gather all of my coping tools to keep moving forward.

    I still wake up at 4 a.m. every day. It is torturous. When I wake up, all of the rest I may have gained from 4-5 hours of sleep disappears. My mind turns on, and then ...

    Last night, insomnia gripped me. I just prayed for sleep, but my mind kept turning and churning and reality kept slapping me in the face.

    On my walk this morning, I encountered a gentleman, who I used to see daily about 13 years ago on my walks. I don't know how many years it's been since we've seen each other. He always walks early and takes one route: down the main street and up again with his two small dogs. Long grey hair in a pony tail, a beard, sparkling eyes. Just so kind and friendly.

    He didn't recognize me. Once he did, he was surprised as it has been many years. The first thing he said to me was, "It's great to see you again! But are you limping? Is it your back?" He knows my life story from days past and remembers it amazingly.

    I updated him about Jonathan and Jim, and why I hadn't been walking this early until Jonathan passed. He was so sad to hear my tales. "God is holding a special place for you up there," he said.

    "Thank you. Right next to my sons and my husband. I hope and pray."

    "I couldn't have done what you have. I don't know how you did it," he said.

    "I hear that a lot. But we're talking about my children. As soon as God placed them in my arms, I promised I would do everything for them. Of course, we adore our children, and we find a way to do whatever they need from us. I know you have too."

    He has new dogs now, one of which wasn't too pleased to see me, probably protecting him and the other dog. We parted wishing each other a good day and remarking at how nice it was to see each other.

    As I walked away, I thought, "Here I am, 9 months later, retelling the story of Jonathan's passing."

    After a couple of months of inclement (rain/wind) weather, I finally checked Michael's waterfall/pond yesterday. I fished out huge Sycamore leaves and eucalyptus branches and cleaned the fountain pump. The waterfall began working again. I needed that moment.

    I pray constantly that Jonathan and Michael are free, whole, happy, together and bathed in the glow of God's Love and Light forever.

    Sometimes, I feel like I don't know anything about anything, so I just take each day as it comes and do my best to serve Jim and strive to cope with my grief for Jonathan and Michael.

    Thank you for letting me share these moments. Nine months means that it's three months until Jonathan's Angelversary. Nothing I'm feeling is unusual or different or concerning. These feelings are necessary to go through the grief process to eventually find peace in my grief. It is a long and painful process. It's familiar to me. I'm working on it.

    As always, we thank you for your love, prayers, and positive, healing energy for us. We love you and hold you and your loved ones in our prayers.

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  7. #34
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    Dear Rose,
    The longing and sadness for Jon and Michael is so searing, so vivid, Rose. I cannot believe it's been nine months since Jon's death - that is almost a year - how can that be? I am so glad that you were able to start the fountain in the memorial and I am glad that you met your old friend on your walk. These are small signs that you and your family will go on in memory, in place, in running water... I hug you an extra specially long time today, Rose. I hope you will able to sleep tonight. xoxo Donna
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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  9. #35
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    ((((((Donna)))))) ~

    Thank you so much, dear friend.

    So often, people may think, "Well, it's been 9 months, she should be over it by now." Yes, people do think that, as many grieving parents will attest.

    Grief may change through the years, but it never goes away for a grieving parent. In the play, "The Rabbit Hole," a grieving mother comforts her daughter, who has recently lost her son. I'm paraphrasing: she tells her daughter that the grief is like a rock in your pocket. At first it weighs so much that it causes you to bend forward just to move forward. In time, you get used to the weight, and you start to stand up a little straighter. The weight isn't as heavy, but you always know that it is there in your pocket.

    The weight of the rock in my pocket is still quite heavy, and I am bent and limping, as my gentleman neighbor quickly noticed. He was used to seeing me upright, walking 3 miles every morning, fit, younger, and now, I'm an elderly woman. Time, losing my children, caring for Jim have taken their toll on me.

    Yet, today, as I was leaving to go to the drive-through pharmacy to pick up Jim's meds and then go to the ATM, Jim said, "You look lovely, dear." Through the eyes of love, he sees me.

    Ready to collapse at 10 last night, I kissed Jim goodnight and went to bed. I fell asleep rather soon after I finished my prayers. I slept until about 2:30 a.m., checked on Jim, who was sleeping, went back to bed and woke up at 4:45. We started our day at 6:00. Breathing Treatment, vitals, and the revelation that Jim had several very good BMs during the night.

    Jim has had quite a bit of pain, which I believe is related to his rib as well as his tumor, so we've been managing that today. Codeine helped again. We watched football. Jim napped on and off. He ate a good lunch and will have a good dinner.

    I haven't mentioned that it's been 9 months today since Jonathan's passing to Jim. He has enough on his plate and doesn't need to have more piled on. I can manage getting through it without upsetting him.

    He told me that he was happy to see me eating lunch (I do every day with him) and enjoying the football game with him today. That's enough for me.

    I started my walk at the break of dawn this morning, and I was alone on the trails. I stopped often to admire the magnificent sky of blues, pinks, peaches, and white. The sun glowing onto the leaves of trees, homes, flowers. The mist over the lakes on the golf course. The ducks swimming and beginning their new day. The lone pelican (I know! It's a pelican! in a lake!) bobbing to grab a bite of whatever fish might be in that lake.

    It was cold. I could see my breath. That's how we know it's cold in California. Refreshing. I gloried in it, arms spread wide open for a few moments. I felt Jonathan and Michael close to me. I smiled, knowing that I could keep moving through this day with strength to care for Jim. With gratitude, I finished my walk toward home.

    Now, it's time to feed Jim and watch more football with him.

    Thank you again, Donna, for your enduring friendship, extra hugs and prayers for us.

    We send you all of our love and prayers to you, Jim, Nick, Natalie, Alex, Daisy and your beautiful family.

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  11. #36
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    Hi Rose,I read this and of course thought of you. https://www.compassionatefriends.org...h28x0ETtxg6-00.

    xoDonna
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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  13. #37
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    ((((((Donna)))))) ~

    Thank you so much. Perfect.

    The author, Angela Miller, beautifully and articulately discusses and addresses every topic I covered in my on line column for grieving parents from 2005-2009. My column was titled, "Common Threads," because grieving parents share many aspects of grief in common.

    As she said, it's an exclusive club, which no one wants to join.

    We're often told to "get over it and move on" as if our child never existed, by people, who fortunately haven't lost a child. So, they don't understand what it means to grieve for your child. The guilt, the shame, the doubt, the torture of missing your precious child, which is never ending.

    People, well meaning, and not knowing how to relate to your profound grief will offer comfort by saying, "I know how you feel, because I lost my ..." insert anything but "child, son, daughter, grandchild."

    I have lost many loved ones and pets, and I thought I understood grief. Then, Michael passed. I realized that my grief for others couldn't possibly compare to the pain of losing my precious Michael. My angel, my treasure, my light.

    From other grieving parents, I learned that what I felt was real, true, and natural. I wasn't losing my mind, even though it felt that way many times. With their support and that of other caring friends, I made it through.

    To now, as I grieve for Jonathan and Michael. We knew that Jon would leave us one day. And, the truth is that we didn't want to die before him. We didn't want him to be left alone without one of us beside him. And we both wanted to be beside him and with each other to grieve his loss. So this is a prayer answered for all of us.

    Intellectually, spiritually, and every other way possible, I do know and believe this is how it is meant to be. However, it does not relieve the pain and longing. I want to hear him laughing. I want to see him smiling. I want to hug and hold and kiss him. Just one more minute please ...

    I read several pages on Angela's website and followed her links and read there too. There is healing in sharing, and my heart broke for every Mother posting.

    Thank you, Donna.

    We love you and send you and Jim, Nick, Natalie, Alex, Daisy, and your beautiful family all of our love and prayers.

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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