Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Going to the Party Anyway

Saturday, we had a big birthday bash for my Mom's 84th birthday. Lots of preparations. We have a huge family. Sixty people showed up throughout the day, and most were there all at the same time. We set up the volleyball net. I picked a good spot to take some great individual and family photos for everyone. My sister and I put together a book real quick for my mom, for everyone to sign in and then I would later stick the photo in.

Then there it was...the overwhelming grief. That huge knot in my stomach, the fluttering heart, all too familiar feeling that comes out of seemingly nowhere. Family events, family photos, someone is missing. I don't want to go anymore. I know its awful to feel this way but it is the way I feel. Everybody there with their kids and grandkids, complete family photos. I actually was hoping I would get "whats going around" and have an excuse to stay home. Sometimes during these days you really just fake your way through and smile and pretend everything is just fine. It's kind of funny that even when you're faking it God comes through for you and actually turns your tears into real smiles, and if your not careful you might even laugh and have fun. Thank you Lord for putting enough in me to make this day special for my Mom.

I guess that is one of the hard things about grieving. It's private, but yet it seems like you really are not allowed to have that private time, because somebody else needs or wants a part of you. However, that could very well be a safety net that keeps you from just fading away.

Hang in there parents, we will make it through this "Journey of Grief".

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Special Days-Sad Days

Well, today is my birthday! It's my mother's birthday too so I can't feel too sorry for myself because I have to celebrate her birthday too. I had lots of phone calls, but not the funny one that I would always get first thing in the morning. Philip would always make me laugh but then always end with something sweet to make me feel special, I sure do miss that!

I guess there will always be that spot that can only be filled by the one who is not here.

As I was reading what I had just written I just realized something...My brother Ronny called me early this morning, and I did laugh, and it was good, it started the day off good.

Thanks God, I'm sorry I overlooked that. I guess there was someone else that wanted to make me laugh this morning. Thanks Bubba.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I remember my sister made the comment that she thought I went through all the stages in the first hour. I think I did too. So this is good huh? Get through the stages, trust God...after all I am His, a child of the King and all... why not? Simple, then life can be "normal" again. What people don't tell you is that you go through the "stages", and you go through the "stages", and you keep going through the "stages". I think that no matter how much time passes, and no matter how strong you are, there will always be moments, maybe even days of visitation to the stage of anger. They get you when you least expect it. Like reaching for something at the grocery store and realizing I don't want to make that anymore, that was the way Philip liked it. I remember the first time I saw "lipton onion soup mix" , I broke down in wal-mart. Philip loved to make us hamburgers and add this. He was always trying to out do his dad's burgers.
You know, as broken-hearted as I was.. God knew...He did care. God sent a friend right around the corner, she just hugged me and held me for a few minutes in Wal-mart. God is good and I know that and it is in those moments when you know how real God is. I have found that if I try to remember God's goodness when I feel so empty and broken it sure seems to make it a little easier. To be honest though, sometimes the anger over-rules the truth that I know in my heart.

I am not a psychologist, but I am a mother and there is part of me that is always going to be mad that I don't have my son anymore. Here is some of what makes me mad:
I don't get to watch him be a father to Madison and Malachi. I don't get to see him loving Rhonda and throwing her over his shoulder like she was a bag of potatoes. I don't get to watch him tease Kacey endlessly and then make her laugh about it. I don't get to watch him wrestle with his dad or look down at him and remind him how much taller he is, but of course being 6'3" didn't stop 5'11" dad from taking him to the mat. I don't get my goofy birthday and mother's day cards. I don't get to call and hear his ridiculous voice mail that tricked me every time. I don't hear him laughing and making everyone around him laugh.

Having said all that let me tell you how I overcome til the next time. It's like salvation. I don't always feel saved. My husband would probably say "she don't always act saved." Nevertheless I know that I am saved. How I know goes back to trusting God! He cannot lie. He said in His word what I must do to be saved and what He would do. Romans 10:9,10. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. This is what I know to be true. Now as that applies to dealing with the death of my son is this: I KNOW that God loves Philip more than I do. I don't understand how, but I know it and I believe it. Therefore, God wanted what was best for him. When Philip trusted Jesus as his personal saviour, God became his guardian for lack of a better word. Philip had his free-will but God ultimately made the decisions. God decided that He couldn't let His child continue down the road he had just ventured onto and God decided it was better to Take Philip home. I KNOW and BELIEVE all I just told you, however, it doesn't make me like it the least bit better. I even tried to tell God there was a better way. Then I remember God spoke the world into existence, His ways and His thoughts are so much higher than mine. Again, I KNOW this.

You may have somebody that is oh so spiritual, but has never buried a child,tell you, " Well, just give it to God and don't take it back, it will be alright." Parent, don't beat yourself up by telling yourself, "I must not really trust or love God, because I still get angry. God knows you He knows how much you loved your child, He knows how big the hole in your heart is, and even though there will always be a hole there, God will also fill all around it with love and blessings that you don't expect.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Minute by Minute

This journey through grief for me has taken a new turn. I am going back so that with the Lord's help I can help others through this horrible time. I am still going forward in my own private grief day by day, coping more, accepting more, and being covered more by God's grace and mercy. My hope for you who are reading this is that you too will understand a little more and experience a whole lot more of God's marvelous grace. In all honesty I must say...no I have not always felt this way, so don't feel guilty if you are a Christian but you don't feel like giving God the glory right now. Like every part of this journey that you are on, it takes time. I think that by you knowing that what you are experiencing is completely "normal" it may help you to take a step back and not be so hard on yourself, and who knows things may seem a little clearer.

For someone reading this who hasn't experienced this grief, my prayer for you is that first of all you never do experience this and then secondly that God will give you the grace and compassion you need to be there for your friend or loved one who is on this journey. Let me state for the record that those of us who are grieving parents do know that you mean well and we know that you want to help but don't know how sometimes. It's alright. Really. I guess the only "don't do" would be...don't say, "I know how you feel", if you don't. This blog is all about complete honesty, so let me say that, that statement is insulting. I will say that I have been blessed in that area. Most people say ,"I can't imagine how you feel." My response is always the same. "I hope and pray that you never do."

Now, having said all that... back to the grieving parents.

Everyone tells you "just take it one day at a time." That seems reasonable enough, to someone who hasn't buried their child. Let me just tell you my friends it is not one day at a time, it is one moment at a time. As a matter of fact it seems to be one second at a time. I remember thinking, after someone said that to me, "tomorrow, what about tonight when I have to go to sleep again?"
What about that huge knot in my stomach and that aching in my heart that is there as soon as I awake, after I finally cried myself to sleep.

I remember the night after my Son passed away. Basically everybody from my church came over after Sunday night service. I think I remember now everyone that came in. You know how it is. It is very hazy, it's like a dream, very foggy, and you are there but you don't really feel anything. Mainly numb, then pain, then numb again. But I remember sitting at my kitchen table with loved ones all around me, but I was looking for one particular person. I was looking for Sheila, because I knew she knew how I felt. I just wanted someone there to tell me what was happening and what was I going to do now. I looked and saw her coming down my hallway, and I got up almost running to her. Sheila's son had passed away a couple of years earlier. She just held me and wept. I remember asking her, "what do I do"?. She said Lora, you are not going to be able to think clearly, make decisions, you will feel confused all the time. That proved to be so true. You know, it helped me though. When I would feel like I couldn't complete a sentence or everything was just foggy. I would remember that, and I would think, "it's alright, I think this is normal". I soon realized that nothing would really ever be normal again.

My son was gone. How could people just go on with their lives like nothing had happened? Didn't they realize Philip is not here? My goodness, how dare everybody continue on with their lives. Mine is shattered. I remember going to the funeral home to display some pictures for the viewing. How could I put a lifetime of such a beautiful person into a few frames. How could they possibly know how much was missing from a few photos? I stopped back by the store to get some newspapers with the obituary in it. People were pumping gas, buying their sodas, just laughing. What was wrong with these people. Philip McGee just died! How dare they!

Here's the thing. They don't know. They can't understand. But, it's alright. God does understand. I remember saying, "why my son, God, why Philip?" Immediately it was like God spoke to my shattered heart and said..."why my Son?"


Madison & Malachi

Madison & Malachi
The exploration of an inch worm

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About Me

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Empire, Alabama, United States
I am happily married to Jimmy McGee, he is my best friend and the love of my life. I have two children. My son Philip who went on to be with the Lord in November 2005, at the age of (almost) 21 and left behind my precious daughter-in-law Rhonda and his twin babies Madison and Malachi who are so very precious to me. My beautiful daughter Kacey who will be 21 on April 26th. Kacey is happily married to Matt Henry and they are expecting their first child John-Philip at the end of May. These are the people most dear to me and make my world the wonderful place that it is! JUST ADDED! New grandson was born on May 7th John-Philip Ryne Henry!

Portugal Bound!

Portugal Bound!