I am so far behind on documenting my reflections through this process. Doctoral work will do that to you, I suppose. December 7-8 marked two years since the accident and Christopher’s death. Last year, the first year, I was able to totally manage the day by taking a personal retreat at a camp up in Pelham, GA. It was a glorious weekend. This year, however, these days fell on a Monday and Tuesday, the last week of the Fall Semester. I had significant papers due Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of that week.
Because I don’t have a lot of practice marking such things, I had been quite stressed as to how this was going to all work out. I had great intentions of finishing my school work early just in case I found myself not functional. As I said, I had no idea what to expect. I had conversations with professors and even one of Associate Deans. One thing that I knew, however, is that there would be no excuse in turning anything in late because the due dates of the assignments were known well ahead of time. There was no excuse.
Is I should have expected, I got nothing turned in early, but that was the greatest blessing. Monday, I didn’t have class so I worked on my paper. I did get to work for the afternoon. I made it the full time, but I could feel myself falling, emotionally, as the hour of the accident approached. I had plans that night for dinner with Christopher’s best friend, my amazing Daniel (he had sent me a text about midnight the night before suggesting that we do dinner; he might have save my life.) I gave him an out because I wouldn’t be good company, but her persisted and, together, we got through those difficult hours.
It was a hard night all around. As the hours passed, I could recall exactly where I was, unknowingly, in the process of losing Christopher. Eventually, I slept.
Tuesday, the actually date of his death, was not as significant somehow. I suppose it is because he died shortly after midnight and, for me the day had not yet ended until I left the hospital. This day passed without much anxiety. I was busy with papers, had an appointment with my academic advisor (which is a whole other story of unexpected blessing), working, and picking up a dear friend from the airport, a “favor” that morphed into a wonderful blessing. Betty, you see, had been in the judges chambers when Christopher’s adoption was finalized. She and the folks in my “life group” at the time had thrown a shower for Christopher and me. Betty knew the son I lost and those people continue to provide the greatest comfort to me.
Lessons learned: I don’t have to control everything in order to survive it. I tried to control this and wasn’t able to keep with the plan and survived. I learned that December 7th, the date of the accident, and not the 8th is the troublesome day; that is the day that everything changed. I was reminded that I am certainly not the first to go through this kind of loss, but I am the one-and-only who has lost my Christopher, making my experience totally unique.
It is odd. I would love to forget that night, have it removed my my experience, but at the same time, I want to now every detail. I’ve asked friends who were aware of what was going on that night to write what they recall. I don’t want to read it now, but I have a safe place where all the details of the accident and Christopher’s death are being held for if and when the day comes that I want to know. I fear that by the time that comes, the information won’t be available.
From the beginning, I have cited so many examples of ways that I can see that God was preparing the way for me to lose Christopher; I take comfort in that. I was totally out of control through the whole thing; there is nothing that I could have/should have/would have done differently that would have changed the the outcome. As this second year passed, I was reminded that I can’t control everything, but I will survive. God is more than able and willing to prepare the way for me to survive as I move forward.