Greetings to all! Well we survived Gustav with no problems at all, thank God and now our eyes turn to Hurricane Ike. Dude had his tonsils out the Thursday before the hurricane hit Louisiana and I think for our little family that was worse than the hurricane! He is getting better every day, hopefully now that he is back in school he will have some good distraction, but please keep his recovery in your prayers.
I know that it has been a while since I have written and it is mainly because my thoughts and feelings are so jumbled up that it is hard for me to focus on anything. Ali and I sat outside last night and were talking about the blog. I was telling her that I just do not know what to write or what I want to write could come across in a way that could be offensive to some people. I am going to do my best to explain to you all where Ali and I find ourselves on this journey of grief so that we can ask you to pray for and support us in this specific way.
Over the last few weeks the feeling of loneliness has invaded Ali and I’s life. The road of grief after losing a child is one that we so often feel that we are walking alone. Although we know people are out there willing and or wanting to help, it is almost that we feel secluded and isolated. We have become, “those people” who are sheilded away from and at times it feels, and I use the word FEELS like we are forgotten about. This feeling can range from our family to close friends to anyone else that we want to feel frustrated with because WE feel alone. We are trying our best to work through our grief but as Ali said the other night, “it is crippling.” Now, couple that with having to take care of a four year old and a three year old, who even last night asked why their sister had to leave and if they were going to go to heaven soon, trying to maintain some type of marital bliss, which bliss occurs less frequently than heartache and hurt, and then to get up and go to work, which at often times feels so unimportant. And when the weekend finally comes, there is no relief, we are isolated from our friends because a lot of them have babies or about to have babies, we don’t hear from some people anymore, or when they call, it’s not at a time that we feel like talking, so we don’t answer. The comment I have gotten from the few people I have shared these feelings with is, “when people don’t know what to say, they don’t say anything.” This maybe true and maybe the case but we still desire to hear from people, whether it is a card simply saying, “Love you and praying for you,” a text message saying, “your not forgotten,” someone dropping dinner off at our doorstep,” a call saying, “hey, I am coming over to pick up your kids so you and you can have some time with just the two of you” these small acts help us to feel not so alone and give us the encouragement, time, and ability to continue on and to most importantly focus on healing. It just feels like at times everyone else’s life has gone back to “normal” and we are still here left trudging through the misery and grief of the loss of our sweet Cate.
It is been very difficult because we don’t always want to “talk” because we don’t know what we are even feeling so when people do call that we have not talk to in a couple of weeks, months, or years and ask us how we are doing? We don’t even have the energy to answer them or even pick up the phone. We often feel like a damper on any joyful situation we walk into because we are wondering if our very presence makes people uncomfortable as you watch faces of joy turn to this sympathetic look of, “Oh the poor Cantrell’s.” It really is a terrible feeling, so instead of trying to hang out with people, Ali and I just hang out with each other, which I know for both of us, has gotten old after almost three months. I watch my beautiful wife struggle quietly through this heartbreaking journey and I often think to myself, where is "so and so," why haven’t they reached out. The struggle of being resentful is very difficult because we know that people’s lives must go on. We know that we are not the center of the universe, but we are a couple who needs the people who are closest to us to be here right now and we continue to be surprised by how alone we feel on a day in and day out basis.
I have not wanted to post this because I fear like it could come across as a “need” for attention, food, or child care and that isn't the intention. Yet, at the same time Ali and both feel like we want and need you all to know where we are at so that you can pray for us in that place. Ali said just last night that she has been putting feelings down on paper but was not sure if she was going to post it because, “it’s down right depressing.” We are standing at the foot of the cross and are asking that you lean with your hands on our backs supporting us as we walk this journey of grief. We love you, we are offering this time in thanksgiving for you, and I sincerely hope that these words may be encouraging or enlightening rather than offending. Pray for us…we need each and every one of you. Much Love, The Cantrell’s