Unknown

The death of a loved one is so abrasively shocking to your system. The loss of my son Eliyah has been a journey that even when I close my eyes, if I choose and sometimes when I don’t I am catapulted immediately to the day he died.

Death brings unknowns. You ask the why’s… they seem to go on and on. Even if you had an answer, The question of why would still rear itself to your mind in some fashion. What if it’s unknown? What if there is no tangible reason? What if you had to just accept what has happened and begin the brutal task of healing. Yes healing is brutal. It takes time, it’s painful, it leaves scars to remind you of what happened. Sometimes healing is not what we think it should look like. Sometimes how you picture it, the exact opposite is what you are faced with, and now you must adapt accordingly.

Eliyah’s cause of death was SUDEP. Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy. I will focus on the second word. Unexplained. It means it is not accounted for, there is no identifiable cause. It is Unknown. How unnerving right? If you are someone who needs answers it is a mental drive to the crazy house because there is not an answer. I like satisfaction. I want to know reasons, and sometimes my overthinking mind needs a reason for the reason. And yet here I was dealing with a death that had no reason behind it. And furthermore why my child?

Sometimes it’s fear of the unknown that makes our minds scream. What if? What about? etc. This year specifically has challenged many of us to the core for several different reasons. A world pandemic. So many unknowns involved about how we should move forward to stay healthy. Many of you lost a loved one this year, or a job, I have a friend who lost her beautiful home in a fire. Where do you start? Where do you go from here? So many unknowns.

When my mother was sick, my dad used to tell her take one thing at a time. Slow down, don’t try to do it all at once. Sometimes we must acknowledge that steps must be taken. For example if you want to bake a cake, You follow certain steps first. You don’t just throw all in the oven. Certain ingredients must be mixed. Gotta follow the steps 1 thing at a time. Healing of a loved one especially is a process. You don’t heal all at once. I wish it was that easy. A simple process.

Grief is an unknown. It carries with it many, many facets. It carries with it no timeline, no proper way of “grieving right” no such thing, it scares people away, yet can also make people want to draw closer to you to help you through. It affects one person in one way, and to another a different way. No rhyme or reason. It’s complicated. It has stages. the stages are not in any specific order and can last a lifetime of not. Unknown.

So how do we handle the unknown? Do we know? Is there a playbook out there with the plays? An answer key in the back of a book? Is there a guru high upon a mountain who has all the answers? I chose, yes chose to rely on faith. The bible says in Hebrews 11:1 That faith is the hope or the confidence in what we hope for and assurance/evidence about what we do not see. It means to believe completely even when there is no evidence to support. It is my foundation for my relationship with God. The very start of what matters on a spiritual side. It is my confidence that later becomes fully operational to believe his promises. It’s unseen but exists beneath what is visible.

This is what carries me. It fuels me, Drives my reasoning for how I move in life. Utilizing faith while in the unknown has allowed me to put one foot forward at a time. It is the constant abiding trust in what I can’t see. It’s like the unseen foundation of a building. You can’t see it but you know if it’s not there the building would collapse. It’s knowing it will work when it’s not apparent to my senses. It must be applied to all of life challenges. I encourage you to face the unknown head on with faith in front of you. It will make a difference in your life.

The Missing Plate

It’s Christmas today. For some it really as the song says is The Happiest Season of all. For others it is a season of struggle, depression, and grief. As I reflect on today, I am overwhelmed with many emotions. As I prepare breakfast, and later dinner there is one place setting that remains empty. It belongs to my son Eliyah Linell. 2012 was the last time he sat around the Christmas table. Unbeknownst to us, it would be our last Holiday together. He passed suddenly in his sleep on Jan. 19th, 2013.

I say that I have many emotions because I have other children and a grandson that look forward to this day. They have the expectations of the joy, and happiness associated with Christmas. We believe as a family in the birth of Jesus. Yet, I know the commercialism of this holiday is hard to fight.

Eliyah loved this time of the year. It was his absolute favorite. even more than his own birthday which was July 4th another holiday. He looked forward to decorating the tree and the house. We went to Disneyland during this time, and really loved our time there as well.

I will keep this blog today brief. I will go to the cemetery and say prayers for all those that are bereaved, and grieving. For many this is the first Holiday without their loved ones. I know that it’s hard. I know that many around you will do their best to make you smile, when inside you want to scream all day. My prayer for you is to hold tight to the good memories, and remember Gods sovereignty.

Oh, and that empty plate… Pay it forward. do something for someone that least expects a blessing or gift from you. ¬†Give a smile to yourself. Give grace that grief is a process that will take time. The pain will become less acute over time. I love you and God loves you more!!!