Sitting at the high school basketball game with my husband, Steve, and our eleven year old son, Tyler, I glanced furtively around the gym. The bleachers were filled to capacity in our mostly parent area, and to both sides and above us, sat the students. We were slightly out of style compared to them; even the coolest of us looking more like our own generation than we hoped. The kids were mostly excited to be together on a Thursday night supporting their team and the parents stood, talked, laughed and bounced an age-old bounce to age-old tunes being blasted by the high school band. I sat there quietly, with my broken heart and suffocated spirit. I had one thought, “I hate happy people!”
How could happiness even exist tonight? Was I observing true reality? Could others have joy, happiness and contentment so close to the surface of their hearts, changing their faces from interest to pleasure to hilarious laughter at some dimwitted comment from a mere acquaintance? How could someone even conjure up a laugh? How could a person find anything close to amusing come out of another person’s mouth? I was deeply struck by the giddiness of others and also deeply troubled. Yep, I hated happy people!
Roughly three months before this high school game observation, our nineteen year old daughter was killed. She was returning from a special prayer vigil called on Tuesday afternoon on September 11, 2001. Our pastor wanted us to come and pray for our nation, the President and the many families who had lost loved ones the day of those horrific terrorist attacks. Our only daughter, Lindsay, was a young married mother-to-be. She was eight months pregnant with our first grandchild. About nine o’clock that morning, she started calling us from work.
“What’s happening, Mom? Is this the end of the world?” That may sound silly at this point in our nation’s history, but at the time, as a fearful young woman, she needed reassurances. I told her that these types of things had been happening in other places in the world for years and years but it was unusual for any enemy to penetrate our borders and successfully commit such crimes against America.
Lindsay’s work day ended at three o’clock p.m. and she was running up our front steps minutes later. Still anxious and worried, she hugged me and then standing upright looked right into my eyes and said again, “What is happening, Mom?” I shrugged and said something like, “I don’t know, honey, but remember God is in charge of all of this today.”
This is to be continued because of length.
This is from our unpublished book about Grief.
Here is a link to our book which is already published--