Justin Ryker Swick

Justin Ryker Swick

Friday, July 6, 2012

Alone time with Justin

I feel like all I post about any more are the awful feelings that come with having a child in heaven, and less on the hope of having a child resting peacefully in the arms of Jesus.  I wish I could write a hopeful post right now, but I can't; maybe after August. 

No one has ever told me I need to "get over" Justin's passing, and I honestly don't think there is anyone out there who would; but for some reason sometimes I feel like I should be.  That it's been almost a year and I shouldn't talk about it as much, or burden people with my pain, and if that is what I am doing I'm sorry. But I'm not over it, sometimes the pain can be worse now that it was before. Somedays are good, other days I'm numb, somedays are bad, that's just life I guess. I know that most of it really is just the fact that a year is coming up and we are living the months this year that we had Justin with us last year.  Those short 2 months and 28 days.

This week has been...different.  Last year the boys went to stay with Ryan's family for a week in the summer, I got to spend every day alone with Justin.  When Ryan got home from work we would go on drives, go out to eat, go on walks...just the three of us.  For one week our world revolved around only Justin.  I believe Justin passed away the next week, maybe it was two weeks.  This week the boys are staying with Ryan's family for a few days, like last summer.  The only thing different is I don't have Justin to spend time with.  I can't cherish time with just him.  I can't talk to him on random trips to Wal-Mart, (It seems I ran more errands when it was just me and Justin, sometimes 3 little boys were a little  too much to handle by myself in Wal-Mart, so I avoided it at all costs!)  I can't look in my rearview mirror and see his carrier in the middle, I can't reach back and give him his binkie, I can't get out of the car and pick him up, so many things I took for granted that week.  How many more kisses would I have given him? How much more time would I have spent just snuggling him? I really would have snuggled him forever if I was given the chance. 

I had never thought about going to Justin's grave, but as I was coming back from Iowa Falls for the second time today, a song came on the radio.  I know the song, I love the song, and I probably have referenced it in a prior blog.  I was getting ready to turn down the road to our house when the song came on the radio, "To everyone who's lost someone they love long before it was their time you feel like the days you had were not enough when you said goodbye. And to all of the people with burdens and pains keepin' you back from your life you believe that there's nothing and there is no one who can make it right"...music has always been theraputic to me, sometimes I just need other peoples words to give me a little bit of hope.  I decided not to take my turn but to just keep driving instead.  It took me about 20 seconds to realize I had the chance to go to the cemetery by myself for the first time, and I was already heading that way.  I sat at Justin's grave by myself, for probably twenty minutes, just talking to him, crying for myself, and wishing that instead of visting him at the cemetery he would have been in the back of the explorer in his carseat.  Usually when we go to the cemetery, I don't necessarily feel "close" to Justin; he's not there.  But this time for some reason I thought about when we laid him into the ground, I thought about the outfit we put him in, I thought about carrying him in my womb, I thought about ultrasounds showing a perfect baby, the day he was born, holding him in my arms, and just thinking that that baby I held in my arms, was now buried in a cemetery, that perfect body. I know that he is not there, and that it was just flesh that was buried, but that doesn't always make it easier to bear.  That body, I gave birth to, that body I bathed, that body I snuggled, that body was my baby.  While that was hard, it was also really nice to be able to just sit with him a little while.  Spend sometime alone at his grave.  Usually the boys are with me, and they don't like to see me cry, this time I didn't have worry about it.  And even though it is 100+ degrees outside, under the shade tree where Justin's grave lies, it was actually pretty comfortable, so I could just sit with him.  It's not how I would have liked to spend time with him, but if that's all I get for now, I'm glad I am given the chance to have him so close.  So while it's not quite like last year, I still got some alone time with Justin.

I didn't want to find beauty in today. I didn't want to think about God's grace, and I didn't want to count my blessings. I wanted to cry. I wanted to let myself hurt, and I did. I wanted to wonder why for a minute. I wanted to give in to all of the awful things just once. I wanted to know why there is this kind of pain, why do we have to have this kind of pain; and though I would NEVER wish it upon any other mommy or daddy, I wanted to wonder for just a minute why it had to be us. Wondering why there are others out there just like us, why couldn't we be like them and keep all of our children with us? I try really hard not to let myself sink into that type of mindset, but today I just didn't have the strength to push those thoughts away, I wanted to cry. I got my Bible out and started reading, the verses I came across were Psalm 39:4-5 "Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered--You have made my life no longer than the width of mmy hand. My entie lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath." Reminding me that our time is a mere blip on a screen, though it seems so long since we have seen Justin or held him in our arms, and it seems so long before we will get the chance again, we are not seeing the whole picture. Our time is not God's time, we are not living in eternity; it is not that long; it is just a breath, just a moment. I also ran across the parable of the workers in the vineyard. Matthew 20:1-16. I thought about this all day. Why did I ever think that I had the right to be jealous? Why would I let myself go there? But I did, and I wanted to, but at the same time, I needed the Lord to remind me of these words as well. I needed Him to help me stop feeling sorry for myself; not that I won't do it again, not that the pain stops just because I read those words, but it did help me think a little bit.

This time in our lives, is so new to us.  I see it in Ryan too, the pain is over whelming him, and the suffering is intense.  I don't know how to reach out to him any more than he knows how to reach out to me.  We try not to share our pain with each other, because ultimately it just makes us hurt for each other, on top of already hurting for ourselves.  I am so thankful for the blog, for being able to have some where to let things out, and for the support from all of the readers. And if I could be so bold to ask you all if you could send up a little pray for our family tonight, for strength, hope, and healing we would greatly appreciate it.  Thank you, and for all of you that are hurting we pray for you as well.  May God carry us through this difficult time in our lives.  God Bless You!


  1. My son died of sids last January. I thought that somehow once I got past the 1st anniversary I would be magically "better". Yeah, didn't happen. I was angry with myself for not being stronger. I seemed to be worse than I was last year. I think it's because I was less numb. There wasn't that anything to survive mentality anymore. Just pain and empty arms. 7-11-12 will be 18 months. I still have bad days and bad moments, but I think I have more good days too. I have decided that there just isn't a beginning or ending of grief when you've buried your child. I continuously have to let myself off the hook. Songs are Huge for me. I have just found a song by Nicol Sponberg (she used to sing with Selah and is Todd Smith's sister). It's called "Home". Check it out on youtube. The lyrics are typed out. It has given me a new perspective. Prayers for you as you go through this so, so hard anniversary.

  2. I think you have every right to be angry and question God at times. Even Jesus cried out to God "My God! My God! Why have You forsaken me?" It will help you find more peace by letting it out than you ever would holding it in. God wants to share your troubles and if you don't let them out, He can't take them from you. You are on unchartered territory these few months, something you've never experienced so it is expected that you feel emotional ups and downs. Our prayers are definitely to your family during this time and always!!