I'm Feeling So Lost

Although some days it is easier, this has been one of the hardest years yet missing Joseph. I asked both Katelyn and James if they would like to share their memories of Joey on my blog to give their perspective. Katelyn gave me a firm "no" and James broke down into tears. It killed me.

Katelyn did write this on her Facebook page: "Wow...here it is again...April 14. It is a beautiful day full of birthdays belonging to a lot of amazing people one in particular. Its hard to believe you would be 18 big bro. A legal adult. You would be graduating. That is pretty crazy. Happy Birthday to the coolest, sweetest, big brother the world has ever known. I love and miss you dearly. We all do. I know I already said it but Happy Birthday Joey I will remember you forever."

All day yesterday I wandered around lost. I drifted from one chore to the next trying to find something big enough to distract me. Something that although wouldn't make me forget would keep me occupied. I couldn't find anything big enough.

All day I felt a squeeze and pressure around my heart. I walked almost hunched over to compensate for the pain.

It's always there. I'm never not going to miss him. I'm never going to stop wanting to run my fingers through his thick hair. I'm never going to stop longing for the sound of his laughter filling our home. I'm never going to stop looking for the smell of him. I'll never forget the sweet fuzz of his face as I kissed his cheek.

He is real and always with us, but the physical distance is sometimes unbearable. It is not normal for a mother to be separated from her son. It's not normal for a brother and a sister to be without the big brother who protected and loved them. It's not normal for a father to be without the son he cherished and adored. So although we cope and have faith, it rings wrong always.

I thought I would wake today and the weight of missing him would be gone. How foolish! It is there always beneath the surface. Sometimes I am just strong enough to close that door long enough to forget the pain of it.

With his passing date in just two weeks, I am aching even more. And I'm left wondering why this year it has been so painful.

I am grateful for friends and neighbors who reached out through treats, a meal, flowers, thoughts, cards, and messages. One irrational but almost desperate fear is that people will forget him. That all his suffering, and his life lessons, and his love with disappear as if he never existed. And that would be so wrong.

One particular message from one of his closest friends made me realize that Joey is ingrained in many people. He is part of those who never met him. He is part of those he cherished. He is part of those he befriended and loved. I needed to hear that. I needed to know that beyond our own remembering he still exists and matters to others. I'm so grateful to live in an area and to have friends worldwide who have the strength to love me through this when I do not.

And so although today I will probably wander, lost again I know there are others to help me through it.


  1. Oh, Jen...I wish I had words to say. Just know I'm thinking of you. Although I didn't know your son, I feel as if I did. I am sure you've touched many people who didn't have the opportunity to know him with your memories of him. Not only will he never be forgotten...he will be known/remembered by those who didn't even get a chance to meet him here in this life. Hoping today will be a good day for you.{Hugs}

  2. I know you don't know me, but I recently started to follow your blog. Your story touched my heart....sending hugs

  3. I have been thinking of you these past few days and sending prayers your way. I wish I had the right thing to say, but I don't. I just wanted you to know that even though we have never met in person, your generosity and creativity has touched me in many ways. And so in this difficult time, i am thinking of you and praying that peace may fill your heart.

  4. I have been thinking of you, too.
    I am just a 2p's person and that is how I first heard Joey's story.
    And I am just so sorry still for your loss.

  5. I definitely understand what you're going through. I lost my youngest sister a couple years ago too. She was 20. This coming May will be the 3rd year since her passing. We miss her every single day and yes there are times of feeling lost and having sadness. Even though I may not be a parent and she was just my sister, I can very much still relate to how you are feeling because I took care of her a lot since our age gap was 12 years. And of course, I see my mum and the sadness she felt and still feels.

    However, all we need to remember is that they are happy now with God. They are pain free, living in bliss enjoying the rewards that God is giving them for the time they were on earth. I remember my sister saying before her passing that she's a messenger of God. I have no doubt in that because through her I learnt so much and I feel every bit of God's blessings. We became closer in our relationship with God as well. I saw how she inspired so many people when she was living, young and older.

    My sister's time may not be as short as Joey's but as you wrote, he's left an impact in so many people's lives and he is still remembered by them till this day.

    Remember that we will be meeting them again in time and the separation now is just temporary.

    That's how I handle the feeling of loss and sadness. Hope peace will fill your heart again.

  6. Cyber hugs and prayers, you are not alone.

  7. I'm so very sorry for your pain Jen...I can't even imagine how tough it is to go through life each day without your sweet boy. I'm so thankful for your faith though because I know that even on your darkest days...the ones that you feel like they'll do you in...God is there with you, holding you tight. Hold onto that faith hon, and remember that Joey is always with you too, and he knows how loved he was...and still is. Prayers are being said for you and your amazing family...
    - April
    P.S. I think a scrapbook layout with a favorite picture of yours along with this blog entry would be great therapy for you. You've beautifully put your heart into words here...

  8. Tears flowing, and hoping your family gets lost in the happy memories of Joey.

  9. I lost my Dad when I was 22 and he was 49 and although it was 20 years ago (this year), I still think of him pretty much every week, at least. Sometimes daily. He is just part of me. I can't imagine if it were my child. You are so brave and strong to have done so well for so long. This would have been a milestone year for him and I think that's why you are so heartbroken that he couldn't experience it. If it were me, I'd just go ahead and hunch over and cry! Sending love your way.

  10. Jen, I have come to know of your great talent and terrible loss only through your blog. I am so sorry for the loss of your son. I can only imagine the strength you must have to deal with something like that. Please know that my prayers are with you and your family. Also know that even though I do not know him I do think of him when I visit your blog ...so he does live on in people who he has never met.

  11. i'm another reader of your blog, and i have no words, just tears and prayers. i feel like i know your son a bit through your blog and he seems like such a special boy.

  12. You have very right to feel this way! I cannot imagine what you are feeling, but I know If it were me, i'd be missing him forever as you are, and I don't think it would ever feel ok. I'm so, so sorry that you and your family must bear this pain.

  13. Hoping that the memories of Joey are helping you to get through the harder times. Thinking of you!

  14. Like many of the others hear, I only know you and Joey through your blog. My heart aches for you and your family. While it is no comparison, when I lost my dad 14 years ago, I remember people saying that the first year was the worst. Well, I was unprepared for how much worse I would feel the next year when I missed him even more. Now there are moments that make me cry and tear at my heart and others that make me smile when I think of him. Sending you prayers and virtual hugs and wishing you days filled with memories that make you smile.

  15. I've never met you, but I think of you and Joey often. I can't imagine your pain. I will say a prayer for you today.

  16. I've never met you, but I think of you and Joey often. I can't imagine your pain. I will say a prayer for you today.


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