Unspoken Brokenness

I’m not supposed to say this!
I’m supposed to be strong and talk about healing.
I’m supposed to trust God’s plan and lean on faith.
It’s been 15 months and the world expects me to be okay. . .

But today, I’m not okay.

Today, I am angry that Rhett is not going to run in the District Track Meet.
Today, I am jealous that all the people in my circle still have complete families.
It’s not that I want them to lose a child, it’s that I didn’t want to lose mine either.
Today, I am lonely because no one understands, but I also don’t want to socialize because I feel too broken to contribute, and I don’t have the energy to go through the motions.
Today, I wonder if I will ever be okay. Really okay? Not just “pretend for the moment” okay.
Today, I wonder how tall he would be? What his favorite shirt would be?
Today, I am trying to figure out how to make the clothes in his closet not smell old.
Because they do; they smell old and I hate that.
Today, like every day, I wonder if he suffered or died instantly.
That question haunts me.  Breaks my heart.  Keeps me awake at night.

Today, I look at the retainer on the nightstand by his bed, and I think about his teeth.
Thinking about his teeth makes me think about his smile, his dimples, his blue eyes, his freckles, his hands, his laugh, his walk, his everything.
Today, I look at the athletic shoes that the coaches delivered to us from his locker about a month after his death, and I try to picture him still playing sports.
Today, I can’t picture it. It’s been too long and it’s too painful.
Today, I am happy that his classmates are still growing and learning and competing and becoming. . . but I’m too hurt to know how to authentically celebrate that.

Today. . .
I want to kiss his cheek
I want to hear him laugh
I want him to ask me “what’s for dinner, Mom?”
I want him to sleep in his bed tonight
I want my family to be complete

Today, I want Rhett back.
I know it’s too much to ask.
I know it’s not realistic.

But it’s all I really want; I just want him to come home.

So, my only hope is to go back to doing what I’m “supposed” to do. . .
Help me Jesus. I’m desperate for You!

Meet me in the confessional:

1. Not everyday is this bad, but some days are. It is a never ending heartache.
2. I believe tomorrow will be better. I hold on to that hope, and I trust Jesus to rescue me AGAIN.

48 thoughts on “Unspoken Brokenness

  1. Lorna I’m sorry your having one of those days! I know too well how you feel. I have also struggled with wondering if Jackson suffered after he was shot. I believe that God protects us from suffering before we die. I’ve seen things in the hospital that has made me believe that. Praying you get a restful night tonight and feel better tomorrow. Love you!

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  2. Yes, it’s so hard and exhausting to pretend that you’re okay when you’re not. Lately I’m just in the numb zone and not feeling to much. I guess it’s still the denial so as not to hurt so bad. I’ve ask God to forgive my doubt and unbelief and I know that He is merciful, but everything about our lives is shattered and it’s hard, just plain hard. It was a year on the 30th of March and I don’t really know how we’ve made it this far. Thank you for sharing your heart. I know that it is what a lot of us feel.

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    1. I’m so sorry that you know this pain too. You have probably come further than you think, but there’s still probably further to go than you think. There seems to be no end, but I KNOW God hears our hearts and wants to love us through this. Prayers!

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  3. Today he will meet you where you are Lorna. Right smack dab in the middle of your brokenness. Today we will pray a little more for you. Today is hard, praying tomorrow is better for you.

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  4. Oh Lorna, thank you for your honesty and brokeness. My heart is broken for you. Tomorrow will be a better day. I’m praying for you with all my heart. Love, Ellen Taylor

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  5. Grief is like a journey……sometimes you will have good days….and sometimes not so much. Sometimes you may feel happy……and sometimes not so much…..and that is OK. The thing about Grief is, you don’t want to get stuck you don’t want to try to stop walking your journey where it takes you and what you do. As long as you are walking you are good. You are entitled to the good and bad days. EVERYONE’s grief is different ! I pray on your uphill climb of your “new normal” you will feel God’s mighty arms around you in comfort….

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    1. Dear God, wrap your loving arms around Lorna and give her an especially harder squeeze today. Show her that you love and care about her heart aching so bad today. As all of our children are, Rhett was her everything. She misses Rhett. She needs Rhett. She desires Rhett. She loves Rhett. So, please, dear Lord, somehow, fill those voids. Amen 🙏

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  6. I love your honesty, your words, and how you openly put it all out there. God is speaking to so many through you. We love and miss Rhett every day. Sometimes I catch Cade telling stories about him, looking up toward Heaven, referencing his catch or kill and how Rhett helped him with that.. He is so very loved and missed. We love you too and pray daily for you all…🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻❤️❤️❤️ Until we see him again in Heaven…May God guide you through each passing day.

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    1. I love you Cheri and I love Cade. I still can’t believe my boy and Cade’s best friends are gone. Some days are just harder than others. Thanks for always encouraging me, remembering Rhett, and praying for our family.

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  7. I think that you are doing exactly what you are “supposed” to do. One day at a time is the only way you can take it, and every day must vary emotionally. And even though today you don’t want to socialize, you are still able to communicate and inspire through your blog. I cannot imagine what you are going through, and I know that I (and many others) marvel at your strength, grace and dignity. Even in your grief you reach out to others, lifting them up and loving them. I am so sad and sorry for your loneliness, just know that you and your family are surrounded in love and prayers. I lift you up to Him daily.
    Hugs, Prayers, and Love.

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  8. I know it has been 11 1/2 years but I still look at Jeffrey’s baseball uniform and ask why. I wonder would he be married like a lot of his friends. It still hurts not hearing I love you mom. Healing takes its time to parents who have lost children. Take one step at a time. Yell scream, it’s not fair you have to go through this. Yes there will be days you feel better and others you feel like a ton of bricks have hit you. Love you. Know I am always here for you.

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    1. Thank you. I think the number of years since the loss may lessen the number of bad days, but I do. It think it ever lessens the impact of the loss or the love that was there. I love you too and I’m still s sorry about your boy.

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  9. Lorna,
    There is nothing I can say or do to end your hurt. No parent should have to endure a pain so deep, so brutal as you and your family live through everyday. So often I have wanted to write to you but every time I sit down to write to you, I’m speechless! I don’t know what to say and for that I’m sorry! So, I will say, I love you and continue to pray for you and your family daily. Lots of Love!

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  10. Today was your day and yesterday was my day. Reading your words made me feel less alone. I keep thinking it has been long enough for me to be “better” but my heart certainly doesn’t agree. I still wash Lynn’s bath towel when I wash mine. I can’t bear the thought of my towel showing wear and his towel still being new. Makes no sense but it’s what I do! God bless you. You and your family remain in my prayers.

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    1. Wash the towel as often as you want. A mother who has lost her child will understand and never question that. Maybe a mother who has all of her children will question that, but that’s because she simply can’t know the depth of pain and the way the broken heart and the shocked mind of a bereaved mother works…
      And no one is willing to trade places with us to find out. I don’t blame them one bit. ❤💔

      Love and prayers!

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  11. My heart breaks for you….for I know your pain. My son (13) died 20 years ago in an accident with my brother that my mom, myself and my daughter witnessed. It was horrible and played over and over like a tape recorder in my mind. I fought a lot of years to just survive and only did by the grace of God. The pain will always be there but it gets bearable and you learn to live life again because you finally accept that’s what your child would want you to do. You still have those talks with him because you know in your heart he can hear you. The pain is in your heart always but your love for your child will eventually let you smile again. Yesterday I had a Cody day and it knocked the wind out of my sail, I cried all day. Even after 20 years it still feels like yesterday when that happens but learning to live in between those days is important. There’s not a day goes by that I don’t say out loud that I love you Cody Man. 💙💙

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    1. I so get that. I have said Rhett’s name every single day since he died, and I will say it every single day until I die. I love his name. I love saying it. I love him. It makes me feel good to speak of him.

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine twenty years without Rhett, but I’m sure you could never have imagined twenty years without Cody! ❤❤

      God is enough. He has to be! ✝️

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  12. Praying for a better day tomorrow. We sure miss him at the Ripley household. There is not a day that goes by we don’t think about our Rhett Jett! He was one of a kind for sure. There is no other heart quiet like his. I pray God will wrap you up and give you that comfort you need. I wish I had more words or something I could do but I have nothing! I will continue to pray and pray God continues to meet yiu in these broken places. Love you! Love JLRRM

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  13. Lorna,
    I do not know the pain of losing a child. I can only imagine the heartache and grief you are going through.
    I want to share something with you. In 1966 we lost my oldest sister to a medical condition at 15. My mom and dad got through it with the help of their church family, friends and neighbors. Then in 1975 we lost my mother’s mom to cancer. Again mom and dad leaned on each other and friends, family, and God. In 1978 we lost my mother’s dad. Again mom and dad leaned on each other, God family and friends. Then in 1986 my mother developed lung cancer and passed away. After the funeral my dad said to me, you know your mom and I have been through a lot of difficult times and we always leaned on each other. Now my leaning post is gone and I don’t know what to do.
    I cried with him and held him while he wept. I shared this to say, lean on Jimmy, God, friends, and family. I know your heartaches, I can’t even imagine how strong your grief is.
    I pray that God will embrace you with his loving arms and give you peace. I pray for you and your family all the time. Hugs and prayers sweet lady.

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  14. I cannot begin to fathom the depth of your hurt and longing to have your precious Rhett back. I struggle to find words to comfort you as I sit and wonder would any words be able to do such a thing. I can only say our Family continues to lift your Family up in prayer.

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  15. This made me cry. This made me think of Hailey today in a way I haven’t in a long while. Pretending is so exhausting. My heart breaks for you. Rhett will always be near you like Hailey is to me. I always ask her for favors. She gladly grants them. Ask Rhett for favors even if it’s just a parking space. Talk to him often. ❤

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  16. My love for Rhett will live forever which keeps him so near to me. I’m so sorry about your daughter.
    One day, we will be with them in heaven forever. Until then, I know God has things for us to do here. ❤

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  17. I so wish I could send him home to you… I guess it’s still going to be a little while.
    I wish I could hear him laughing in the kitchen. I wish I could hear him wrestling upstairs. I wish I had more than tears streaming down my face. I still got nothing ….
    I wish more than anything I could have saved him.

    I’m supposed to be okay.. I’m not supposed to still be so wrecked by this. He wasn’t my son. (But I will forever think of him as if he was) I still have 5 heartbeats when I go to bed at night.. yet I’m such a wreck inside.. but I go through my days like I am supposed to. I keep it tucked away in a place past my heart.. deep inside past my bones. But some days I can’t can’t breathe again and the images surface.. they are always there but I have learned to not focus on them.

    Reading this.. I know it’s not about me..it’s never been about me. Really I want to delete the last paragraph because it sounds like I’m trying to make it about me. Not my heart at all.. Your words. Your brokenness make my “stuff” so insignificant. My hard worldly days that I might feel insignificant or left out but tell no one but you, seem so silly.

    How do you trust? How do you hush the doubt and the why’s?How do you pray? How do you know what to say? What this tells me is that I need to reconnect to God. For now I have retreated from most things.. including Him. Ugh! That’s not good … because the only thing I’m still sure of is that on the last day when you are in the road with your best friend’s blonde boy, knowing Jesus is all that matters! I think I may need to reintroduce myself to Him.. hopefully he’s still waiting..

    I love you.. I’m sorry for your hurt and that I still can’t send him home..
    In a while.. he’s still busy❤💔

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    1. Just Jesus.
      Nothing more needed, nothing less will suffice.
      Still glad you keep loving me and moving toward me instead of away as we process this pain.
      And yes. . . Rhett is still so busy! ❤❤
      I love you!

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  18. Thank you for this. It was posted on the 11th anniversary of my daughter’s passing. I can count on one hand the number of friends who remembered and contacted me. That really hurts. I haven’t been okay for a few weeks now but I know it will get better eventually. I just have to hang on.

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  19. That is heartbreaking. I now know that a grieving mother needs as much love, grace, and support at year 11 as she does at day 11. The number of days is irrelevant when we are discussing losing a child.
    Prayers and love.

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