Before Clifton

Before my son died, I was just like you, or most of you. I had kids to raise, homework to look after, house to clean, job to attend, you know, everyday stuff.  Sometimes the stuff would take over and the kids would get put on the back burner.  I recall saying things like, “We will do it later,” or “How about tomorrow?”  Perhaps you don’t realize it but sometimes we “take our kids for granted” After all, there is tomorrow and I had to get stuff done.   Often times, they would get to go to Grandma’s house so I could have some peace and quiet.

Sound familiar?

Before Christ

After my son died, I wondered where was He?  So many people don’t want their kids, and beat them and wish them away, but I wanted all of mine!  I remember everything leading up to Clifton’s death.  The smell of the Johnson’s Baby Shampoo in his hair before the took him into surgery.  I remember how horribly they treated us at the hospital, that is another story in itself.

I spent 20 years after Clifton died doing all that I could with and for my kids.  Disappointments in life should make one better, not bitter.  Though, the death of a child can sure make one bitter.  There are so many feelings I experienced after he died.  But the one that lingered the most was wanting to be the best I could be for my kids along with unconsciously staying busy so I wouldn’t have time to think about things, I guess.

Sadly, the latter attitude cost me a significant relationship, but I had and WANTED to do and be with my kids, more than anything.  I know that it wasn’t totally understood by too many people, but they were my life.  They kept me alive after my son died.  I had to be there for them, but most importantly I wanted to be there for them.  Trips to Grandma’s house were fewer, and job changes so I could spend more time with them.  And I did for many years, but then they grew up.  But what happened when they left and I was alone?  My relationship ended, so I was really alone.  But was I?

In my opinion, yes.  I was all alone.  Until I found Him in Africa, of all places.  What was He doing on a different continent? He knew I was in North America trying to do my thing, SURVIVE!  Keeping busy, trying to make it through each day for 20 years.

Now on the exterior, I have it together, aside from a messy desk at school, but the inside was shattered.  I cry now writing this thinking of how shattered and alone I was. Shattered yes, alone…not really.  I just didn’t know it until I spent 10 days in God’s Country in South Africa.

Before China……

I was certainly in the right place at the right time when I got the opportunity to go hunting in Africa.  My life is forever changed, AGAIN!.  Not back, life will never be the same after a child dies.  But, I am going to move to China??!!  Last summer, I couldn’t even get on a plane for a 10 day trip in which I knew I would be returning.

So before I leave for China I am going to see what there is to do, see who there is to see, and just enjoy being…..free.  I will always, ALWAYS miss my son and I can cry at the drop of a hat, but…..I know I am loved.  There is nothing I can’t do.  I have survived the death of a child.

I hope you come along for the ride.

About cessley

I am a bereaved parent. I write to give hope to other bereaved parents who are fresh in their grief. I want them to know life begins again. It (life) is forever changed, as are you, but one day, you will smile again. You may travel, you will make new friends, your heart will mend, though never heal and it will be a painful ride. It is one step at a time....sometimes, even one breath to the next is all we can seem to live through each day. But each day will be a new beginning, a different beginning, a different you. I have two surviving children: Amy, who is married to Brandon, and they have one daughter, Avery, and one son, Dylan. and Eric who is a doctor and is Clifton's twin brother. Clifton passed away when he was nearly two years old. As any bereaved parent knows, it is tough, REALLY tough trying to live after the death of a child. I lived in Shanghai, China for three years after the death of my son, and then lived in Beijing for two years. I am discovering life again, one step at a time. I returned to Oklahoma in February , 2020 due to the uncertainty of the virus. Little did I know the uncertainty would follow me across the ocean. This is nothing compared to the death of a child. I will survive! View all posts by cessley

3 responses to “B.C….

  • Kathie Slief

    That was so perfectly said. I’ve been there! Sometimes I wish there was a China or an Africa for me. Somehow though, I know that my He is still here for me (but so is the jungle.) I get lost there sometimes. Please keep in touch!

  • Chelsea Agent

    I love this post! It’s so hard to see where He is in times of crisis, but it’s so amazing when you finally do realize that no matter where you are, what you are doing He is with us and it’s all working out for a greater purpose, Romans 8:28 always reminds me of that!

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