Location: MICHIGAN, United States

Thank you for stopping by. It's my hope you find glimpses of my Savior interwoven thru my writings. I am the wife to one husband for over 25 years, a blessed mama to a dozen children, yes each born from me ~ two of which see Jesus face to face & ten at home, all of us yearning to see Jesus someday. We have been home educating for over 18 years with . . . well, another 15 years to go (the youngest is 3, the oldest 23!) I have walked through rejection, to continually learning I am CALLED, LOVED and forever KEPT by God - never, ever to be rejected by Jesus! (Jude 1:1) I've walked through deep sorrow to find that joy does come again, though the night may be long; I've witnessed God orchestrating miracles with my children still beyond my comprehension, & I am seeing new love forming as we begin a new road of older children finding life mates. My life has and is a journey, from the deepest, almost rock bottom pit, to stumbling through my faith and looking towards the ultimate climax of everlasting life in heaven. Will you be joining me here and there? ~ Loni

Monday, December 27, 2004

Beginning the journey of journaling the grief . . .

We have been receiving so many e-mails, and dear ones just wanting to know how we are doing, and since I find this an outlet anyway, I am beginning this blog. Never thought I'd start a blog, with journaling our way through the death of our son.
It's been just over two weeks since Matthew's death. In some ways it seems so vivid - like yesterday, but when I think of my tall lanky son bouncing through the room, calling out for the baby, "Wheeerrrr'es myyyy Bathannnneee", it seems so long ago since I heard his voice.
Last week we spent an evening going through his clothes and knick-knacks. He was one that liked clothes. Not necesarily name brands, but "cool" clothes (but still conservative). He loved fleece clothing in the winter, and and several Scripture t-shirts he wore in the summer. I kept about 10 of his favorite shirts. I am thinking in time of making a memory blanket. But the rest was put in a big bag and we left it at Good Will. I think a part of my heart went with that bag too, as we put it in the bin, and heard the big, "plunk". Another finalness. Another good-bye.
When we'd do something major, like the clothes, it seemed to wipe us out emotionally for days, so we'd not go downstairs to the bedroom for days. Another day we cleaned out his bed. He had lots of things on shelves around it. Our other children have been good about wanting certain things - thankfully no fighting over things either.
Today, I went through all his schoolbooks. This is years of schoolbooks. I am one to save everything. I had some of his first writing books, to this years unfinished books. In one book I found a big red heart colored, with a note of "I love you Jessica" printed on it. Our daughter, Jessica, went through two open heart surgeries. Matthew was one who spent many hours by her bedside, reading to her. He loved Jessica dearly. Both Jessica & I cried today when we found that note.
Tonight Norm is taking all the walls and ceiling down of the bathroom where Matthew was found. This too has been a draining, emotional task. I've gone down a couple of times, and we have held each other and cried. The room is going to be totally demolished, and started all over again - totally different, very well lit, and larger. Where the locked door was, will be a wall, with some type of large picture with a Scripture verse on it. The door (without a lock) will be moved to a different place.
Many ask about our children. Our three boys, which all shared a bedroom with Matthew, are still upstairs, "camping out" in the living room each night. Our oldest son is probably "ready" to go back downstairs, but he has been compassionate to his younger brothers (who found Matthew) and stays with them upstairs. There are tears from these two boys just about every day. Tears over finding Matthew, tears over the good memories and tears over what the future won't be. Tears we all share. Our son, Benjamin, who first found Matthew, asked the other day, how come Matthew was so smart in figuring out games and always won, and yet he could not figure this one out (his death).
Thankfully there are many good memories in the boy's room, but yet, there needs to be changes. There were double bunks. Now, an empty empty bed. So, we are going to change things around. We have a wallpaper border and new paint bought. We are helping the boys go through their things too to declutter, and hopefully within a week or so, we can freshen up the room good. They have such special memories from the nights of going to sleep. Benjamin (11) said he will miss Matthew's stories at night.
Our twins, 13, share their tears and memories too. They miss the tugs on their hair, and the games Matthew always played with them. Jessica shares this too. For the most part, the littlest girls are very matter-of-fact. Matthew is in heaven. There is nothing to worry about! But today, Katie (3 1/2) asked "When I die, will you burn my stuff too?" (We burned some of the schoolbooks). Oh, my heart . . . Melody (5) told us one day she does not want a new body - wants to keep her old body. We explained to her at the funeral that Matthew is in heaven with a new body - that we are just looking at his old body.
Our church family has been wonderful. Quite a few families showed up and filled our home on Christmas Eve - just to be with us, when they could have been with their own families. It was very precious to us. Christmas Day we spent with Norm's family. It was hard - one less grandson to walk through the door. There was quite an ache all day, but we got through it, with tears and laughter.
So, we continue this new journey through the night, knowing joy will be there in the morning - but it looks like a long night right now.



Blogger dacey jo said...

Dear Loni,
There is nothing more for that I can say other than my heart aches for you and your family. I am a mother of a two year old son and understand the love a mother has for her children. After reading your journal I am going to hug him a little tighter and cherinsh every moment I have with him even more.
I am not sure if there is anything that I could say to make you feel any better other than that I will continue to pray for you, and your beautiful family every day. God bless you for sharing with us. You will touch so many families.
Dacey Beard

12/30/2004 11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I just read your journal & my heart is just breaking for you, Norm & the children. My prayers are with you as you learn to live life w/out your precious Matthew.

God Bless you,
Jennifer Shaffer

1/03/2005 12:23 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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12/13/2009 2:00 PM  
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