There are still days that I stare down the road where we live. It’s the same road that my son Tyler was on when a car accident took his life. I wonder how did this all happen and why? Am I going to wake up? But then I realize I am awake and this is all very real. Tyler is still gone and he will not be coming home soon.
Since my son’s accident in August of 2013, I have been asked to visit with others who have lost loved ones or who are struggling since a separation. A separation can mean so many things; a loss from a sudden death, a car accident, a sickness or cancer where you have to wait, a divorce or parting of ways – a separation. I have learned that they all have similar pain and struggles. In most cases there was a bond with a loved one that has now been taken away or separated. Depending on what type of connection you had to the person, the pain will be different for everyone. I have been asked many times, how do you go on? How do you do it – be positive and all?
I remember walking home after the accident and my husband asking me a similar question.
Now what do we do?
Well, with no hesitation I said we keep going. We have two other kids who need us and each other. WE ARE GOING TO KEEP GOING! For me, that meant taking each minute, hour, day and month as it came. I have never been in this situation so I have no idea how it will go. However, I had to grab hold of my faith and trust that God would somehow get us through this. I just knew for me I did not want to make the choice to be mad, hate, or close myself off to my family, friends or the world.
I knew this was just an accident. No more, no less, an accident in which the roles could have been turned in a heartbeat.
I knew in the weeks and months to come, we would have some hard decisions to make. How would we know what to do? So I prayed a lot, waited, prayed, waited and finally these questions came to me. Why do you think this could not happen to you? What is God telling us to do? How would I want others to treat me? I continued to pray, talk with my husband, pray some more, wait and after some time of being patient, God gave me these scriptures which I believe was our answer.
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave the room for God’s wrath, for it is written: It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord”
Romans 12: 17-19
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
It is not for us to judge – we are to forgive, love and be kind. With these scriptures as our answer we made the decision to move on in the midst of the pain and questions. I personally felt good with how we handled everything. We stayed true to who we are. All I knew was I didn’t want to look back and say I regretted how we handled things. I want people to look at us and say that we inspired them to do the same, to be kind and caring and treat others how we would have wanted to be treated in a sad situation. I want others to remember Tyler and say that because of his family and how they handled his loss we can do the same.
I will tell you there were many people who thought we should have done things differently. But in the end our choice was to do what God told us to do and what felt right in our hearts. I hope our story and how we walk in our faith will help others to take a step back and look at their situation a little differently.
So back to the question: How do I go on? I continue to walk in faith daily with my devotions or reading scripture. I ask God to help guide me in our decisions and every day I have to make the choice to find the positive. Some days are easier than others, but I can tell you it is so worth finding the good and positive in each day versus living a life of hate and sadness.
I always thought my life was perfect before Tyler’s accident and that I had a strong faith. But what I have learned is that when life gets the hardest is when we learn the most. It is when we have to dig deep that we truly find how strong our faith is and who we really are. I would encourage you to never give up, but know your answers are very close to you, you just need to look to up to God.