The Moment That Changed My Life Forever...Living With An Angel:No Warning Label Attached
by Melanie D. Griffin
(Eddy, Texas, United States)
Resting on the Mountain Tops...Bridger Wayne Hogan
17 years old; not an adult, not a child! In my heart, my son will be forever 17.
One night as I was writing in my journal, attempting to keep my thoughts from places that hurt me so much, memories of Kassidy & Bridger began to flood my mind: memories of all the things we did together-things that kind of became a tradition- things that were "OURS!" The three of us had an unexplainable bond, total and complete loyalty to one another, almost as if it was US against the world.
As I was sorting through some of the most special times the three of us ever spent together, my thoughts, in a single instant, turned to a feeling of anger as I thought of the events that surrounded the loss of my son; the days that are actually just a "big blur" of heartache & tears. Most things during those first few hours, days, even weeks, were like walking through a thick fog trying to feel my way through to the other side; I was just stumbling through the motions in a haze, desperately just trying to make it through burying my child. I remember the feeling of total emptiness; I fought just to breathe as I realized this nightmare was my reality! I thought if I could just make it through all the emotions, events, pain, and dread of the things I was forced to face as we planned my son's funeral and burial,then I would be able to breathe again! Honestly, I truly had NO IDEA of the true reality I was facing.
That night, in the moments of feeling so angry about the loss of my son I wrote these words:
"I find myself sitting here in a place, a life, a world I never knew existed; almost as if I am a stranger in my own life. There should be a warning label or something, like the pamphlet you see at a doctors office or a brochure you can pick up from a rack, something that gives you information or explains what to expect!!! There is no "pamphlet or brochure rack" in a funeral home; when you go in to plan your child's funeral...honestly, it takes everything you have just to remember to breathe! There is no possible way to even think about the grief, pain, heartache, and stuggle to survive that you will face in the many days to come! There is NO sugar coating it...someone should warn you that your life will never be the same; the life you once knew NO LONGER EXIST. Grief is never ending...you can't ignore it, you can't call in sick, you can't take a vacation from it, you can't quit...it is a never ending journey that you struggle to survive, one day at a time. It's a road full of hills, valleys, potholes, speed bumps, detours and u-turns...and if you are lucky, a short stretch every once in a while of smooth pavement. But those pamphlets or warning labels DO NOT EXIST...it seems crazy, like going to the doctor and being diagnosed with some horrible disease that will alter your life forever...a disease that is incurable, but yet, the doctor doesn't bother to explain how it will affect your life or how to treat it; instead, he just writes the name of the disease on a piece of paper and sends you out to figure it all out for yourself!!!! That is grief, that is the loss of your child...something a parent has to figure out how to survive; there is no better example of LEARNING THE HARD WAY!"
As I begin to share our story with all of you...please know that I have prayed over and over and asked God to please tell me what to do with all this "stuff" that life has served up; some days it doesn't just feel like my plate is full, but more like my plated is "PILED HIGH" and about to spill over all the edges...and I know that I didn't order this plate that life placed right in front of me!
As most of you know, the past two and half years has brought so many changes to my life...in fact, life has taken me to a place that is so unfamiliar that the only way to survive is to start over and learn to live in a new place because I can never go back to the place and life that I once knew.
Some of you know why I am sharing OUR STORY...for those of you who are not aware, April 19, 2011 at 12:36 am was the moment that changed my life forever; a moment that altered every part of my heart and soul. At that moment I found my gorgeous seventeen year old son hanging from his bathroom doorknob...a moment that engraved an image into the deepest part of my heart and my thoughts and my soul...an image that no mother should ever have to see, and a moment that marks a place in time for me; that moment is like a HUGE GAP between the life that I once knew and the life I was forced to face from that moment on. Since that moment I have been searching for a way to build a bridge across that HUGE GAP to connect the life I once knew to the life that I don't seem to know at all...and one night as I was thinking of the life that used to be, a beautiful memory of Kassidy and Bridger (my daughter and son) led to me to the answer God had been waiting for me to find. God had given me everything I needed to build a BRIDGE to connect the life I once knew to the life that made no sense to me at all! It was almost as if I could hear Bridger telling me, "Mom, what are you waiting on...we gave you everything you need, so get up and get it done!" (Makes me smile...he was never one for being patient when he wanted something done:) So...in his words, "Time to get it done."
Although I miss Bridger more with each passing day and my heart is forever changed...amazing stories of my son's life and death continue to touch the hearts of others through his love, his memory, and the many friends who share such special memories of him with us. This is the introduction to a beautiful and amazing story of learning to live after the loss of my son: learning to live with an angel. Please keep watch for the complete story (up until this point). If you don't believe in ANGELS...you will!