No Sleep -

I hate writing when I feel like I will be judged for it. And maybe I will and maybe I won't. Maybe it's more that my brain is telling my heart not to be vulnerable and real...but if I don't write - I feel like screaming....and so I write. Whenever I write so real, so honestly, I feel as though the comments (or lack of them) drive the words "Unimportant" through my heart. As if none of this matters. 

And it might not to anyone but me. But even if it just matters to me, it does matter. It matters so much.

Sleep has been absent the past 3 nights. 
I went to the chiropractor today (under the hopefully correct assumption that it was a bad adjustment) and when he walked in, he asked me how I was, and I immediately said "I'm not sleeping. all.", and he looked at me and said "Wow. No, you are not.". 

The past week was awful. Awful news and awful realizations and awful feelings that no matter how much you pray for something, God most likely has another plan that you will not like for a very long time. 

When I'm sad, I stop eating. I've dropped 5lbs in just 10 days. When I grieve for one, I slip into grieving for another, and another, and another. When I don't sleep - things go downhill pretty quickly. When I think about cancer and my friends, I cry myself to "sleep" at night. 
And then I don't sleep. 

When I think about losing friends to cancer....the nightmares come back. Uninvited. They'll be worse after my friends go to Heaven, but for now, they linger in the confusing aspect of barely-there-rest....reminding me that even my subconscious cries in grief. 

When the nightmares return, so do the flashbacks. Flashbacks about Avery leaving this broken earth. Flashbacks so strong and real that even if I'm in the middle of a conversation, I'll stare down at my shoes and see pinestraw underneath them. Or in the middle of a sermon in church, I look down to my finger tapping consistently on the pen. Anything to be moving, anything but sitting still, which was a defiance that the world wasn't spilling out of control that day of his funeral with his daddy's voice breaking in love. The rest of the people in church look up at the stained glass window, and I wrap my deep teal shawl tighter around me, my reminder of him, and try to sing, as I see the wind blow the ivy on that little hill. 

Impossible. Impossible and heart-wrenchingly true. 


By Saturday night, I was a broken, horrible mess....I didn't want to eat, write, edit, move, think, or be anything for anyone. 
Between no sleep and nightmares and flashbacks, it was a terribly quiet weekend as I tried to ride it all out.

There are words, millions of words that cannot be spoken, be put into sentences. My heart and brain simply can't even wrap around reality right now. I found myself not even knowing how to I was so thankful Sunday only required soaking in, and no thinking. Thinking is something reserved for days on the beach, the sun warming my skin, snuggles with babies and my dog, and conversations that remind me how much listening means to me (thank you Amanda and Jackie - so so much for that on Thursday night). 

Sunday evening. April 13, 2014.

And honestly, I can't expect it of you when I can't even expect it of me. Because there are no words. There is no fixing this. Sharing scripture with me only makes me think that instead of hearing me, you have only sought to tell me that you think I do not know that our Savior is faithful. 

Oh, I know He is. He also understands my weeping heart, and catches every one of my tears in His bottle. He weeps with me, with us. I am not forgotten or alone, even though grief is oh, so lonely. He understands my complete confusion and hurt for the friends I'm losing, and is carrying us all in His everlasting arms.  

Heavy, fast, rippling panic sears through me every time I think of the 2nd anniversary of Avery's home-going. I don't even know how to catalog time or emotions or memories because I'm so shattered that it will be 2 years. I don't understand how it could be. I have to shut myself down so fast so I don't go into SVT just thinking about it. 

Some things never leave you. 

The sweetness in this darkness is that the joy of those beloveds will never leave my memory either. 
The hope in this devastation is that God will never be less than what we need. 
The light shining at the end of this darkest valley is Heaven, and that we will be there soon.
The promise to our broken hearts is that death will be defeated and cancer too. 

And it will be SOON. Jesus, thank you. 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 


  1. You're right when you say that grief can be a very lonesome experience. But you are not alone, you are very loved. Praying that your sleep improves and that you will find a glimmer of joy in this day.

  2. Dawn Michel4/15/14, 5:34 PM

    Jean Marie, I don't know why this long period of suffering is happening to you, but, as you said, the Lord knows, and He will bring you through this, e.v.e.n.t.u.a.l.l.y. *big sigh* It is so hard waiting upon His perfect timing, with all of the doubt, grief, agony, frustration, numbness, unanswered questions and tears, tears, tears that accompany every passing day. So, I hope that you can see that I do understand, and am not judging you, dear. You WILL be closer to Him. You WILL have learned whatever it is He wants you to learn. You WILL look back and see the path that He has laid for you (and others connected to these losses), and (deep breath) be thankful. I have heard some say that if we just trust God more, then our misery will cease, and we will be at peace. Yes and no. Our miseries don't end when we trust God, but our outlook CAN change when we trust God. That does not mean that we are suddenly a happy-go-lucky person again. The rains of suffering continue to fall, and we somehow live one more minute, then another. We find that by putting the thoughts of those we've lost (or those we love)out of our minds, that we can function, until, as you described, those thoughts return and we reverse course. Those brief moments of calm in between the storms are welcome, but the waves come back and push us over into the sea of misery again. He is there to pull us up, to bring us the next breath. I know that my own struggle is to put my fears, griefs, and concerns into His Hands, and to leave them there. When I feel my thoughts veering and my emotions sinking, it seems to be that only by the strength of MY will that I change my thoughts toward "whatsoever things are true...honest...just ...pure...lovely...of good report", but then I remember that it is only through His strength that I can do anything. Lately I have been thinking about Heaven, and how lovely it will be for tears to be a thing of the past, to see our dear, sleeping loved ones, and to be with our Saviour, face to face! Do you think that He allows this misery so that we will appreciate life with Him even more? Perhaps He is preparing you/me/all of us for something harder, or more challenging. I keep verses in my mind to comfort me, as I am sure you do, and remember that He will never leave me nor forsake me, that He is working all things together for good, that He is pouring strength into me, and is like a refiner's fire (ouch), and I trust that He will bring you and me through this, one minute at a time, one day at a time, in His good time. He will give us the strength we need, and be there to share in our pain. I am so sorry for your suffering, Jean Marie, and for mine, but, in the end we will see through a clear glass, and know the "why", AND BE GLAD. Love you, sweetheart, and praying for you. ~ Mrs. Michel

  3. Presently, in the midst of my own grief, I have found comfort in imagining the spectacular view from God's vantage point. He beholds a perfection of beauty and goodness that is his sovereign plan that would set my heart soaring with ecstatic joy and amazement and praise -- if I could only see... All I can do is imagine how beautiful the view must be because darkness has settled in for now and all I see are shadows.

  4. Dear Jean,
    I find encouragement when you share your grieving thoughts on your blog. I'm glad you feel free to tell them to us.
    There have been some painful,CLEAR, but -oh!-still so ugly and painful in
    our lives the past months. And it, it hurts! And at this moment, I don't feel like I can see much light at the end of tunnel. There's days I do better than others, days when "I'm okay", but right now I feel like we're "stuck" in the present. This "thorn
    in our flesh" has involved people
    who were close, dear friends, and
    nothing is the same. It aches so
    bad! And I have no idea what's going to happen next. I never imagined us involved in a crisis like this! Ever! And how I wish it
    was over! Sometimes just being
    completely alone in a room, with quiet and no distractions, if you
    feel like crying and that you can't stop thinking on these tragedies, it's okay. By all means,
    Jean, weep. Cry if you have to. Sometimes we feel like that's all we can do, and say,"Lord, this hurts! It hurts!"
    That's why I like the Book of Psalms sooo much! There are verses in there that reach into the very depths of your heart, verses where David or whichever writer it is doesn't try to be strong and show a positive facade all the time, but comes right out and say how he feels, what the tribulation is doing to him, even to his body! He just honestly lets it out. A few weeks ago, I wrote down all the verses in Psalms that spoke to me like that. I like to read by someone who understands. There are so many more verses in Psalms to
    bring us out, than just Psalm 23, like Psalm 55 where the writer puts,"The pangs of death have surrounded me...Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away
    and my soul would be at rest!"

    Sometimes, nothing encourages me or
    keeps me going like songs! I love how there are some songs out there that mention and just bring out exactly what you feel in your heart, even if it does bring me to
    tears! Right now, I practically can't even think, sing, or read the song Be Still, My Soul! I love that song, it soothes me and comforts me, but right now, part of that comfort involves tears. I can feel them build up, as I start reading the song, but when I get
    only halfway through the first part of verse three...most of the time I can't see the page and have to look away! I feel a lump in my throat right now! As I'm writing this!
    There are just times when we as believers need something so much more, so much deeper than "count it all joy"! I know because there's been times when that verse ONLY stings!
    Reading your thoughts from this post encouraged me, but also made me want to cry.
    I hope you know you're not alone!
    Love from a sister in Christ,
    Rebecca K.


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