Having Death come knocking on your door is akin to being run over by a steamroller. It FLATTENS you!! It is such a physical experience...you feel like the wind is knocked out of you; that your heart is being pulled out of your chest; you have NO desire to eat; and you are so shaky that you feel on the verge of passing out. And that's just the physical side.
Then there's the emotional side: how do you process shock, grief, anger, disappointment, frustration, relief, and joy all at the same time??? Tears are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the emotions within the heart, mind and soul.
There is the "relationship" side of things: how do I help my husband? how do I help my children? how do I help my daughter-in-law? how do I help her daughter? how do I process MY feelings?
There's the physical planning of everything, the juggling around difficult relationships, the controlling of thoughts and emotions about things you have NO SAY in because you are "only the parents." Trying to passify a hurting and angry daughter-in-law while stuffing all of your hurt feelings down inside where they, hopefully, won't surface and become a raging volcano!
Seeing our son, clothed in his military dress uniform, complete with white gloves, and long sword at his side as he lay in the beautiful black casket, his head carefully covered. Holding his un-gloved right hand one last time, caressing his arms, his chest, his legs, knowing we will not see him in the flesh for many years...and we are already missing him desperately. Seeing each other, and our children, experience so much heartache at the loss of our son and their brother. Watching Anna, his wife, so desperately grieving because of not having a foundation in the gospel of Jesus Christ, His atonement, and the plan of salvation.
Feeling a TREMENDOUS outpouring of love and support from so many people...family, friends, neighbors, associates, friends of friends, friends of children, co-workers, and unknown people as well. It is such an incredible lifting by sharing the burden of grief and loss. Rejoicing through tears, sharing the heartache of our loss as many many people came to Denzel's visitation, funeral, and burial services; being able to share with so many our love for our son, and feel it reciprocated to us by so many others.
These are just a very few of my feelings! I cannot express in words all that I feel. However, the overriding feeling I have is that I KNOW Denzel is okay. I KNOW Rod and I will see him again and that we have claim on him for eternity because of the covenants we have made with God in His holy temple. I KNOW that the atonement of Jesus Christ is truly the single most important event of this entire Earth, from its beginning to its end. I KNOW Jesus Christ lived, He is the son of God, and it is only through Him that we have the comfort, the peace, and the assurance that our son's death is only a TEMPORARY loss.
I am GRATEFUL for the incredible blessings we have been given as a family. We have TRULY been blessed, even in this difficult time. I am THANKFUL!!