This past April 18th, 2020, was the first time I did not post about my accident on the very day it happened. I have done it every year since April 18th, 2012. Last year, my son had such a cool dream, which brought so much healing. See post.... This time I waited a few more days to post about a day that I will never forget. The urge to post was just not there this year.
Healing comes, and I am a witness of a long process of that healing. It is said that we go through stages. In On Grief and Grieving, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and; David Kessler share about the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These five stages are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live without the one we lost.
I went through all these stages, and more. The one that almost killed me was guilt. I felt responsible for the event. I was driving that day when I lost my wife and son. Also various forms of depression ensued. The hardest thing was forgiving myself and believing that I would ever be happy again and live to tell the story.
But now here I am, eight years later. I still have my share of struggles and fears as life unfolds. I have remarried and I am now the father of four kids and husband to a wonderful wife God gave me after losing Julie. We live in a different town, which has helped with the healing. We have our differences, as we are a blended family. My wife, Nancy, had two kids when she lost her husband to an accident as well.
I have my daughter who survived the accident, two kids from Nancy’s previous marriage and Dominick the fruit of our union. I count myself a blessed man. I get up most days with a spring in my step. I love God, and I believe that He does want us to live with purpose.
The healing continues. The memories will always be there. The things I learned and experienced with Julie and Timothy; are a blessing to me today. The things I did not do right, I try to amend today. You get the point.
God said to prophet Amos, “I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit.”
In a way, I am planting again - by dreaming up new projects, by starting new things, by enjoying the now. I desire to continue healing and becoming a better, not a worse, person. I hope you do that, too.