Saturday, July 16, 2016

Four Weeks & Fear

Yesterday was a pretty action packed day which was good because it kept me busy and distracted on his four week birthday. In the morning we met with a team of early intervention specialists who JJ was referred to due to his traumatic entry to the world. I met with a counselor to discuss grief and coping. Then I had to go to the Washington County office to fill out new hire paperwork. All of these events were full of kind, loving and compassionate people who wanted to help myself and JJ in any way.
My mom snapped this of one of our afternoon naps
In the afternoon I had a great opportunity going out on a hike with two of my brothers and dad. Southern Utah is beautiful. I love the contrast of the blue sky against the red rocks.
The hike was hot but water and swimming were a central piece so it wasn’t too bad at all. There was also some cliff jumping involved and my dad and brother Josh are fearless! I on the other hand am full of fear. Thinking of any of my close friends or family in dangerous situations sends my heart into a state of slight panic so watching them jump from 30+ was not my favorite activity. In case you’re curious I jumped a couple of times from the baby 12-15 ft spot and the whole time I was whispering to myself “Shar please help me be brave and do scary things”. And I did it!  Throughout the entire hike my mind kept thinking, “I can’t wait to bring Sharry here,” which is a difficult ongoing reminder in my life anytime there is something beautiful, good, funny or insightful… this mental refrain surfaces, I can’t wait to share this with Sharry.

Evening came and I was exhausted from the hike and have had the challenge made to me to try to sleep before 1 AM. I totally could have done it too but for my before bed reading I decided to pickup one of Shar’s journals, the one where we were first dating. Down the road I think I’ll do a whole blog series where I share my thoughts and feelings on some of the amazing highlights and insights from her regular journals. Her journals are total page turners that completely absorb me. Two hours later I was weeping and falling apart. I feel to my knees praying for comfort and guidance, praying for Sharry’s presence and her peace. None of it helped so I took JJ into my parents’ room and said I was heading out to the cemetery.

At 3:40 AM I headed to the cemetery with tears streaming down my face listening to Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” which was always one of Sharry’s faves. In fact “our song” is track number one “All I want.”
The thought of hanging out a cemetery in the middle of the night used to strike fear into my heart and always felt like something that should only be done on Halloween for a scare. But as I lay next to Sharry’s body’s resting place I felt no fear only absolute grief and loss. I pleaded to God and Sharry to feel some kind of presence. I desperately need God AND Sharry’s spirit with me. I’m having a total existential crisis where outside of JJ I do not know what direction to go in my life at all. So as I lay in the damp grass gently caressing the grass above Sharry’s casket I watched the beautiful stars overhead, prayed and wept. I miss her so so much. As I write presently at 2 AM I strongly want to go read her journals and even more get a sleeping bag and go sleep where my beloved rests...I doubt JJ or my mom would appreciate that much...or the Santa Clara cemetery city workers for that matter.

Isn’t it interesting how dramatic life events can totally change how the lens through which we see the world? A month-ish ago I used to be relatively fearless. To be clear I was never really an extreme risk taker but was not a big worrier. I always read/heard that once you have a child much of that changes as you fear and worry for them and i have that magnified by some nice PTSD in the form of a traumatic loss. I took for granted that every year would continue to be my favorite year but all you have to do is watch the evening news to realize that is not true for the world. I just always assumed I was the huge exception. My pendulum of joy and pain spent so long in the joy camp it inevitably had to swing back to the pain, and it swung fast and hard. I just hope that after 12 years of more or less constant goodness that it’s not 12 years of constant grief and pain.

I wanted to finish today’s post with a piece from an emotional and powerful note written by an incredible new friend about why Shar’s loss is so tough even for people who never got to meet her.

I think it must be because I wish I knew her and I wish I lived like her and just knowing that there is one less person in the world that was so full of love and a lust for life makes me so deeply sad. This is why I think you should continue to blog and hopefully her story/ your story can be shared, I find it so inspiring. She got it. She is the person we all wish we were. When the rest of us go to Hawaii, we are looking for the great restaurants, the tourist attractions and the fancy accommodations. But she relished the small joys in eating a sandwich on the beach and watching the sunset with you, listening to music, talking about dreams. This is what life is supposed to be and she understood that. She packed a lifetime of memories into 12 years with you and I think everyone is just so in awe of the love you had.

Amen to this statement. She did “get it.” I obviously can’t speak to people from the outside looking in but I do agree that Sharry was incredibly unique in so many wonderful ways and looking back I too am in awe of the love and world that we shared and that I will always share with her. Even still I would give literally anything for the nightmare to end.

I said I'd sprinkle these in different posts. Shar's beautiful 21 week photo. She thought she looked so pregnant haha.


  1. Your new friend definitely nailed it. I think I'm so intrigued by her and strive to live like she did. You really do write beautifully though, too.

  2. Jared, I never met your beloved Shar. I am one of her READ teams. I have been following your journey and praying for you and JJ every day.

    My husband died at 34 when my two kids were 3 and 20 months. It was hard! Now, they are married and have families of their own. Life is good. And it will be for you!

    Keep writing. It helps me to feel connected to you so I can support you through prayer.

  3. I just want to also add my "amen" to the sentiments your new friend expressed. Although I never really knew Sharry, she was a dear friend of my son, Aaron, all through high school. As I read your posts I felt compelled to go back to the beginning and read all of Sharry's posts as well. She truly is amazing and her words are an inspiration to me as to what is important in life and how we all should view this world and our place in it with absolute love, gratitude and respect and appreciate the simple things. I hope you continue on with this blog and that in time it will bring you comfort. You will never know how many hearts and souls the three of you have touched. My prayers are with you and JJ. He is a beautiful little boy and I know you will be an amazing dad to him. God bless you all.

  4. You don't know me at all, but your story pops up in my Facebook news feed because of mutual friends. I just want you to know that you're writing is worthwhile, for you and for your son and for so many people reading. I'm so sorry for your loss, it actually brings pain in my chest to think of what you might be feeling. I pray God blesses you with His presence as well as your beautiful wife's to help see you through.

  5. Mr. BD you are such an amazing writer!! Your story and experiences are so powerful and touching to me and they really help me a lot.

  6. Please keep writing, I too met my love in my early 20's, have one son and now we are in our 40's. Your wife is reminding me of our early years and how to not loose those small moments, those gifts of simple moments when we lived on a shoe string budget, when we just had eachother. Through your story, I am re-learning to not take our life for granted because it can end at any time. Thank you so much and so much love to you and your family. If I had one wish, I'd give it to you Jared, 💛💛