A Good Future Despite Loss!! by Cathy Powers

A Good Future Despite Loss!!

Cathy Powers

by Cathy Powers, Author of SUSTAINING POWERS: Rising Above Grief and Loss


What are we supposed to do when our dreams are destroyed?

There is a Journey’s end, even with loss!

I have thought about this question many times since our son passed away. Still so young and vibrant, I had never, ever imagined having a future life on Earth without Bryce.

Like so many other dreamers, I had planned it all out in my head. One, in the future, I was going to one day be the proud mother-of-the-groom.  I saw myself dancing with him at his wedding in front of all his and our friends and family.  I prepared myself mentally to be the coolest and most adored mother-in-law ever when opportunity presented. Not only would his beautiful bride love and appreciate my son, she would come to love and appreciate me, and someday make me a grandmother.

What would I do as a grandmother?  I would lavishly love and spoil my sweet grandchildren created by Bryce and his wife. In my mind, I had exciting times to look forward to, and my best years were still yet to come.

I guess it seems “funny” how I was able to convince myself that all the hard work of parenting was over – done.  In the deepest levels of my heart, I believed it was now just a matter of time before all the good stuff our lives would offer in the future would begin. For me, this would be the big payoff parents like myself deserve for surviving the difficult toddler and teen years. It would be nothing but smooth sailing ahead.

Reality Changes Everything!!

How do you pass a test of your faith and beliefs?

Then, out of nowhere, everything changed, and Bryce was gone. Suddenly, all of my grandiose dreams and visions of a bright future with my son died.  Everything I thought I would be doing was buried with him.

Days, months, and even years later, knowing I couldn’t do anything to bring him back, I would sit and think to myself, “Where did I go wrong?,” “Why?,” and “Now what?”  As I grieved the massive loss of Bryce dying from TBI, I was consumed and overwhelmed with the many “coulda,” “shoulda,” “woulda” scenarios that continually popped up in my mind. Not only did it feel like the “here and now” was ruined, but the future seemed ruined too. In the deepest part of my sadness, I had wondered if I had been wrong all along to even allow myself to dream, plan ahead, and expect a bright future. Had I, somehow, jinxed everything? The only thing that I knew for sure was that I felt very sorry for myself.  I think this is called a “Pity Party.”  And, I went into a lot of them.

There are Surprises on Every Journey

Now here’s the surprising part of this journey.  In spite of my numerous pity parties, I kept returning to God, searching for comfort. I cried out to Him for help and hope, then spent time reading His written promises in the Bible. Finally, I found one verse in particular that spoke to me, Jeremiah 29:11, which says:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

It was during a really rough time when I read this Scripture and as I read it, the words seemed to jump off the page, directly into my soul.  It was not the first time I had read this passage, in fact you could almost say, I was already familiar with this verse.  But, seeing it again, in my broken and desperate condition, I finally took every word of this Scripture literally. Almost immediately my disbelief started to change as I began the process of believing that what God promises, He brings to fruit.  I read it again and again and again.  Each time I read it, I reminded myself that God had said it and I believed it.  As a result, and over time my broken, bruised heart began to heal, and change.

Life Changes When Help Comes

It was at this point in my life’s journey that I began to realize my hope, happiness, peace, and good future do not depend on my own personal plans and visions coming to fruition.  What a relief!  It’s not up to me to control and manipulate situations, or people, in order to have things turn out well. God is already on it, working out all the details on my (our) behalf.  He already knows what’s best for each of His children. This was, and is, very good news!

As I look back and reflect on my life’s journey up to today, in my grief I had been trying to limit God, place him in a box I had built around Him.  I wanted him to “fix” the shattered future.  I wanted him to give back to me what I had planned for my son’s future.  I wanted him to take back what had happened to Bryce.  This is not going to happen.  Now, what do I do?

Acceptance — Living Right Now

Well, since all of my plans included Bryce, who is no longer living, and there was no way to “fix” that, I had to consciously and subconsciously accept my future without Bryce.  Either I accepted this, or I lived in a world of make believe, never really believing that God could and does change people, including me.

Because of my discovery of the passage of Scripture from Jeremiah, I had moved from make believe to reality.  I was working on having a better attitude about my family’s and my situation.  I really wanted, and needed to one day be able to help others with their loss and pain.  But, I never thought about having my own hope and a vibrant future, especially after all my family and I had suffered when Bryce died.

Now, looking back on this, I found I needed to stop trying to put God in a box that I had built.  I was basically expecting Him to do tricks whenever I asked Him to. I was completely ignoring that fact that God is God, the Creator of all life.  He is able to do far more than I could ever even imagine! And, finally, I realized just how much He was, is, and will continue to do in my life and lives of my family and friends.  Yes, I still am learning how to cope with Bryce’s death, yet, I also am finding that God is there with me.  Now, I don’t need to put Him into a box I built, that doesn’t fit anyway.  Today, I’m getting free from my own limiting box.

How about you? Do you have a box?

2 responses to “A Good Future Despite Loss!! by Cathy Powers”

  1. A friend of mine who I met through blogging about ABI had a wonderful outlook. She referred to herself as living a repurposed life once she developed a degenerative disease.

    From when I experienced a TBI, I lived with the sense that there was a purpose to my injury. I have to admit it took me a long time to start to understand my repurposed life and still working on it. It was the conviction that this was not a waste of an accident but a new phase or a new me living the next chapter in my life.

  2. Laura P Barnwell says:

    Thank you for your article. I have a son with a severe TBI and I really needed to read this today. You are an amazing strong woman.

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