My tears have been my food…

There have been many days of tears this past week. While I was in Haiti, I had one night where I just balled my eyes out as I was home alone and was missing Susana so much. I just kept looking at her picture on the wall thinking about how badly I wished that she was with me. Then, as I bowed my head to pray, the floodgates opened and I cried and cried. My heart ached so bad! I just wanted to hold my little girl. I wanted to kiss her. So, I was so desperate in my grief that I kissed her picture and did my little nosey kiss that I used to do especially with her. Oh how my heart just aches.

Even though I was super busy leading the team that was down there with me for the week, I still just thought about Susana all throughout the week. A few days later, I was showing two of the team members some pictures of her in my house and I just started balling again. I was thankful for the shoulder of one of the team members.

And now since being back, my heart is just sad…there is just no way getting around it. I function. I do what I need to do. I go forward with my life. I prepare to welcome my newborn son into the world. I love my wife and my daughter so much. I love Jesus with all my heart. And all the while…I hurt like crazy!!! My heart is just so broken. I long for my little girl. I miss her in ways that words cannot describe. Nobody knows the pain that I feel except for those that have walked the same path of losing a child.

I heard from a friend the other day who lost a very close loved one about a year ago. This person shared that they got an email recently from someone who said that it was time to get over it and move on. I do not get angry when I hear that, but it is just completely absurd. It merely shows that a person has no concept of understanding the pain of losing a loved one unless they themselves have walked the same path. Before Susana died, I had absolutely no experience with death. I had never lost anybody remotely close to me, therefore I had no idea how to relate to those that lost loved ones. So, I understand now when people say things that sound cold or harsh such as “its time to move on and get over it”. They just don’t get it. That’s okay. Its not for them to get. Its the path that God has called us to walk…and to some degree…we walk this path alone. And only those that are walking this path can even understand what I just said.

So, to many reading, you might just be thinking to yourselves, “Come on, not another post about Cody’s pain.” Well, sorry to disappoint, but yes, this is just another post about my pain.

Please pray for me. My heart aches. My newborn son is maybe just a few weeks from entering into my world, but right now my world is filled with pain. Please pray that God will use the birth of my son as a means of bringing some healing to my heart. I want to love my son with all my heart, but right now my heart feels so broken that I don’t know how I will be able to love. I know that God’s grace will be poured out in abundance and I will be able to love him. The truth is that, on my own I cannot do this. I really can’t. It is impossible. but with God, all things are possible. And its only in Him in which I have hope. And these days…all I have is hope in Jesus.

20 thoughts on “My tears have been my food…

  1. never one time have i ever thought oh no…not another post about cody’s pain. just more prayers for God’s power. God’s comfort. God’s love.

  2. Your words, sir, brought tears to my eyes. I have 4 daughters, the youngest is 9. The thought of losing any of them is more than I could bear. Your willingness to go through this in faith, love and understanding is an encouragement to us all who love our Lord. May He bring that peace that passes all understanding and guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

    Your precious little one, Susanna, is in His home now, a place prepared for her before the foundation of the world. In your darkest times of grief and loss, may He grant you the grace to remember that she is in His arms, and may you take comfort in that truth.

    God bless you.

  3. brother-friend cody: our hearts break and grieve with you and maria and isabella… we know that months…even years will not take away the longing and sorrow… and the loss of susana was deep and profound… not something that can be shaken off and that you can’t just “get over it”. when we think of your loss, our hearts break, and once again our tears flow. and again we lift you up before the throne of our Daddy in His throneoorm and whisper in His ear, asking Him to continue to bring you strength and comfort. there are many many people who care and continue to be there for you…especiallly now as the months pass by.

    and we will continue… until the Lord calls us all home

  4. The Lord has brought you to my mind so much this week. I continue to walk this path with my close friend whose beautiful 17 year old went home on Jan. 15th. Please know that you are being lifted up in prayer. Oh, how we look forward to the day when their will be no more suffering, no more sorrow and no more tears!

  5. You will be able to love your son like crazy while you miss Susana like crazy. It’s a paradoxical world we live in. But you will do it. Cody- it’s ALWAYS hard. But it does get better. It really does. Keep on greiving. I know you are all sick of if. But you need to do it. In your own ways and in your own time. It’s how it “gets better” ie: more manageable. I found myself in a bad place today. Dealing with some of the same things. God brought you guys to mind. I prayed for you all. One day at a time Sweet Jesus. One day at a time.
    Peace to your weary soul,Cody.

  6. Cody,
    You are in my prayers. Every one deals with grief at a different times and different ways… I firmly believe that God allows us to go on with our life’s, but I’m not really certain that we ever truly “get over” the loss of a loved one, especially your own child. I will pray that you will be filled with joy at welcoming your new little bundle of joy into the world.

  7. Cody, it’s ok that you are still grieving. It’s ok that you may grieve for a very long time. It’s ok that you will probably never “get over it.” God gives us pain, not for us to tolerate and “get over it.” He wants us to live through it. To go through each difficult day relying on His grace and strength. So, go ahead – do the next thing – even if that means doing it with tears and sorrow. God will bring healing and eventually dull the sharpness of that pain, but He doesn’t ever want us to forget that pain. Pain is what God used to draw me closer to Him. Why would I ever want to forget that?

  8. I can totally relate to everything you are saying. I lost my only child, my three year old little boy to neuroblastoma in December. My husband and I are still missing him so very much. I found out a month later I was pregnant. We are having a little girl in September. We too have found ourselves wondering how we will be able to love her like we need to when are hearts ache for our son so much. But, like you we have a strong faith in the Lord and know that He will help us and that He is blessing us with another child to love and hug and kiss. I really don’t believe one will ever “get over” losing a child. Everyone says time heals all wounds but I just don’t think that’s true. It’s been almost eight months since my son went to be with the Lord and I miss him more and more each day. I thank God for the wonderful memories we had with him, but sometimes those same memories will bring me to tears because I long to be with him again. And yes, we both know we will see our children again and that they are in perfect health and peace. That does bring so much comfort, but sometimes it doesn’t. I should say it doesn’t make us miss them any less. I know the Lord totally understands our emotions and His grace is more than enough for us. Know that you are not alone in your experience and that there are others who are walking this same journey. Thank you for always being open and honest about your feelings. Know that I have been and will continue to remember you in my prayers. God bless!

  9. Never too many posts about pain, just thankful for your willingness to share. Thank you for allowing us to see your strength and faith.

  10. I walked the same path as you and your family does. after 10 years there are days when I still feel the pain so badly …. and everybody else seems to have forgotten about her. ‘time does NOT heal the wounds, but it helps taking away the pain” .. that was the truth for me and it took over 2 whole years, to finally find back to life 90%.. to me there is always a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ – her time and, honestly, life was never the same anymore and will never be.
    When my daughter died, I lost my trust in god. It was just not strong enough and it made me almost aggressive, when people told me about his grace and love, strength and the miracles, he does. why in the world could he take away my child ?
    so I hope it’s ok for you when I don’t speak as a sister, just as a mother (I wish I would have been able to find strength in god, I really do !)
    when I wrote, life was never ever the same again, I did not want to encourage or scare you, just assure you, that feeling that deep pain reflects your deep love and how can we ever ‘get over’ missing someone, we love ? too many footprints in our hearts – and I don’t want to miss a single one, even that it hurts like crazy. with the death of a child part of our future died, too and nothing can fill in. I am sure, your soon-to-be newborn will bring light and laughter back – but there will be days, when he will show you even more, what you lost when you had to let Susana go and you will always see her between your son and your older daughter.
    I once read a book about parents, who tried to survive and just function after the death of her child and the therapist said: there are thousand and thousands of tears – and they HAVE to be cried ! I am glad for you, you can, not everybody is able to express his/her feelings like you do !

    love to you and your family and a big, pink virtual balloon, going all the way up to susana.

  11. Im not mad at you posting the way you feel right now..i know that you are feeling pain and maybe sometimes anger and asking God why??…but as we all know, God let things happen for a reason…and its okay to feel pain right now because although i do not have children but i can only imagine feeling the same way that you would feel if i had just lost a child. I remember seeing her last year in the hospital and i was hurt hearing that she had passed. I’ve been praying for you Cody and your family and i know only good will come out at the end. I pray that you have strength and courage to continue to do God’s work and i Pray for you new born son to give you Joy and happiness. i’ll keep you and Mary in Prayer, God Blessed!

  12. May your tears of sorrow cleanse your heart and be transformed into tears of wonder and joy as you hold God’s new gift to you and your family: a son.

  13. Cody – I admire your honesty and am honored that you feel led to share your heart with others (like me). Can’t imagine your pain. Still praying for all of you!

  14. Dear Cody and Maria,
    I echo the words of others in saying that I never would think “another post about pain.” I think any parent who has even an ounce of soft-heartedness can sympathize with your pain even if we can’t empathize. My mother-in-law lost her husband to cancer when the 2 of them were just 35 years old. Mark was 2. His mom is now almost 69, has never remarried, has his picture sitting by her recliner, misses him every day, talks about him regularly, and does things to remember special occasions like his birthday and their anniversary. She has had many people over the years “encourage” her to move on, find “closure,” even seek to remarry to help with that healing process. But I believe differently. I believe all of these things she does are a result of her loving with such a Christlike love. You can’t “get over” losing a loved one and I don’t think Jesus intends for anyone to “get over” that. I love reading Amy’s words b/c she is truly someone who can empathize. I posted something on Maria’s FB page just moments ago b/c before I even read this post, God brought you guys to mind and I began praying for you and crying with you. And one of my prayers was that God will bring you comfort and peace as your son is about to be born b/c I know that many emotions are about to flood over you. But God will give you the strength and grace. He is your Help. One day at a time. We love you guys.

  15. Misty,

    Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. Wow! You guys really are on a similar journey as ours. May the Lord be our great sustainer. May we all be able to hold fast to His promises that one day, and hopefully soon, we shall be made whole in His presence, our tears shall be wiped away, and we shall see our loved ones and live with them forever in perfect peace in His presence. O, how I cannot wait for such a day. May the Lord bless you and your baby girl on the way!

  16. Thanks for sharing your pain with us, Cody. It shows that you are human and are willing to not only feel what you are feeling but share it with others. I am so excited to hear your son is to be born soon. I thought it was not until November, but I am happy that you are stateside and not in Haiti right now, with Hurricane Irene closing in! As I always said, as a chaplain I know what to say, and if it is the right thing to say (usually) so again let me remind you of what we talked about in the beginning – it will never be “OK” but it will eventually become easier to deal with. But it is so wonderful we have a loving patient God who understands our pain – after all He created us – and when we are weak we can gain strength in Him. May I say one more thing in encouragement? Everyone heals in their own pace – don’t try to rush yourself. You may heal before Maria, or she before you, and there will be triggers which causes you to cycle through grief quickly or not so quickly. Did you get Good Grief? I will try to find a copy and send it to you. And Cody, when you need to be weak or cry or get angry, you have the permission of all who love you. If anyone tells you to get over it or move on or are offended by your transparency, they are either shallow or scared! And for anyone who thinks they “lack” spirituality because they are still in pain, this couple raised a spiritual giant who handled her “demon” with grace and dignity (the cancer being the demon”. If and when your faith is as big as hers, THEN look at their faith. At that point you will see what strength really means. Like I said to Cody and Maria the first day at the hospital, there are no right and wrong feelings. What makes it right or wrong is what you do with it. Many people would take a year from ministry to grieve, but Cody and Maria said a see you later to their princess angel and kept on with the ministry, which I thin Susana would have wanted. So Cody, Maria, grieve as you need, share as you want, and those who love you will stand with you and those who don’t, shame on them!

  17. Sorry that sounded disconnected in the middle, but I was late for an appointment. By healing, Cody, I mean that you will be able to go through the healing cycle quickly on some days, hopefully most days. But there will be days when you cycle slower and need to feel again the pain to take you through the cycle. I have not lost a birthed child myself, but I lost 13 before birth. I still remember when each one went to their new mansion and joined their brothers and sisters. And my son says we have a huge family, just most of them went ahead of us. You will be able to love your son as much as you can – just as though Susana was on earth you have enough love to love all of them, its just one is not here to love on. Please take care of you and Maria and Isabella and what will your son’s name be?

  18. I do not know the pain of losing a child, except through miscarriage. But I do understand grief. I have lost those close to me. My 32 yr. old son is blatantly not walking with the LORD. If he dies, apart from knowing Christ, the grief will be acute. I will continue to pray Isaiah 61 over you as you continue to mourn the loss of your sweet daughter. I would think there is something wrong if you did not grieve terribly after losing so much. May GOD comfort you like no one else is able. May He bring peace to all of your family as your welcome a new amazing gift from God. Haven’t been diligent on reading your blog lately, so I’m playing catch up with a few of your posts tonight. Saw that your dear son was born. CONGRATS!!! May the LORD bless all of you with His incredible joy in the midst of your mourning. GOD is indeed good. He will carry you through, for He is faithful. Time on earth will seem long for you as you wait that precious reunion of all your family. Until that day, cling to Him who made a way for us as believers reminding us that this is NOT our final home. We have a beautiful day that will come when we reach our final destination. My dear husband reminds me on days that are weary, that he wants to go Home. Looking forward to that day, hopefully not TOO soon. For I would so love to see my son surrender his heart to the LORD, see grandchildren, and in God’s timing and if according to His will, see our daughters/son get married. God knows the days that are planned for me/us. Trusting He will use them all for His glory, above all else.

  19. hi cody,

    i tumbled upon your blog through laura parker’s and read your stories of susanna and the robbery. i’m single so it’s hard to say i do understand your pain of losing a child. but i lost my father to bone cancer when i was 14 years old, and we weren’t christians then. the hope of Christ didn’t come to us until a couple of years later.

    death still stings even now. memories of dad in his pain still wound my heart and i still cringe at the sound of cancer. i shed floods of tears every time i think about him…every time i miss him…although it’s been more than 10 years.

    so no, we won’t be able to get over it, this pain of death, though how many years may pass. but the memories of them is like a treasure chest. we cherish and keep them close to our hearts. we come back, open its trunk, recall each memory piece from the past with tears and smile and we give thanks to the Lord. but yes…we do have to move on because we are God’s stewards…and there are too many people and things He has entrusted us to guard for Him.

    it’s this Hope in Christ that we can keep moving on. and i’m certain that you and your family is clinging on to this hope as well as i am. i don’t know you guys personally…but i want to give you this e-hug. know that you’re never alone…and that we, whoever we are and wherever we are from, are praying for you and the ministry you’re doing.

    we’re in this together. 🙂

    love in Christ…from thailand


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