Lay it All Down

Uncategorized By Mar 20, 2022 1 Comment

Earlier this week, my husband and I sat down as a social worker asked us questions about our personal lives, marriage, and family histories. This was the second interview for required for our home study, which is part of the adoption process, but answering some of these questions unexpectedly brought up painful memories. The social worker asked specifically about a strained relationship with my now deceased brother. Each question required more of me, and more about his death.

Tears streamed down my face the following days as I thought of my brother, Derek. He passed when he was 48 years old, but his smile and lively personality made him so relatable, regardless of the 14-year age gap. 

Derek and me

Grief is a strange thing. It comes and goes as it pleases, winding through various phases. Grief is not always about being sad. In reality, there are a few key emotions we experience throughout grief. According to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, there are 5 stages of grief after facing a loss:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

After hearing the news of my brother’s passing on June 18th, 2020, I went into denial. His Memorial was the day before our son was born, and I channeled all my energy into this bundle of joy as I stuffed any serious feelings about my brother away. One day as my Mom was visiting Zeb, Derek’s passing came into the discussion. I could tell she was angry, and I remember simply shaking my head as I cradled Zebedee in my arms. I felt for my Mom, but I wasn’t able to share those angry feelings; not while holding onto an adorable new life.

Yet, almost two years after Derek’s death, a conversation with a social worker initiated new feelings of loss. The sweet newborn was now a toddling boy! My hands had nothing to hold onto as I recalled the strained relationship with my brother and how he passed.

Sweeping away the difficult feelings about Derek was not as easy as it was before. Often this week, unexpected feelings of sadness crept to the surface, bubbling up into my eyes while tears fell down my cheeks. At one point, my husband, John, could tell I was dealing with something. All he said was, “Let it out,” and within seconds I was ugly crying into his arms. The memories I cherished about Derek all came pouring out.

Bring your worry, grief and pain

Every cause you have for shame

Lay it all down

Lay it all down

When your care’s have buried you

And there’s nothing left to do

Lay it all down

Lay it all down

At the feet of Jesus

Will Reagan, Lay it All Down

The caring people who let me lay it all down this last week remind me of the love that Jesus has for me, and the love He has for you. I doubt that this is the last stage of grieving my brother’s death, and I’m not sure how long that will take, but for now, I’m okay with not being okay.


Child of God, wife of an amazing husband, Momma, and a wannabe foodie.

1 Comment

  1. Diane Lamia says:

    I’m praying for you dear friend. There is definitely a process through grief and just when you think you’re through it it comes crashing back. I love you friend!!!

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