Happiness is a Serious Problem

So tonight, after showing some houses to a real estate buyer I’m working with, I stopped by Red’s BBQ (or Red’s Barbeyuke, as Gavin used to call it), and as I waited for my order I took a walk around Home Goods to kill a little time.

There once was a time I was excited for Fall, being that it’s my favorite season of them all. I love the leaves and pumpkins and cooler weather and fall colors and smells, and I used to love decorating my house all up and having everything so pretty the moment I, or anyone else, would come through the door. I haven’t felt like decorating for the holidays or beautifying my house in a while now. It just sort of makes me sad… because it isn’t really what matters to me anymore. Sadly, it’s very low on the importance scale to me now.

I will admit there were some really cute things there at Home Goods… dishes and serveware, yummy smelling candles, things I would have previously been happy to find and put in my home, and for a few moments I felt a little bit of optimism to make our house feel like a home again. For a while now, it’s just been “the place we live”… and while that’s fine, it isn’t really what makes a house a home. Love makes a house a home. Excitement to be alive makes a house a home. Looking forward to something and living like you’re looking forward to that something makes a house a home. I am so sad to say I have not felt that in a while.

But tonight at Home Goods I felt just a twinge of the old Susan in there as I walked around – only a twinge. Thoughts of having a Halloween party for the kids, or even just of decorating for Halloween are things that would have been a given just three years ago or so. Life as usual. And I used to be good at that stuff, too. Things like home decorating, and getting the house festive for parties, and making the house a fun place for our kids. I’d like to feel like doing those things again.

Honestly though, I sort of realized that even though I can tell I am on the verge of good things, even big things, because of what God is doing in my life with real estate and health, and the kids, and I am so thankful, I am… I think I realized that a big part of me just doesn’t WANT to be happy without Gavin. It’s a terrible realization. Like Dennis Prager says, “happiness is a serious problem.” It’s all within our control – it is. I miss his face so much, and I miss his heart and his love and his voice and his sense of humor and his everything, so much, and even though we still have all his “stuff”… we don’t have Gavin. Stuff doesn’t mean squat. People do. All of that stuff just becomes stuff to sort through when the one you love is not with you anymore, and anyway, that was the best part of him ever… just himself. And he’s not here, but I still have the special torture of having to go through his stuff.

Oh Gavin, I miss you. I miss you every single day. And I am trying to put myself in your shoes, so if I were in Heaven looking down on you here, in tears without me, it would make me sad, and I would not want you to be sad… and I would wish for you to know that I want for you to be happy more than anything, because I love you so much. I would be thinking, “I am fine in Heaven, and I want you to be OK, too. Some day we will be together again. My love has not changed, and I will not ever stop thinking about you, and you have things to do and a life to live and I don’t want you to spend it being sad. Life is short, so do good things, and one day we will be together forever again… on the other side.” I do believe Gavin was smart enough and even mature enough to be thinking the same for me right now, because he loves me too. Oh God, how I miss that baby boy.

It’s easier said than done. But I am going to light my pumpkin cheesecake candle and try to remember to smile and love this day anyway. Because this is the day that the Lord has made… and I do really believe that the Lord works all things to the good of those who love Him and stay close to Him and I intend to keep on doing that. So, I will try to rejoice and be glad in it.

p.s. believe me… I’m sure some people read my ‘lamentations’ and think COME ON and get a grip, girl… it’s been more than 9 months now. It’s time to get happy and get on with your life. yep, I know that too. But something about having it happen to YOU makes it really, really hard to let go of. When it happens to YOU, you relive things in your mind, and wish you had done things differently, and just have a heartache that won’t go away. Who can relate to losing their little boy? All the while knowing that God is in control of it all, and things happened as they were meant to for reasons you may not ever understand until you get to Heaven yourself, and maybe not even then. No, it doesn’t mean I cry every moment… but it means that I could. yes, life is good… but it’s also horribly painful. As the apostle Paul said in the book of Phillippians… I’m torn about what to wish for. To be in Heaven where it is so good for ME? or to remain here where I continue to help others. And so it goes…


5 thoughts on “Happiness is a Serious Problem

  1. Hi Susan my name is Cynthia and I have been following your stories on fb about you amazing son Gavin. I truly believe nothing in life happen on purpose ,It was God plan for you to walk into Home Good store and have that (I-yes moment) of remembering Fall and knowing how Gavin would have it if it was you in heaven…Susan I am glad you bought that pumpkin cheesecake candle because I KNOW THAT WHEN YOU LIGHT YOUR CANDLE ,Gavin will be smiling down from heaven saying YES she is getting there…I pray that God continue to bless you and your family..:)


  2. Susan, you have such a way with words. As I read your posts, I can feel the raw emotion that your portray on paper. As much as I want you to have some happiness back in your home, I
    understand what you are saying and how difficult it must be for you all. I pray that you can have more moments, even if they are only short ones, of happiness.


  3. Hi Susan, we’ve had a few exchanges and I can tell you are healing. Healing work is always confusing, messy and often conflicting. My daughter died from cancer 3 years ago, so I’m a little further down the path. I see her husband moving on, her 3 beautiful children growing stronger and sometimes I feel left behind. But I recently realized I don’t feel broken anymore! I miss her everday and I have the sense of her presence frequently. Take care.


  4. Hi Susan, I have been following your story about your precious Gavin since I saw the first post. I have 4 grown children, 8 grandchildren and 3 great granddaughters and I cannot image my life without one of them, so I cannot imagine what you have gone through losing this amazing child. I just lost 2 sisters in May of this year and this threw me into deep depression, they died within20 days of each other so I had just begun to grieve for 1 when the other passed away, this was so very hard for me and as a Christian I still questioned God and asked why, but they had lived their life, Gavin was just a child and of course I ask why again. Only God has the answers to our whys and one day we will understand. As I read your posts I am amazed how strong you really are and Susan you are such an encouragement to my heart , I am so thankful that God has put in on your heart to share with us about your Amazing Gavin and your Heart !!! May God continue to Bless and Heal you and your Family.


  5. My tears are falling and I do know how you feel. The never ending reminders…the hole that never eases for very long…thank you for sharing Gavin with me.


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