Jealousy

Jealousy.  What a terrible word.  By definition it means resentment against a rival,  a person enjoying success or advantage, etc. , or against another’s success or advantage itself. (according to Dictionary.com)  No one ever wants to be jealous, yet somehow, jealousy creeps into our hearts and steals away our love and happiness.

For me, it happens in a very non-traditional way.  I am not by nature a jealous person.  However, If I ever see a 1 1/2 or 2 year old little boy, the jealousy eats at my heart until it hurts so much I can’t breathe.  You see, 6 years ago, I lost my son to brain cancer at 17 months old.  My grief journey has been long and hard, but also rewarding and blessed.  I have become so much closer to God and I have found peace where you would think it doesn’t exist.  It has taken me 6 long years to come to the conclusion that my son may have come into this world for such a short time for the sole purpose of bringing our family closer to Jesus.  For his illness and death did just that.  We were Christians before he was sick, but it was more of a habit than a way of life.  I am so sorry that it took losing my son to help me right my ways, but at the same time, I am so grateful for the precious gift my son and God have given to our family.

That being said, I still twinge in my heart when I see little boys.  My son would be almost 8 now, in 2nd grade.  But in my eyes, he is still 17 months old.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and miss holding him so much.

“And in that dark corner, desperation churns for what could be but isn’t, and what we want but still don’t have.”  (Unglued by Lisa Terkeurst, chapter 9)

That quote speaks so loudly to me.  Many a night I sat in a dark corner desperate for my baby boy.  Many a day I refused to attend a function where toddlers would be because I knew I would fall apart.  This eating away at my heart and this jealousy will not bring my son back.  It has taken me years to understand this.

“We stop celebrating our own good and have a really hard time celebrating others’ good.” (Unglued by Lisa Terkeurst, chapter 9)

The jealousy of a baby boy often keeps me from celebrating with others and has also kept me from enjoying my two daughters as well.  I feel guilty making a big deal about Christmas or Easter the way kids like to.  Even birthdays are difficult.  Every momentous occasion fills me with grief of what could have been, of how I will never have a family photo of my entire family, of how ungrateful some other people are towards their kids (am I judging too?).  It is so unhealthy and so difficult to overcome.  Yet, I work at it everyday.  I try to remember that my son is not hurting.  That Jesus has wrapped his arms around my son and they are waiting for me to join them.  That I still have work to do here on earth with my husband and daughters.  That women who have toddler boys are not trying to spite me! (sounds ridiculous, I know)  That it’s ok for my daughters to get caught up in a holiday or an occasion.  That I need to pray more and ask God to carry me more.

“Each of you must take the responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”  (Unglued by Lisa Terkeurst, chapter 9)

This is what I strive to do.  My traditions have changed.  My family has changed.  My outlook on life itself has changed.  However, I can still be a good mom to my girls and a good wife to my husband.  I can be happy for other families of little boys and I can pray to God when I am having a hard time doing this.  I can make a new plan for my family so we are not stuck in grief.  I can do my best to make imperfect progress and embrace all of the blessings God has given me, including my son for such a short time.  I can work toward having a more giving spirit which will leave less room for a jealous spirit.

Jealousy is dangerous.  It is unfaithful, unfair and ugly.  I don’t want jealousy in my life anymore.  What are you going to do to eliminate jealousy in your life?

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22 thoughts on “Jealousy

  1. Kathy Kimmick says:

    Oh Erin, I remember so well that time when LP was still here with us all. What a precious toddler he was…..it brings tears to me just reading your blog but your words are so true.
    I have some similar feelings of jealously not having my husband with me and others still do. I am so thankful for my Church family. God brought me to join 3 years ago for a purpose.

    We need to talk/visit one day, maybe in the near future. Love, Kathy Kimmick

  2. Jennifer N, OBS group leader. says:

    My heart absolutely breaks for you in reading this. I pray that God gives you the strength to make the changes you want while still preserving the precious memories you have of your son. Much love and blessings to you and your family.

  3. shecat125 says:

    Erin, my heart breaks as I read your words. I cannot begin to imagine the pain of losing a child would bring. I commend you for sharing this story so publicly. Prayers that Jesus brings you to a place of total peace in this matter.

    Blessings and much love,
    Catherine
    OBS Group Leader

  4. Nicole says:

    Erin,

    What a emotional blog. To even say I understand your pain would be insulting, yet I can relate to the irrational jealousy you refer to. I liked when Lysa says I need more than to be told not to be jealous – I need to know how to do that. Gods words have brought u to a place where u can feel better & that is true for all of us. God Bless u & ur family. Your honest words help so many of us!

  5. christymcgriff says:

    What an amazing testimony you have. Your hope is so encouraging. Your story makes my trails and struggles seem so small. May we all have the outlook that you have gained from your sweet Jesus!
    To God be the glory.

    • emcuomo says:

      My intention is not to make other trials seem trivial. Each and everyday we all have trials, some big and some small. To God they are all opportunities for our faith and testimony. Embrace each struggle you have and face it with Jesus by your side. Regardless of “size” you will overcome. That is the only way to make progress. ❤ Thanks for reading and commenting.

  6. Heather Harlow says:

    Erin , thank you for sharing. You are an amazing woman. My heart breaks for your loss. Praying for you and your family.

  7. Nancy says:

    I am soooo sorry for your loss, but so thankful that you are trying to glean some good out of that tragic event. Thank you for your honesty, vulnerability, and insight. May God bless you and your family.

  8. bloggerlovestheking says:

    Erin so sorry for the pain you have been thru. Your story brought tears for I cannot imagine that pain. Praying for you as you continue to go thru healing that you will be able to celebrate the holidays joyously with your girls and husband. Blessings to you and many HUGS!

  9. in her own words says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your post and your heartbreak. I have a dear friend who is like a sister to me that lost her son after only 58 days here in our midst. I have seen her struggle through much the same longing. I pray God continues to heal you and fully restore your joy in the everyday moments.

    • emcuomo says:

      Hearing about others who have had similar experiences really tugs at my heart. I don’t ever want anyone else to have to experience what we went through. Please know that I will pray for your friend’s family. If there is anything else I can do, contact me. I am happy to write her or be an ear to listen. It can be a very lonely road at times.

  10. Deanne Garrison says:

    Erin, I cannot imagine the pain of your loss. Though I have lost loved ones and battled cancer, I have never lost a child. I kept thinking about what Lysa mentioned regarding our own load. Somehow, you are uniquely able to balance this load. I marvel at all of the ladies who have ongoing trials with children who have severe birth disorders or emotional disorders. I can only be grateful that you have drawn closer to Jesus over the past six years in the wake of your loss. Only Jesus can heal our broken hearts. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” I pray you sense His closeness always and that in time you will find peace and even joy in His Presence. I admire your courage in walking through this painful experience and in sharing your heart so openly. Bless you and your family. Praying God’s grace will sustain you.

    • emcuomo says:

      While I was reading your post, I remembered something I said to my mother right after we lost my son. I told her that I was glad he wasn’t kidnapped and being abused, because I don’t think I could handle that. At least I know he is pain free and with Jesus in heaven. I think I would make myself crazy not knowing where he is or what’s happening to him or if he is hurting, etc. It’s all in perspective. I would never have imagined this being a load I could carry, yet here I am. I still fear kidnapping. And I still fear illness hitting one of my other children. I fear many things. It’s almost like you enter marriage and children with this cozy security blanket that everything will be ok. Then, someone rips the blanket out and burns it. You have to live the rest of your life without the security blanket. You think things will never happen to your kids or your husband, and then it does. Well, now I am always wondering if each headache is a tumor or each vomiting episode is brain cancer. It’s not a fun way to live, but it is the only way I know now. ❤ Thanks for your comments and for reading my blog.

  11. Shelly Faust (@shellyfaust) says:

    My mama heart hurts with you…and I am saying a prayer for you tonight. How brave you are for sharing your journey. I know your story will help many others who find themselves walking a similar road. Blessings to you, Erin! And big hugs!

    • Darlene says:

      Thank you for sharing your story…praying that doing that will bring healing and encouragement to your soul…your words reminded me the first Christmas after my mom passed away and feeling stuck throughout the holidays not able to work things through….the following year I went to Griefshare at my church…what a wonder way to be with others who know exactly how you feel, obtain the necessary tools needed to move on…I thank God for His daily Divine interventions in our lives…will be praying for you Erin and thankful for the many blessings that our Abba, Father has bestowed upon you and your family!

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