I welcome it.

Growing up, I had no fear. No fear of taking risks, jumping off, jumping in, or running around. I took dares and took chances.

Once my boys were born, it was amazing to see their personalities develop. Blake is just like his dad…calm, cool and collective. A level headed thinker with a “wait and think about it” approach. Blake wears his heart on his sleeve and gives his whole heart when he loves. He is gentle, he is kind and he is genuine. Cole was just like his momma. Taking on any dare, taking risks worth taking, and taking chances each day. He feared nothing (way less than what I feared) and loved the world with all of his heart. He wasn’t afraid to share his feelings, his emotions or his morals. He wasn’t afraid to let others know that he believed in God and trusted in His word. He wasn’t afraid to make new friends, befriend a new student, or stick up for the small guy. He wasn’t afraid to defend a girl who was being mistreated. He wasn’t afraid…to have fun and enjoy life.

Once I became a mother….I feared the thought of leaving them. I feared death…I feared dying. My purpose was to raise my boys to be happy, fun loving and caring young men. To teach them to love life, and love those they care about with all their heart. To take chances and enjoy their blessings. To find their gift and share it with others. I was scared that something might happen to me. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dwell on death, but I certainly wanted to live a full life to watch my boys become young men, young adults and parents themselves.

When I lost my son….when my son became a “forever 17” angel, my views on death changed. I know now that there is nothing to fear about dying. Nothing to fear about death. Because those who believe in Jesus and accept Him as their Savior will live, even though they die. Those who believe in Him shall never die. When we leave this earth, we are going home. Home to the place that we were created for. Earth is just a holding cell, filled with trials and tribulations. Death isn’t death….it’s a celebration. A celebration that as Christians, we get to go home and be with the Lord.

Now, as I struggle to live in two different worlds, I welcome the day that God calls me home. I’m not wishing my life away, because Blake is my reason for living here on earth. But I am not afraid. I am not afraid because I know what the end holds…for my whole family. As a mother, I am supposed to care for, protect, and guide my children. I struggle with the fact that I am not by Cole’s side to care for and protect him. But when this consumes me, I focus….on God, and the fact that Cole is in the best care he could be in. He is in God’s care. Someday, I too will be in God’s care, with my son. And someday, my family will be whole. I welcome that. I am  not afraid…I am thankful.

Gina Buehner

Cole’s mom forever

Cole, did you see?

Dear Cole,

Did you see dad and I, as Jesus carried you away from the chaos? Did you see your best friend standing next to me as we prayed for God to be with you? Did you hear what I said to you Cole? Did you see us running through the hospital as I screamed your name? Did you see your family and friends as we waited to hear from the doctor? Did you see us weep at your bedside as I stroked your hair and whispered I love you in your ear? Did you see all of the students and people at your vigil? Did you hear the stories they told as we laughed at the amazing memories that you have left all of us with? Did you see the hundreds of people at your funeral who were standing in the hallways and stairwell because they ran out of room? Did you hear me, grandpa, and Uncle Bot tell your story? Did you see 118 vehicles of those who love you follow us to your grave site? Did you see your truck, standing tall, carrying a flag that said “Cole Buehner- Heaven now has the life of the party”? Did you see all of the vehicles pulling over to the side of the road because they knew, they knew we were laying to rest someone so special? Did you see the State Troopers who escorted us to the cemetery, and saluted you as we entered? Do you see all of the students and friends whose lives you have changed? Do you see how your words of advice, your whispers of HOPE, impacted their lives? Do you know the impact that you had on this world?

I know you saw Cole. I know you heard, and I know you still see. I know you see, because I feel you with me every day. Every day that I weep for you, every time my hearts stops beating and my lungs refuse to fill, I feel you. When I awake and I’m angry, and I cry, I feel you. I feel you put your arms around me and whisper, “mom, it’s ok”. When I want to scream, when I want to break something, I feel you, and I hear you say “you’re going to be all right mom.”

I know you are still with us Cole. We’ve had so many signs, and we believe. So if you can hear me now, if you are reading these words as I type…I love you Colton. I love you with every beat of my heart. There’s not a second in the day that I don’t think of you, that I don’t miss you, and that I don’t love you even more than I did the day before. You are my son forever Cole. I will not say goodbye, because this is not forever. Nothing in the world can separate a  mother’s love, and one day, one day, I will be with you again. I know that you have ALWAYS believed and you have ALWAYS known about heaven. I know that you are waiting for all of us, and I know that we will see you again. Until then, thank you for being with me every single day. Thank you for giving us the time of our life and being the life of the party. Thank you for teaching me what life is all about. I love you, forever and always.

Love mom

Grief at 11 months…

This is the eleventh month since the loss of my seventeen year old son. I’m not the same person that I used to be, and that person will never return. That person existed when my family was whole, life was good, and things were “normal”. I’ve lost a piece of my heart. You simply cannot begin to understand that, if you haven’t experienced it. This is me, I’m different, my life is different. My life has been forever changed and I walk around like a shell on most days. Some days I feel so empty and hollow. I feel like I wear a mask, and I’ve gotten really good at lying when you ask “How are you doing?”. I work, I clean, I cook, I do….if you could only see me on the inside, you would understand.

When you go through the devastating, debilitating, life altering tragedy of losing a child, you feel so alone because you feel as though no one gets it. And no one does get it, unless they’ve experienced it. I don’t look for your pity or sympathy; most of the time I’m just looking for someone to listen.  A non-judgmental listener. There are so many thoughts in my head, so many memories, and so many stories that I want to share. You may think that mentioning my child’s name will upset me, make me cry, or make me uncomfortable. The truth is, when you say my child’s name, my heart lights up. Hearing my child’s name lets me know that you thought about him, you remember him, and that’s music to my ears.

As a parent who lost a child, my biggest fear is that the world will forget that he existed. MY SON EXISTED! He was an amazing, beautiful and gentle soul who used his time on earth to make a difference. I want you to remember him, I need you to remember him, please don’t be afraid to speak of him.

Please understand that there are days that I just don’t want to talk, about anything. There are days when I just long to be alone. I don’t enjoy doing some of the things I used to do, and I may never enjoy them again, but that’s ok. I may not answer your call right away, be on Facebook all the time, or respond to your text for a little while. Please understand. You see, as the world goes on, my heart still has a hole. A hole that will never be filled; a permanent scar that I carry every single day, a scar that physically hurts some days more than others. I am grieving. I will always be grieving. My grief may take on different forms, it may change, because I will learn to live with it. But you must understand there will never be a day in my life that I do not miss my son, that I do not think about him, and that I do not wish to be with him again.

Some of you have been my friends for many years, and you’ve quietly and subtly walked away. Please know that I am ok with that. You may not know what to do, or say, or even be uncomfortable around me. I accept that. Sometimes I’m uncomfortable with myself.

To those of you who have walked into my life, I thank God for you. Some of you are long lost friends, some who I have not spoken to since childhood, some that I have yet to meet in person, and some who have become heaven sent saviors.

I will learn to survive this. I have no other choice. But just because I may walk around with a smile on my face, please, please try to understand that I am missing a part of me that is irreplaceable…The day that my child went to heaven, part of me died. I have lost a part of my soul. Please be patient with me. Please do not take what I say or do, personal. I’m just trying to survive. I’m trying to do what God needs me to do. I hold on to God’s hand every single day, He carries me when I cannot stand.

This is me at eleven months. My heels are dug into the ground as I try to turn away from the one year anniversary date of my son’s departure from earth. My stomach is in knots, my mind doesn’t rest, and my eyes are heavy with tears. Please be patient with me. I’m trying.

Thank you,

A broken mom

 

I love you Cole, forever and always. Love mom

 

Alone in a Crowded Room

How is it, that you can be in a crowded room, yet be so alone? How is it, that you can be in a house full of people, yet it’s so empty?

I can be in the middle of a crowded store, the mall, a full house, and yet there are times when I feel as if I’m the only one standing there. Their voices are silenced, and it’s just me. Just me….to think; and thinking can be quite debilitating, quite devastating, and quite sad. When I think, I become consumed with emotions. Emotions that include unbearable sadness, intense anger, and complete loneliness.  Yet I am not alone.

The uncontrollable sadness consumes your body and you become numb. When you lose a child, you begin to question your very existence. You begin to question “why couldn’t God save my son?” “Why was it my child?” “Why not me?” It’s ok to question. It’s ok to get angry, it’s ok to scream….it’s ok to cry. And it’s ok…to smile. Smile at the memories, the unforgettable laughter, smile at the child you once held so tight. It’s ok to do ALL of these things. Because you are grieving. You are hurt. You are broken. Your heart will never heal to be the same, you may never be the same person, but, you WILL…be.

I thank God every day for my family; my husband, my oldest son, my sisters, my brother, MY PARENTS, my nieces and nephews, my in laws, my whole family. Because without them, I wouldn’t be here right now. There have been times that I contemplated my very existence. I question why I am still here, and not my child. Then I think…God has a greater plan, I do not understand it, I question it, and I might get mad at it, but I have to have faith. I have to trust God’s plan and know that, as Cole believed, “everything happens for a reason.”

Cole was the laughter that filled our home. Cole was the voice that filled the room. His smile brightened our days, his hugs warmed our hearts. When I sit in silence, when I think…when reality really sets in, I am overwhelmed with sadness. I want to throw something, I want to scream “JUST BRING MY SON HOME! I WANT HIM HOME!” When I realize that this is not going to happen, this situation is not going to change, my son is not coming home, I have no choice but to keep fighting. Fighting my way through this nightmare while keeping my faith that I WILL see my son again. Keeping myself on my two feet for my other son. Moving forward for my amazing son that is fighting through this alongside me, who lost his only brother, and his best friend. My other son, who half of my heart belongs to. Because we WILL hold Cole again, hug him again and hear his laughter again. We will. Until then, we will cry, we will yell, we will smile, and we will remember.We will love him and miss him for the rest of my life, until we are with him again.

Gina Buehner

Cole’s mom forever

The Reason I Know.

When Cole was 4 1/2 years old, he said goodbye to his beloved papa, who became an angel at age 53. Shortly after his funeral, Cole was sitting on the steps in our home. I sat down next to him. “I wish it was me that died instead of papa” he whispered. I felt a heaviness in my chest as I was taken back by his statement, asking myself, why in the world would my four year old say that? “Cole, why do you say that?” I asked him…..his answer…..was profound. “Mom, don’t you know where papa is? He’s in the best place he could be. He wouldn’t want to come back even if God let him.” That’s when I knew. I knew that my four year old son KNEW what dying was about. He KNEW where papa was; he knew that papa was with God, in heaven, the most beautiful place that he could be.

Just three months later we found ourselves face to face with a possible terminal prognosis for Cole. As doctors searched to find the origin, Cole just thought it was normal to get blood drawn weekly, he thought it was normal to have CT scans and MRI’s. He had no idea that they were looking to identify which terminal illness he had. It was during this time, that I hid my tears from him,  while he sat next to me on the couch and said, “Mom, Jesus heals people.” I smiled.  “God doesn’t make bad things happen.” he would say. Shortly after, we were told by the doctors that Cole was an “enigma”. They didn’t have any answers for what had happened, but told us to count our blessings, and consider it a miracle. Needless to say, we did.

He KNEW. Cole knew. He got it. He understood what many adults struggle to comprehend. As a child he understood that this life is just temporary, this life is minuscule compared to what our heavenly Father is preparing us for. This is a temporary home for our human body, where we are to fulfill God’s plan for us here on earth, only to ultimately reside with Him, in the most beautiful place ever; heaven. Little did I know that my four year old would teach me about faith, teach me about what it means to truly trust in God. He taught me THEN, what I needed for NOW. Right now, in this very moment, I trust in those words that my beautiful four year old baby boy whispered to me, and I know, he wouldn’t want to come back, even if God let him. Because it is just that beautiful. He has no more pain, no heartache, no tears…just joy. I know that one day, when my time on earth is fulfilled, that I will join my son once again, in the most beautiful and majestic place, beyond our humanly imagination.

I love you Cole, forever and always. Thank you for teaching me to trust my faith and give my heart to God.

Love mom.

Inspire!

Every day is a new opportunity to make changes; to be a better you than you were the day before. Take time to smell the roses. Find your reason to smile, then pass it on to someone else. That smile you give them today, may be the only sunshine they see.

I want to thank both of my boys, Blake Allen Buehner and Colton Michael Buehner for inspiring me every day. My boys are my reason, my passion, my life. Thank you Blake and Cole, for making me a better person. I love you both, with all my heart.

Love mom.