Thursday, February 25, 2010

It’s Like a Bad Dream

Chad and his father practically lived at the hospital over the weekend, going home late at night only to sleep, shower, and change clothes. Beth was staying with friends. Family members, neighbors and church friends were helpful and supportive--taking care of the dogs during the day, bringing meals and flowers and visiting at the hospital as father and son stood vigil in the ICU. Chad most appreciated the timely visits of Doug and Jenny Shaw.

Chad slept only a few fitful hours on Friday and Saturday night. Awaking very early each morning, he prayed that the horrors of Friday evening were only a bad dream. He lay in bed for several anxious minutes, imagining that Mom, Dad and Matty were waiting to eat breakfast with him in the kitchen. But when he found his Dad alone in the kitchen each morning huddled over a cup of coffee and weeping, cold reality broke over him again.

On Sunday morning, Ben and Chad attended their church's early service before driving to the hospital. Soon after they arrived, Chad's best friend Rob died. Chad left his mother's bedside for a short while to grieve with Rob's parents, with Doug and Jenny, and with a group of kids from the youth group who had come to the hospital after church.

Chad missed Rob terribly. Quietly, he confided to Doug that he felt a little responsible for Rob's death. "If I hadn't begged him to come with me Friday night, he wouldn't have been in the van." Doug listened with empathy. His care and understanding were really helpful. Chad was thankful that he could talk to Doug and tell him what he was really feeling.

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