Friday, October 31, 2014

did you miss my post :-)

Friday, October 31, 2014
Journal entries 11/9/02, 11/10/02

Thank You for making me into a writer.  I never would have even remotely imagined that I would enjoy journaling and writing about what You are doing in my life.
Lord Sometimes I wish that I had another sibling to be able to go through this with.  I know that You have let this happen to me in this way because You love me and that You are teaching me so much.  Lord I feel like crushed clay.  Put me back together like only You can.

Lord it is difficult to write about something that I am going through right now.  Help me to be able to step away from it a little bit.  Thank You for making me into a writer.  I have learned and written more in this journal than ever in my life.  You have made it clear to me the best thing for me to have done in these past three months is to write about what I am feeling.  Lord, I definitely desire to write a book some day about how I made it through and am making it.

I am broken clay.  Only You can make me into something worthwhile.  (NOTE: Need to talk more about clay and the process and how that relates to today).

2014 Reflections
Today is the last day that I’ll be slowly going through journal entries.  Starting tomorrow Saturday November 1, 2014 I will be going quickly through the journal entries and pulling out the main themes.  I will no longer be posting everything that I’m writing as I have a goal of 1,667 words per day.  This is daunting, but I know that I can do it and I will do it.  A friend of mine stated that it will be helpful to write from the heart and not think about making it perfect right away.  I’ve even heard it said that it is helpful to not even fix misspellings, but just keep going.  I’m not fixated on a certain word count.  I do know that it is possible for me to get through my journals by the end of November and to really start writing my official draft for the book.  I intend to publish this book.  I know that it must come out of me.  I really do “owe it to the world” to share my message.  I am excited more than afraid about it.  This is not easy writing, but it will be worth it.

I think it is amazing that even back then I considered myself a writer.  It took me much longer to actually call myself a writer to other writers.  I know that this is going to be an interesting process to get what I have into an actual book.  The cool thing is that it can be as long or as short as I want it.  I’m still having trouble reading memoir, but that will be part of the process this month.


I want to expand on the metaphor of broken clay and what it takes to put clay back together.  I’m guessing a lot of heat and pressure and pain.  Great thoughts.  Starting tomorrow my format will change again.  I’m not sure exactly what I will post on blogger, but know that I’m making lots of progress.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

tears and lots of emotions - updated

Thursday, October 30, 2014
Posts from 11/7/02, 11/8/02
Lord I did not want to face my day today.  I really feel sad and depressed today.  I feel like I am back where I started with this whole grief process.  Through examining the life of Job we can learn how to help people who are suffering and what not to do.

Lord I am thankful that You provide tears for me to be able to weep.  I hadn’t cried that much in a while.  Lord, thank You for enabling me to be real with You.  I am having such a hard time getting everything done.  I need to do some sort of physical exercise tomorrow.  I am physically exhausted from crying tonight.  I really needed to get all of that emotion out.   Lord help me to be able to get up when I need to tomorrow.  I thank You for that You give me another day to live.  Lord my mind is going crazy.  Help me to look to you for comfort and be able to trust You.  My body is physically tired right now.  I am emotionally drained.  It hurts to cry when something like this happens.  Help me to look to Your Word for comfort.

When I saw Brian in the pics that I have there were only a few where he was smiling.


It sure is difficult to be able to write about something while I am in the midst of experiencing it.

My 2014 response:
Looking back at this I am grateful for God’s faithfulness.  Even though I felt like I was back at the same place I really moved forward in my grief process.  I was crying and processing what I was feeling and experiencing.  It is a positive thing that I cried and it is not surprising that I was having a hard time concentrating.    I think it’s interesting that I wrote that I needed exercise to help me get through this.  Personally in the past week and a half I haven’t been able to run due to sickness.  I ran yesterday and it changed everything for me.


I found it interesting that I also knew the importance of going to God’s Word for comfort.  I’m not surprised as I look back that I couldn’t find many pictures that had had Brian smiling.  I find I have much more clarity as I look back on this situation.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Day 100!

Wednesday, October 29, 14
Today is the 100th day in a row that I’ve written or done something related to writing my memoir.  I’m proud of this because until recently I didn’t really consider myself a writer.  Now I am absolutely a writer!



From 11/4/02, 11/5/02, 11/6/02
Lord thank You for Your faithfulness.  Thank You for returning Your joy to my heart.
I pray that You would enable me to have the motivation that I need to do the things I need to get done.  Thank You for Your love and that You love me even when I am quite unlovable. 

Lord I magnify Your name!  Help me to continue to focus all my attention on what You want me to do each and every day and moment of my life.  Thank You for granting me grace.  Help me to do everything for You and not for a grade.  I praise You for enabling me to gain a better perspective on life.

Abba Father, give me the desire and the strength to do Your will today.  I desire to have patience, faithfulness and gentleness be a part of my life.  Thank You for granting me the energy to work out.  Lord, I want to pour out my heart in this paper.  The grade does not matter to me as much as how much I have learned and have been able to apply to my personal life.
2014 response
So what I have learned through typing out journal entries for the past 100 days?  More than I even realize so far.  As I type out my thoughts and feelings I am starting to see themes jump out like God’s faithfulness, the importance of coping skills, and how essential effective relationships have been to helping me process through this.


I have learned that when I am determined about something that I push through even when it is difficult.  As I look back in my life my first marathon training cycle impacted my life in a way that I have never been the same since.  The reality is that by accomplishing such an amazing goal as training and then running a full marathon provided me with enough evidence that I really can do anything that really want and put for the proper amount of effort.    Writing for 100 days has made it clear in my mind that I will complete this book.  It will be published and even more amazing… I will be a speaker sharing this message.  I’m extremely excited about this and it is going to be a journey.  Thank you for supporting me every step of the way!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

is this real?

Tuesday, October 28, 14
Journal from 11/1/02 and 11/2/02 and 11/3/02

Right now I’m working through pulling all themes from my journal to create some form for my book.

Lord I pray that you will lavish Your love upon me and help me to see it clearly.  Today I did not have to deal with much of the grief or sadness until tonight.  I reminded myself how challenging this will be to have our first Christmas without Brian.  Sometimes it just does not seem real.  My very foundation has been stuck but because it was built on the rock the house has not fallen.  Help me to continue to work through everything to do with Brian’s suicide.

2014 reflections

As I reflect on these entries and the process of writing my book I can’t help but recognize specific consistent themes.  One theme that is clear in this entry and many others is “God’s faithfulness” or being able to trust God for strength.  Reflecting 12 years later I recognize that it was very challenging to handle holidays the first time, but now it has gotten much easier or at least less difficult.  Why?  Well, for one I don’t think of Brian as often as I did that first year.  I also think that during periods of the grief I allowed Brian’s suicide to hold me back from accomplishing my dreams and goals.  The opposite is true not.  As a result of going through this I now have a passion and a desire to use my writing to impact others.  I recognize that I have a story to share and that I MUST share it.

Monday, October 27, 2014

What makes a good day good? music and exercise

October 27, 2014
Journal from 10/30/02

It doesn’t hurt as much to tell people about Brian’s death.  I desire to live my life as a living sacrifice to You.  What makes a good day good?  I think it is because my body does not literally feel the grief and pain through my body. 

I listen to music as a coping skill.

Another way I feel better is if I can talk through things with a close friend who is willing to listen and not judge me.

2014 perspective
A good day back in 2002 would be one where I would not feel the physical pain of grief.  Another way to think about it is the physical burden that is a part of grieving the loss of a loved one.  In some way the loss of suicide seems even a little bit more challenging than a death that is expected because I felt helpless to prevent it.

Entry from 10/31/02
I went to run on the treadmill and use the bike.  I feel so much better physically today.  Thank You for relieving the grief for a moment.  Thank You for returning Your joy to me.  I pray that You will provide the continual motivation to lift and to run and aerobic exercise.

I pray that You will continue to make the good days more frequent and help me to keep things in better perspective.

2014 perspective

Exercise in general and running in particular has been huge in my process of recovery.  This is a theme that will be explained more fully.  Running as therapy is huge.  As I think about what I went through in 2002 and how I am processing it even today in 2014 I realize that I could not do it without having my own counselor as well as running on a regular basis.  It is important to have the exercise as well as having someone who can help reframe things and provide a better perspective.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

structure as a coping skill

October 26, 2014
Journal from 10/29/2002
I pray that You will help me to be able to keep things in focus.  Lord life is so hard, but You are good.  Lord I am willing to go and do whatever You want, wherever You want me to do it and however you want me to do it.

My 2014 response
I can remember having a tremendous amount of difficulty concentrating on the schoolwork that needed completed.  Often I was so distracted by my emotions I didn’t know what how to handle the school.  I am very grateful that I pushed through the school.  It was very important for me to have structure in my life.  This coping skills is not for everyone, but this is a huge coping skill for me… being able to get structure and some representation of life before the event. 

Here is my plan for November.  I’m going to attempt to write as much as I can each day and stay accountable on the novel writing page.   Please continue to reaad this.  Know that going forward I am not posting everything that I’m writing. http://nanowrimo.org/dashboard


This memoir is one of my big goals for November.  I have a story to tell and I must share it J.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

My desire is to have my book published...

I will spending much more than 10 minutes underlining the most important points in my journal.  I want to blast through this quickly, but keep the detail that I have throughout what I've written so far...

Furthermore, I'm taking on a challenge.  No one specifically posed me this challenge, but I think it lines up with the goal of writing the book by the end of the year.  What is the challenge?  Many of you know it is http://nanowrimo.org/  November is National Novel writing month.  The challenge which will be difficult is to write 50,000 words in the month of November.  To put this in perspective I've written about 26,000 words in the past 95 days.  So needless to say this will be interesting.  I'm shooting for the stars for this.

My current goal is to have my everything pulled from my journal by the end of November 2014.  After that we will see how things go.  As far as I'm concerned I still want a January 2015 publish date, but much of that is out of my control.  I will keep you posted.

Have a great day!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Playing "table soccer"

As I look at this photo it seems clear to me that Brian was very competitive even at that age.  Here is the photo.


It seems pretty evident to me that a few things are happening here.  One he has his headphones on (that he probably just got for Christmas). 

Second, it looks like I’m about to score a goal on him.  In things like this Brian I remember him winning most of the time.  If I’m not mistaken if he stopped beating me he probably stopped playing me.

Our relationship as I recall was fairly “one sided.”  I would try to do things that he liked such as playing Star Trek playing cards, playing arcade games among other things that I can’t remember right now.  I’m not sure I can remember him trying anything that I enjoyed for the sake of building our relationship.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ocean City Maryland Sunset

10/23/14
It pays to have a specific time to write in the morning… I’m just writing at it is already 6:10pm.    I am grateful for the consistency of writing that has made this post possible.  This post is going to based on a photo of Brian and I.


Some of my most fond memories as a kid were made in Ocean City Maryland.  My Grandma and Granpa (Oma and Opa as we called them) had a condo in OC MD.  As long as I can remember we went down near the 4th of July.  As I remember Brian and I repected each other.  This picture was taken on the balcony to the bay.  I always loved being able to see the sunset come up on the bay.

Memories this brings to mind are basically postive memories of the good times that we had in the condo.  It’s almost like he has his arm around me (I can’t tell for sure).  Our relationship was pretty decent at this point in our lives.


As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m grateful for these photos so that I can still remember some of those postive experiences that I had with Brian.  Other photos will help me to further into the good that we experienced in Ocean City Maryland.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

asking a tough question of God

10/22/14
From journal on 10/28/02
God, You seem so far from me.  If you love me prove it!  Lord help me to be honest with You and to be able to write everything and anything that I should think about and reflect.  Lord I am needy and only You satisfy.

My 2014 thoughts on this short entry:
First, it is okay to ask the questions.  I reflect on times like this as a “Job moment.”  When I tell others about this I make sure they understand that what I mean is that I was willing to ask God the tough questions.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) I did not get a long response from God about how He created the sun and all the animals.  I do believe that God showed me that He loved/and continues to love me through how He was there through the most difficult time of my life (so far).

Losing Brian to suicide was so challenging, but as a result I have chosen to use this trial to become stronger rather than allow it to bring me down.


Random thought: I’m excited that I’m meeting with a fellow writer from my memoir class today for coffee.  I’m looking forward to that time that we can encourage each other and help each other progress in our writing. J

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

From grief to difference maker

10/21/14
I might make it writing look easy, but today was one of those days that I’m not even sure what to write.  Truth is today is one of those days that I’m not sure what I have to write…  I know I have a story to share, but I’m not sure where to go from here.  I’m just going to write a little bit of my thoughts from my writing workshop and come back tomorrow and write.  This is why it is so important that we write each day, because it becomes a habit.  I’m writing right now because it is a habit.

One huge factor is that I’ve felt sick the past few days and I haven’t made it out for a run since Friday.  This has everything to do with how I am coping with things at this moment.

Thoughts about the memoir: purpose to make the familiar fresh working on the lead paragraph.  Our instructor suggested that we read memoir since we are writing memoir.  I haven’t gotten into this yet because I’ve been reading a lot of improvement books lately.  I think I will pick up On Writing by Steven King.


My five word memoir would be: From grief to difference maker.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Brian and I are smiling! 1988




It seems weird that Brian and I both have a smile on our faces.  I think I was about 8 years old and Brian would have been 10.5 or so.  We were getting along well or it so it seems in the photo.  Looking at it more carefully it is interesting that Brian is crossing his arms which as a counselor sometimes signifies being closed.  He may have just been comfortable that way.  As I look very close I see that our similes are very similar.  I do not remember having good times like this, but it looks like we are enjoying ourselves.  Not sure what the occasion was, but we were living in the student homes at Milton Hershey School (my dad has worked there for a very long time).  It seems like it is spring as the leaves are blooming and the grass is very green.  As I look at this photo many years later I have gratitude for the positive times we had as a kid.  This is my attempt at making sure I have a balanced view of our relationship.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

God, show me You love me! and 2014 reflections

10/19/14
from 10/28/02

I want You to show me that You love me.  I felt that when I said this that You would strike me down dead.  That statement about questioning Your live is against everything that I have ever held dear to me.

Lord I pray that You will wrap your hands around me today.  I am angry because all that Brian did to ruin my summer and to take away the one thing in my life that I cherish and that is the joy I find in You.  I am angry at You for letting this happen.  How dare You allow me to go through all of this.  You say that You are a God of love?  How then could this happen?  How on earth are You going to make something good come from this.  Whey does it need to be so hard?

I pray that You would enable me to be able to accept the love that people are trying to show me.

My 2014 reflections:
First of all wow!  Those are so raw emotions.  In the section above I’m having a “Job moment as I am questioning God’s goodness and his love and purpose.  Now looking back I have seen how God has redeemed this in so many ways.  For one, I’m more compassionate and loving toward others.  I’m pretty sure a lot of this has come through my experience dealing with the loss of my brother.  It “guided” me into the counseling profession.  I had interest in counseling before this happened and I even took a few undergraduate classes in counseling, but I did not intend to be a licensed counselor before this experience.


Also, I have since forgiven Brian for what he did.  It hurt and still hurts, but I am a better person as a result.  I know that other difficult things will happen in my life. I am working on learning how to accept them and change my perspective about them.  Also I work on myself by changing the things I can and the things I can’t change I give them up to God.  This is a moment by moment process.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

surprised and current reflections about entry

10/18/14
from 10/27/02 continued
I am very surprised that none of the people I called tonight called me back.  I don’t know what You are trying to teach me but I want to learn it.  It sure is a difficult thing to go through but I know You will be glorified.  I want to completely rely on You for my strength.  My soul definitely feels down cast.  My soul aches. 
I desire to learn how to let people minister to me and show me they care.  I don’t even know what I enjoy anymore.  I definitely enjoy spending time with friends.  When I feel like this I am not good company.  All of this is such a painful process.  A lot of times I just do not know how to deal with this.  I was I was taught how to grieve.  It annoys me when people joke about killing themselves as if it is a joke.  It is not a joke for me.

I just feel worn out.  I pray also that You would enable me to get regular exercise so I can get back in shape and have more energy.

I pray that You would continue to bring people into my life to impact me and help me to draw closer You.

My 2014 response:
I’m not sure how many of my friends I called back in October of 2002, but none of them called me back.  I found this challenging.  Asking for someone to talk with and not having a response.  I find that in 2014 it is more likely that I would send emails and not get a response.  I was having a difficult time and I did what I knew to do… call friends, but it didn’t work.  I’m not sure I did anything other than journaling about it (better than nothing). 

I know for sure that when I’m depressed or having a difficult time (for whatever reason) I’m not the most enjoyable person to be around. 

I also know that when I exercise on a regular basis I can cope with whatever stress that comes in my life.  Right now I mostly run about three days a week.  I’m starting to add a little bit of yoga as I would really like to get more flexible.  In 2002 I did not exercise very much.  Now it is very important to me.


I’m constantly working to build my friendships.  As a result of this experience I have learned how important it is to have solid relationships in my life.

Friday, October 17, 2014

tough day and my 2014 response

Posting on 10/17/14
From 10/27/02

Heavenly Father, I feel like I am drowning.  I am so sad.  My heart is very heavy and I am sad.  Lord I want to be able to forgive, but I don’t know how.  I pray You will work in my heart to be able to choose to forgive him.  Lord I don’t want to withdraw, but that seems to be what is happening.  I want to go through it.  It hurts so bad.  I’m having the hardest time of my life.  My heart is so heavy.

Abba Father, Daddy.  I need Your strength.  I pray that You will use this trial to make me into the man of God that You want me to be.  I guess the main thing I want is people to listen and to be there for me when I need a shoulder to cry on.

2014 reflections
This was a very difficult day to deal with the grief.  I was struggling with forgiving my brother for what he did.  I know that at this point it was only a few months after the event so I was still in the angry phase of forgiveness.

Furthermore, I found that it was easy to withdraw from my friends, but I made the choice to continue going through it even though it was a challenge.


My desire then and my continued desire is to have my support to come alongside me and be there for me.  I don’t expect my friends to have the answers.  All I want is people to listen and be willing to take some of the burden.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

reflection about photo with Brian (1996)

10/16/14
Today I’m going to reflect on another photo.


This photo is extremely interesting to me.  Brian and I are sitting on a rock wall together.  I am about 6 (or so) and it looks like he still likes me :-).  I’m rocking out the crazy thick 80’s glasses.  Anyway, as you look at this picture it seems like we are getting along very well.  I don’t have any specific memories about this trip, but we went to the Smokey Mountains in 1986 and that is when this photo was taken.  This helps me to remember that there were lots of good memories that we had together.  I am so appreciative of my mom scanning these photos to help me to remember those positive times.

Thought and challenge for my readers:  What situation or person are you focusing on all the bad things about… Think just for a moment about some of the positive aspects of a difficult situation.  This challenge is what I’m attempting to do by writing and reflecting on my journals and on photos that we have.


Thanks again for reading and I’m enjoying being able to work through these emotions… even when it is difficult.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Part III of letter to Brian

10/15/14
Part III of Letter to Brian
I’m going to learn from your mistakes.  I must say that I thank you for the timing of everything.  I would not have wanted to be in Mexico when I found out about this.  Mom and Dad also would have been in Lexington KY.  If the timing of this can be “good” then this was good timing.  I wish I would have told you that I love you.  I don’t know if I ever did that in my teenage or adult years.  I do know that I love you because if I didn’t this wouldn’t hurt so bad.  Will I see you in heaven?  Thank you for being my brother.  I forgive you for doing this terrible thing. 
I love you Brian and I’ll miss you.
Your only brother,
Nathan S Wagner aka Nate

So this portion of the letter is pretty intense and that is why I broke it up into sections.  The things that stick out to me in 2014 are how I was able to mention that the timing of this event as bad as it was could have been much worse. 

Also the biggest thing is whether I ever told him that I love him.  I’m not sure that I did, but I have learned from this and do things differently with those who are very close to me now.  I chose to “learn from my mistakes” rather than keep repeating them.


Lastly, as I close the letter I let him know that I chose to forgive him.  This is difficult, but has been super important as I progress through the grief rather than avoid the grief and other emotions.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fishing with Brian photo included!

10/14/14
I decided to take a one day break from reflecting on the letter to Brian.  Today I’m going to talk about a photo that my mom scanned for me.  I got this idea from the two weekend memoir workshop that I’m attending in Hershey.  One of the biggest purposes of this is for me to remember positive moments that I had with Brian.



I remember that we typically had a good time when we went fishing.  As I recall this picture was taken while we were living in Hershey in the student home Jackson.  According to my mom’s records this photo was taken in 1987.  I would have been 6 and Brian would have been 9. 

As I look at this photo all I have is positive memories of our experience fishing.  It is hard to believe that we were able to stand as close as we were in this photo as we typically did not get along very well, but when we were fishing we were close.

The most interesting thing is that I haven’t been fishing for probably over 15 years (as far as I know).


Here are just a few thoughts about this photo.  I’m sure I’ll have more photos and thoughts soon.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Letter to Brian and response part II

10/13/14
Part II of letter to Brian

I wrote: I cant believe the pain that this has caused me to think about just ending it all.  I refuse to entertain those thoughts.  I know the tremendous pain that it causes people.  Brian, you were so excited for me when I told you about my internship.  You made it so I could not do the best part of my internship.  I was finally impacting the teens for Christ and you decided to terminate your life.

Many times I looked up to you.  The only thing that I had in my life that was stronger than you is my relationship with God and how I want to serve Him more every moment of my life.  Did you have any idea the pain this has cause me?  Did you?  How dare you take your life in your own hands.  Why did you…  (details not included for post).  Whey didn’t you let us know that things were so bad?  We could have helped you.

Ok, so here’s my 2014 response to this part (the rest will be included in Wednesdays post). 

I was surprised how much I was focused on how it impacted me and my life and instead of trying to empathize with what he was going through.  I am deeply hurt by what happened on July 29, 2002… and this changed my life forever.  I did look up to Brian.  He was so smart and he was able to excel in school.   I’m up front with this letter and I never really was with him.

I actually look at this event at a turning moment for me.  Before this happened I was going to be a youth pastor.  After this moment I knew I was still going to help others, but I didn’t know when, where or how, but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that this event was going to impact the direction of my life forever.  It took many years for me to pursue this, but I know I was going to do make something good come from it.  It is almost as though this is my mission in life.  I want to say there is hope at the end of this.  It doesn’t come easy or quickly, but with God I have purpose in a mission that I never would have dreamed.


Stay tuned for part three tomorrow (Wednesday!)  Thanks again for reading.  Know there is hope!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Letter to Brian, my brother part I

10/12/14
From 10/25/02 This is the first part of the letter that I wrote to my brother.  I wrote this and then had a very emotional experience of going to the gravesite and reading it out loud to him.  Here is the first part.  I will respond to this first part and then continue into the second part tomorrow. 

Dear Brian,
I always wanted to know you.  You wouldn’t let me.  You were so smart.  I admired you for that.  Thank you for letting your little brother play computer games with you even though I was never was quite as good as you.  Thank you for teaching me about computers.  I now know a lot about computers because you taught me so much.  I am trying to have a real image of what you were like when you were here.  I was looking forward to having you in my wedding party.  A lot has changed since you left us.  I am never going to be the same.  Did you have any idea what kind of pain that this would cause us?  Why did you use such a permanent solution to such a temporary problem?

Ok, now let’s fast forward to 2014
I often lament that I did not know my brother very well.  We had some good times together, but most of what I do remember is not positive.  I am committed to putting these stories down on paper and including as many as are appropriate in my book.

As I reflect on my relationship with Brian he was so good at doing things with his mind.  He was an A student.  I was not that good at school.  I often compared myself to him.  It is difficult as I reflect about his life because I did everything I knew to develop my relationship with him.  He kept me out of his life.


Stay tuned for my next post as I will go further into my letter and share some of my heart.  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Thoughts from writing workshop

10/11/14

This morning I went to a Memoir Writing Workshop at the Hershey Library.  There were several thoughts that I am taking from this and applying to my own writing.

First, there is a lot of benefit in using “writing prompts.”
Second, the purpose of writing a memoir could be to make the “familiar fresh.”
Third, the idea that developing the scene is important.
Next, the prompt of writing about my “3 fondest summer memories” helped me bring positive into my thought process for my book.  This was very helpful and I want to focus on this aspect much more.
Lastly she gave us two things that we are to bring for next week.  – 1. A photograph – I’m not sure which one, but it will need to have Brian in the picture and if possible me in it as well…  2.  A little object.  At this point I will be bringing a little brown toy car the Brian enjoyed playing with and that was handed down to my daughter.

She also recommended a few resources:
Slow Motion by Dani Shapiro
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
On Writing by Stephen King

I’m excited about what I can do with the ideas that she shared. 


This post was completely different than any of the others, but I hope it shows that I’m seeking input into the process of writing this book.  As I think about things I’m certain that it’s going to be a ton of work, but I know that through this at least one other person will be impacted by it.

Friday, October 10, 2014

challenging thoughts and questions

Posting 10/10/14 from Journal 10/25/02

Lord, I did not want to face life today.  It is exactly three months today.  How long oh Lord, how Long?
I think I feel helpless.  I am having a difficult time dealing with this intense pain.  I know that these trials are something that will eventually make me stronger.  Thank You for seeing my tears.  Thank You for understanding what it is to grieve.  I am so grateful that You have placed people in my life who genuinely care about me and love me so much
Lord, I desire to direct all of my difficult questions to You.  I know that I won’t necessarily have answers in my time, but I trust You that You will answer the questions I need answers to and when I need them.
Lord, I trust You, help me in my unbelief.  I am so thankful that You are bigger than any of the problems that I am facing.

2014 reflections and thoughts
As I think about this post I think back to how challenging it was to face the intense emotions of grief.  My reflections about this post are very simple.  Basically I was struggling, but that I was seeking God to answer the questions that I had/have.  I was also seeking support from my friends.  I also believe that this was laying the foundation for who I am today.  It is a result of this pain that I am able to go deep with others.  I believe I was a counselor when I was as young as 3 years old.  I knew how to listen.  I am learning how to listen more and be able to genuinely care for others.  Please reach out to me if I can help you in any way.   My email is natewagner08 at gmail dot com  Thank you for reading!