Reeling, grieving, broken, messy

August 13th, 2014

You were with us.

You moved toward our family in our trouble.

You surrounded us–are surrounding us–with a solid wall of support.

From the first moments, you have been speaking words of love and understanding and truth.

Truth, truth, truth, when lies felt more real to me than the truth.  Truth in my face when I needed to have the truth in my face to counter the searing, crushing darkness.

You have been the body of Christ to me, the answers to your own prayers for me.


He is here, with His grace, in the pit.


The words will come.


They are coming.


But for now, thank you.  We thank God for you and love you so very, very much.







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121 Responses to “Reeling, grieving, broken, messy”

  1. mary kathryn says:

    “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints,” the psalmist tells us. Oh, dear Susanna, you were God’s instrument of love in Tommy’s life — you were his mother! What a wonderful role to fill, and what an honor to have filled it! Tommy’s death is precious to our good God, and Tommy’s ministry for God in this life was complete. Thank you so much for SHARING with us his ministry, his joy, his life. You have been a blessing.

  2. Cindy Kahler says:

    Oh sweet mama, cannot even imagine your pain. Thankfully Jesus can. May He wrap His loving arms around you as He brings healing. Once again, cannot even tell you the blessing your journey with Tommy has been to Hadassah and I. Hugs!

  3. Cassandra says:

    Dearest Susanna,

    For at least the last three days, no more than a single hour hasn’t gone by where I didn’t hurt for you, cry for you or pray for you.

    Nobody should ever have to endure what your family has experienced these past few weeks.

    I so very much wanted to be at Tommy’s memorial service even though we have never met and I don’t live in Pa. However, I was out of country until today.

    I cannot imagine the many complicated layers of grief that must be as regular as taking your next breath.

    Several years ago, at a time when I, too, was feeling unspeakable grief, somebody said this to me when I wondered aloud (still do sometimes) why God allows suffering. She said she didn’t know why either but she did know who we can go to in our mourning – that we can go to Him for comfort.

  4. Joni McComsey says:

    My daughter and I were at Tommy’s Memorial Service on Saturday. It was beautifully done. Thank you for letting us share in your memories. The 3 fathers who spoke did a great job. Thank you for inviting them to share their stories. We were so glad we came.

  5. Cassandra says:

    Dear Susanna,

    Because I believe you would want to know, I am here to say that even the comments left on your blog have brought a measure of healing to me as I trudge through the ememy’s attack on our family and me in particular. Via a christian family, no less………….

    YOUR sympathetic/ empathetic/godly “commenters” have breathed some life into a day I was about to give up on. So thank you, again, for sharing your life here. And thank you , friends of Susanna.

  6. Fiona says:

    I hope Tommy’s service went as well as possible. STILL thinking of you each day, hoping you aren’t hurting too dreadfully. Thinking of Tommy and his smile and his laugh and the life you gave him. And thinking of all your other children who must be hurting and confused at this time.

  7. Gina in Spain says:

    Susanna, I am sorry to not have been as supportive as I wanted to be in the moment with comments..I was away with very limited internet access and one day decided to check your blog on my phone and saw the news…The internet service would not let me post much…But I tried to..I am so terrbily terribly sorry….All of us can atest to having had accidents and we all know when we have had close calls with our kids…You are not at fault, you gave Tommy love and a family and he carried that over to God….PLease I pray you find peace….Hugs…

  8. Sarah Talo says:

    Dear sweet mama sister.
    Jesus came for the reeling, grieving, broken and messy.
    He also says blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.
    He is with you. I promise you that. And that guilt? You know the guilt that Satan wants to saddle you with? It is a lie. There is a time to be born and a time to die. Tommy’s time was that day and that hour.
    I had a baby die from a cord accident at birth. Guilt riddled me for a few years and my husband for ELEVEN years before he voiced it.
    Speak of your fears. Speak of your brokenness, speak of your guilt. Because when you bring those thoughts to the light you will realize that they are just that, lies. And in sharing you will realize that the burden is lightened because others can help you carry it.
    May Jesus carry you. With love,
    Sarah Talo
    Single married mama to 8 here, one in heaven, one grandbaby and wife to a sinner saved by grace who is in prison for twelve to 35 years.

  9. Anna T says:

    Praying for you dear friend and your family…grieving with you…cling to the promises of God and cry out to Him…He loves you and your precious miracle Tommy…I have no words…only tears and prayers for His perfect peace that surpasses understanding and for His mercy and grace to be poured out on you…((Hugs)), prayers and love to you and yours…

  10. Elizabeth in NC says:

    Think of you, Tommy and your family daily.

  11. Hannah S says:

    Susanna, I just got news of Tommy’s Homegoing as I am overseas again and have not been keeping up with blogs. Reeling and grieving with you and your whole family. May you all press into the stillness of His Presence and soak up everything He has prepared for you there. In the face of the lies and guilt and doubt and questions that come against us as enemies of our souls, He truly does prepare an abundant table for us.

    “He sent from on high, He took me, He drew me out of many waters.
    He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me,
    For they were too mighty for me.
    They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
    He brought me into a broad place, He rescued me, because He delighted in me…
    For who is God, but the LORD?
    And who is a rock, except our God?”
    Psalm 18

  12. Christina Scott says:

    God bless you dear sweet Musser family <3 still thinking of you and praying for you. Tommy's ministry to us continues, praise God for his grace in that!

  13. Sandi, bbcooker says:

    I’m still praying for you.

  14. sonja says:

    *hugs* and prayers

  15. Katie says:

    Susanna and family – I was just thinking of you today and wanted to drop a note to say that I’m still praying for you all the time. Sending lots of hugs and prayers.

  16. Kim says:

    I was there at the memorial service, and what I noticed was the joy in the photographs- joy on Tommy’s face, and on yours, Susanna. I cried for the beauty of the joy you had together, and because it is such a great loss for now… but also, because God has made it the reality of the future.
    I thought of Psalm 84:10- “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.” You were the perfect mom for Tommy, Susanna, and I would have desperately wanted you- if I were Tommy and could have chosen- even if I knew it wouldn’t be for very long.
    And he went from forgotten and unimportant, to honored by hundreds, simply because he was loved. And this is something rarely seen this side of heaven.

  17. Sally says:

    Thinking of you and lifting you up in prayer today!

  18. Marilyn says:

    Love you. Holding you in my heart’s prayers. ((((((Hug))))))

  19. Rob and Kathy Gandy says:

    Words fail us, but trust that our hearts are with you all. Our prayers for you never cease. With two of our “chosen” children back with the Lord, we know how it feels to have to say “goodbye for a while” to a beloved child. It hurts…even though you know where they are and you know you will see them again. May each of you continue to feel God holding you very close as you learn to live without Tommy’s earthly presence. He is part of your family and you will always feel him in your hearts. It’s hard to imagine that your family was ever without him…or he without you. He will always be your son. You will be with him AT THE HOUSE! In Christ’s love, Rob and Kathy Gandy (If you or someone you know can see facebook, we have a remembrance page for our boys. It is “Remembering Ron & Rusty Gandy”. Our own facebook page is RobandKathy Gandy

  20. Barbara Fisher says:

    I’m not sure if I have ever commented here before, although I have been a long term follower. I just watched this video of your dear Tommy. What has struck me is the remarkable change in him. The sweetness and joy in his face and eyes, the love I see emanating from him. Your love toward him has always been obvious, because of that, he also knew and came to love. I see maturity, physical healing, but most of all I see his spirit soar. I have often prayed for you these recent years, since I first became aware of your efforts to adopt Katie (another story of redemption). My breath caught, my heart clenched when I read on Patti’s (a long term friend) blog that Tommy had stepped into the presence of our Savior. I wept for your mama’s heart and have prayed a healing balm upon you and yours. God alone has numbered our days, and he alone knows the number of our breaths. For the number Tommy had, I am so thankful you were called to be his mama, to lavish him with a mothers love, and the Joy of siblings and family. The heart of God was shown to him. I thank you for your inspiration to my own heart and life, the challenge you so many times unknowingly brought to me, to be my best in my daily walk with Jesus. I continue to pray..

  21. Holly says:

    I have prayed for you, too, dear Susanna, and will continue doing so. How I love you, and understand how your hearts must be broken.

    Susanna, what I can see from the outside is this: This is not, was not…unknown to God. He didn’t protect and keep Tommy alive all of these years and then suddenly slip and fail or allow failure. These were Tommy’s days, already known to God. You and your family were a part of Tommy’s good plan, of redemption, of love and healing and restoration during the last months of his life here. You gave, and gave and gave, so sacrificially – to be Jesus in the flesh to him. And while you submitted your lives to the Lord, and then in turn to Tommy, the world (more than you know, surely) watched and learned. And now Tommy is whole, and totally healed, and completely loved. But he left this earth fully loved, too…and that is worth more than a long life-time of being unknown and unloved. You did your part. You fulfilled your calling from Jesus on Tommy’s behalf. Well done. Well done!

    I pray for peace in your hearts, and especially yours, Susanna, that you can accept this from the Lord….that you did your best, that our Father God knew Tommy’s days, that they were all fulfilled one by one and that now Tommy knows no disability but only full love. What joy when you see him again and he embraces you and thanks you for being his mother and for loving him and caring for him!

    I pray that over time, too, that with time you will be blessed to be able to see the fruit which came of this time with Tommy. I pray that you will see the walls which are broken down on behalf of abandoned and suffering children everywhere, and those who are adopted into families because of your love and your willingness. Hold steadfast to your faith…you are wrapped in God’s loving arms, and He works good out of all circumstances – even this.

    With love –
    Holly Johnson

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