Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Yes, I've been avoiding you...

I realize I haven't written in quite a while, but there's good reason for it. I've had, as I often do, this entry floating around in my head for a few weeks. Though this time, it's a sad topic & journaling the events requires that I fully acknowledge that they happened. It also requires me to go to a bit of a darker place in order to embrace them.

On July 3rd, a dear friend in Evansville lost her 2 year battle with pancreatic cancer. Let's just put it out there: cancer is a bitch. No one deserves to go through such a painful & long death, nor do their families. But this family seemed especially deserving of a 'get out of cancer' free card. They are honest, good-hearted, faithful people. Instead of cursing the diagnosis, they saw it as a blessing. A way of making the most of the time they had left, while educating those around them about this aggressive disease. Instead of seeking the sympathy of others, they embraced their faith & allowed His plan to play out. I am still in awe of the strength that must have taken.

Later in the month, a friend of mine gave birth to a stillborn child. She was 34 weeks along and had a healthy pregnancy up until that point. One day she felt the baby moving much less than normal & knew something was wrong. She was right & her little girl passed away before anyone could help her. The thoughts & questions quickly began to consume me. How do you even begin to heal after a loss of this magnitude? How do you let go of their little body knowing you'll never hold them again? It gives me chills. No mother, no mother should ever have to bury her baby.

Do you remember an episode of Greys Anatomy where a 38-week pregnant woman slipped in the shower & it killed the baby? but b/c she was so far along she had to deliver it? That scene still haunts me. The cries of labor, of pushing, the sweat, the exhaustion & the grief. The deep, horrid grief that comes with knowing you are delivering a dead child. I can't get a stupid show out of my head... and it was just that, a show. How in the world will my friend ever get the actual experience out of hers? Or do you come to peace with it? Do you even at some point many years from now begin to cherish it b/c it was the one and only day you held that child?

Not a day has gone by since I got the news about Payton's death that I haven't looked at the world a bit differently. I look at my kids and imagine having lost them before I even got a chance to know them. How very dark my life would be. Is it more difficult to bury your child years into their lives, after you've nurtured them & helped them grow? or after only a few hours, knowing that's all you'll get? I'm sure the answer is neither. The loss is terribly hard regardless of the timing b/c it isn't supposed to happen that way. It's unnatural. It is something I pray to never know.

I think the scariest part of it is the reminder of our mortality. Death can happen at anytime, really. The only way I've been able to digest that and rise out of the fog is by remembering that every day is a gift. Whether you lose someone to a horrific disease, or before they are even born, you are blessed to have known them.
They touch your heart & you are forever changed as a result.

See? it's a sad blog entry.
As I wipe the tears from my cheeks, I'm glad to have it off my chest.


Jill said...

Losing a child must be the most haunting thing a parent can ever experience. I shudder to think about my life without Violet and I wish I could heal the pain of all Mommies who have walked that unimaginable road, your friend included. Squeeze Jack and Charlie close and remember that all of our days are finite!

Corey said...

unimaginable pain for both of those families... I have some peace knowing Ann is not in pain anymore.
love blogging for this reason... it's a wonderful release :) love you.

Babs said...

I have no answers. Grief is it's own answer. And it brings cold comfort.
Remember Granny? She lived the loss of her soul mate. She was blamed for the loss of her closest friend (in a car accient--she was driving!) when she was 18.) I have NO idea how she survived it, plus the death of two babies, one from SIDS at 3 months, and another before birth, where she went through labor and delivery knowing the child was dead, only two months before her husband was killed, leaving her a 29 year-old widow with five young children. Life, the universe, sends us many pains. Her own mother died of cancer at age 46, and her father at age 66. Life also sends us many immesurable joys. We survive by recognizing them, each for their value. Granny was and is my life's inspiration. If she can do it, I can too!
I pray that Randy and your friend make the same deal with life. It is not easy, but it is worth it.
I'm so sad that you've wrestled with these heavy pains. I am always your shoulder. I love you!