Monday, July 11, 2011

I Know What You Meant

So, I've been back to work for a week now. It wasn't as brutal as I thought it would be... but it hasn't been easy either. Before I rejoined the forces of the working nation, I felt so grateful that I hadn't had to endure all the feared phrases that you hear about from other parents who have lost a child. I haven't heard, "it was meant to be", or "you just have to get over it"... until this week. But you know what? None of those comments made me angry, or hurt me any more than I already am. Fortunately, I still hurt the same. Sadly, that's the best it can be. Hopefully, it will change.

I thought about these comments. They weren't rude, or insensitive, or mean. They were comments from clients that cared enough about me to ask, and also cared enough to try their best to offer a handicapped attempt at reassurance. It's better then watching them fall all over themselves to try to get away from me. As if it's contagious or something. So, I drove all the way home today, thinking about how I can look at all those well intended, and pitifully uninspired, comments in a different light. Here's what I came up with.

  • "It Was Meant To Be": You know what... maybe it was meant to be. I've heard so many other women who find some consolation, like I do, in believing that God trusted them/me with something so precious. He trusted me with a little creature that would only ever exist within the magical realm that is somewhere between earth and Heaven. She was such an amazing spirit to begin with, she didn't need to endure this world to prove herself worthy of eternal life. But still, for 8 months, I was the sole guardian of the precious vessel that held this spirit, charged with protecting and nurturing her until God received her back in his arms. I look back at all the difficult times in mine and Scott's lives, and can clearly see the preparation that God made in ensuring we would not fail, though he knew we would not understand. You see, because of those years of difficult, ok, nearly impossible situations, we did not fail when this came. We did not fail Carly, because we did our best and took the best care of her that we could. We did not fail God, because we still look to him and give all glory due. We do not fail each other, because we continue to love each other the best ways we know how. We don't understand why, and we don't know how this is part of "the plan"... but we believe in a plan, and a purpose... and however this is a part of it, we are willing participants. So, maybe it was meant to be. Lemonade from lemons.
  • "Just Get Over It": Yeah... on some level, there is no graceful way to do it. Some days you just have to tell yourself that you're not going to let this sorrow win. You are not going to spend the day looking for things to cry about, like you did yesterday or all last week. You ARE going to let yourself smile today... and heck, maybe even laugh. There's no gradual build up to this phenomenal leap you've set in your mind to take. Nobody can tell you when you will pass this grief checkpoint. You just wake up one day, and decide that today is the day that you are going to move forward, even if only a little bit. This train of thought is a hurdle in the mourning and grief process... and hurdles have to be gotten over.
  • "You Have Your Own Angel": No, this isn't my angel. It's still my baby girl, and I miss her. But is she an angel? Yes. And do I think she is waiting for me and daddy? Yes. In fact, I don't think she's waiting for anyone more than her parents. So, how about that? I have an angel who can't wait to meet me, and I her. Not everyone can say that, I guess. So, she is really God's angel and not mine... but if anyone has an angel antsy for someone's return to heaven, it's the parents of children who have died... and that's me too now. We are an elite crew. Wonder if they have a "fast pass" in heaven for us?
  • "You Can Try Again": That comment came from a woman who also says she had lost a baby before birth. HUH?!? I couldn't understand how she didn't know better than to say something like that. So, she's the reason I started pondering these comments, and trying to make them something better than what they first appear. The truth is, we can't try again. We can pretend we're trying again... if you know what I mean... but we surgically ended the possibility of more babies when Carly was born. She is, and always will be, our youngest child. She was made with all of the love that could possibly be squeezed into one human body, and there's no use in trying to make something so perfect again because I don't think we could. Yeah, we could have tried again... and we could have failed again too. But the choice was ours to make and "you can try again" reminds me that while I'm still wrestling with the additional loss of my womanhood (so to speak), we are still in control. Losing Carly was out of our control, but how we deal with that is in our hands now. I like knowing that we can try anything we want. We can't try again for a baby, but we can try something else.
  • "Maybe It's Better This Way": Maybe. Probably not. Definitely not better for me and daddy... but maybe better for her. I don't know. Regardless of whether she had some life altering disease or handicap to manage for her whole life, and no matter how many wonderful events would have filled her heart with glee, she still never has to bleed, be embarassed, or lose a baby of her own. Those things are never fun. Plus, she never has to be tested in God's eyes, because he already knows how deserving she is. And as much as I pain to think of all the joy's she is missing, the real issue is that it is me that will be missing watching her in those moments. She has those same joys already. Joys beyond my limited ability to comprehend, most likely. A joy that never knew sorrow is not possible on earth... but she has it. That is a better way.

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