Let me tell you about Rose and Caroline. Although, they are pseudo characters, you may know them through either experience or through the Facebook post where your heart tears in two. Caroline is the 5 year old girl who fought a good fight, but she lost the battle to Cancer. Rose is her mother. Perhaps, Rose has a Fund Me Account for recent expenses, but other than the account, Rose is distant from the world. She can’t believe life is still happening outside her window when all she wants to do is pretend life has stopped. Outside the sun is shining, but inside her soul is thunderstorms. Her angel daughter has won her wings in heaven, but on Earth she could no longer fly. Right now Rose is sitting on her bed in the dark asking how can there be a God?
Unfortunately, this scenario is real and happens daily. Who could blame Rose? How could a loving God watch as Caroline, a five year old little girl, breaths her last breath? Someday I hope to have this conversation with God, but for now this question is impossible to answer so what do we do? Crazy as it sounds, what you want to do least is what may give you a fresh breath of perspective. Going against human nature and not giving up on life outside your window or giving up on God could be the special ingredient or life hug you’ve been praying for. From talking to families who have lived this nightmare, they said a new normal started with saying goodbye to the closed door, the shaded window, the sheets over your head.
The reason as one parent perfectly quoted is – Crazy happens when all you hear is crazy and all you believe is crazy. When no one else is around, it is difficult to debate crazy. At the time, this parent’s crazy consisted of life is over, what could I have done differently so this wouldn’t have happened, somehow this is my fault, why is God against me, why did it have to be my child and not me, etc.? This parent said they needed to talk to those closest to them to gain truth. When tragedy happens, it can be difficult to cry a river for all to see, but those who are closest to you could have the raft to pick you up again. My life is a perfect example. I can still remember vividly the story of being pregnant almost seven months, telling the world of the greatest joy of soon being a mom, and then the downward spiral of knowing our child wouldn’t make it through conception. At first, it was shock, but after getting through the initial shock I knew I had to say something to someone or I would explode. I didn’t need to talk to the masses who knew of my pregnancy, but those closest to me. Living through the motions wasn’t helping anyone and knowing this wasn’t what our daughter Hope would have wanted was only adding fuel to the fire. Although, those closest may not have the perfect words to say, from experience, they know the “I’m sorry” look the world offers, which is in good intentions, is not always the look which will make the sun rise again. You need to celebrate your child’s life, but at the same time find peace in the new normal. The new normal is finding those like you who understand the spaces, the creaks, and the cracks. Those who know your story. For us, finding normal included finding closure for our current story whether this meant my husband and I crying in the middle of Target as we bought Barbie doll clothes for Hope’s funeral or giving Hope a eulogy and talking through rice cakes, kicks, and lost hopes and dreams.
As for God, just like Rose,it may appear he has nailed the “Closed” sign on our life. In our heart, you hear the repetitive echo when you needed God the most, was when he was not around. Did he not hear your prayers? Due to our miscarriages, my husband still battles this fight almost daily. He was a man with a deep relationship with God and couldn’t understand why the one thing he wanted most was taken away from him. There’s times I’ve asked this same question, but then I ask why does God love me at all? Why does he love this woman who is only around when it is convenient, who sins often, who hasn’t always cared what he thinks, etc. The amazing part is God doesn’t walk away, but how many times have we walked away? How many times do we not forgive God when he forgives us? How many times do we hurt God badly without even a thought? If I were to be honest, I’ve hurt God a ton and know through various signs he has never left my side even in the darkest of times (eg. when the doctor told me word for word what I asked God for, in order, to have closure around the loss of my first daughter) . Yet, we ask how can God call us his children when he takes away our most precious treasure? My response is there is not hope without God. When I lost children through two separate miscarriages, my head could not wrap around a loving God. Why would God want my children to become angels sooner than I had hoped? This statement in layman’s terms “sucks”, but over time, I’ve realized perhaps my children’s purpose was for a different world and someday with God’s grace we will see each other again. Without God, my heart became hardened, but with him I could breathe another day. Can’t always explain God’s objectives, but can explain his heart. We all have a story to tell and who knows who may benefit from our story? In my experience, I wasn’t living to tell my story, but when it happened the domino effect was amazing. For a couple of weeks, my story became like the telephone game at the hospital where several people came to ask me questions. Of course, don’t want to think I lost my daughter to tell a story, but will never know the true impact it will have on others. If you remember, God also lost his son brutally, so, to say he doesn’t understand is not the truth. We don’t have to love the story that was written for us to tell, but we can trust in a new story. We can believe someday we’ll understand the words and the events behind the story. In the mean time, it’s important we continue to find our new story as we heal, breathe, and eventually see there is light behind those closed windows.