"Everyday holds the possibility of a Miracle."

Friday, January 28, 2011

Through the Eyes of a Child

I am always acutely aware of my oldest two boy's responses to Ethan's sudden departure from our lives.  They spent my pregnancy with him very excited - Simon more so than Reuben.  (At one point Reuben was determined that he could take the baby out and eat it so that the baby was all gone.)  He soon warmed up to the idea and was joining his big brother in feeling the baby kick and kissing the baby and yelling at the baby through my belly button.  Telling the boys that Ethan would never be coming home to the carefully prepared space that they had helped create was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  They both cried, deep guttural cries of anguish like I have never heard before.  They both know the cemetery a block before we drive by it, and Reuben still asks on occasion when we can take Ethan out of the box in the ground so that he can play with him.  I wear a locket around my neck almost daily that contains a lock of Ethan's hair and his picture.  They will crawl up on my lap look at it and talk about their baby brother and say that they wish he could come back.  It breaks my heart.  But what breaks my heart even more are the prayers they pray faithfully every night for God to give mommy more babies, Simon would especially like a sister, but then they qualify their prayer, asking that God let the babies live this time.  Every time I hear that my heart breaks even more.  They have even begun asking when we will have a baby again, and I finally told them that it is hard for mommy to think about that right now.  That mommy is still very sad that Ethan is not with us, and that if mommy and baba have another baby mommy would have to go to the doctor a lot and that it would be scary for mommy.  But, I told them that it is good for them to continue to pray, and that God hears their prayers, and a secret part of me wishes and hopes with every once of me that He will hear the prayers of children even if right now my faith isn't strong enough to believe that He hears me.  After we had that discussion Simon started another prayer, asking God to give mommy more babies who live, but that if He does not want to do that if He could please give him a puppy to play with instead.  And just today, I realized how much my oldest has internalized and thinks about Ethan's death.  He was sitting next to me on the couch when he suddenly announced that he knows what it means to be really afraid.  I thought he was going to talk about shadows in the dark or monsters under the bed, but then he said, "I know that monsters and ghosts are not real, and that shadows and bad dreams are just things my mind makes up, but Ethan really died, and that makes me afraid."  He couldn't really explain to me in words why he had so much fear, but that it was because Ethan died.  All I could do was hold him and tell him that that is why we need to love each other and help other people so that the world is not such a scary place.  My heart aches for these two little boys who have lost some innocence from their childhood and had to grow up too fast this last year.  I feel guilty for putting it upon them, even though I would have done anything to protect them from this.  But, it also helps me to rise above my own fear, knowing their faith and their resilience to live life fully.  They make me a better person and for that I am grateful.   

Broken Heart

Writing has become difficult lately...Christmas, that was an experience, and the amount of time it is taking my heart to heal from it is astounding.  I wish that at the new year one could leave all the baggage you were carrying from the previous year at 11:59pm, just drop it with a resounding, thrilling, and satisfying thud on the floor behind you, and open the door to the new year, walk through it and shut it without looking back.  Imagine the lightness of that new year, able to walk again unburdened, head up, and whistling a happy tune with a lightness of heart looking no where but onward and upward.  Oh how I would love that possibility.  With a smack in your face reality I found something this Holiday season.  No one around me, who used to be my support system understands me.  Some of them are trying, some of them have walked away when I need them the most, and some have decided that it is time for me to move on already.  What a lot of people who have never been here do not understand is that loosing a child is not like loosing a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, or sibling - we have experienced all of those in some shape or form in our home, so we have comparative knowledge.  All of those others are part of your life and they make a impact upon it and when they depart this world they leave a hole within us.  But when you loose a child you have lost a part of yourself.  It rocks your world, your self worth, your dreams, your hopes, your worldview, and your relationship with God.  It is also something you can ever move on from - Ethan and his death and the impacts upon our family and our future are a part of us now and forever, we can't change that.  I desperately want people that understand something about me.  I don't ask for help, it is not within me.  For many reasons, I think it is faster and easier to do it on my own and that way I can make sure it is done right, or because I know that there are so many suffering around me, and how is what I am going through "good enough" to qualify for help.  Maybe that is the social worker in me, always have to justify to bosses and the government why a hurting individual qualifies for help.  I have to prove their hurt enough to make their humanity matter.  That seems so wrong to me.  We are all human first, we all have pain in our lives, and we should all be able to think about another person and how they are feeling and reach out.  Right now I feel awash in a sea of loneliness because two of the people I love the most in the world have seemingly stopped caring.  I asked for help with something before Christmas in as effort to ease the holiday experience and I was flatly ignored.  It wasn't something to spend any money on, it was just moving a piece of baby furniture from a room that I have to sleep in when visiting, and they couldn't do it for one night.  Then the astounding ridicule came when we wanted to leave early to spend a little time by Ethan's grave, and I was hurt beyond words.  I will never get a holiday with all of my family together and if we want to spend a few minutes by the stone of our son, sending him kisses then we should be allowed to do that with hugs and blessing not with hurt.  I was accused of ruining Christmas rather then met with understanding.  So, I tried in my hurt and pain and loneliness to reach out and I opened my mouth and I asked for help.  I made myself more vulnerable then I already feel and it was smashed in my face.  So it is with an even heavier heart that I start this new year, not filled with hope, or joy.  After loosing Ethan I prayed that the knife wouldn't be plunged in any deeper, I prayed that the pain would lessen and fade, unfortunately it is getting worse.  I can't insulate myself from the people around me, and I know that life is always filled with pain, but when do I get to stand up and cry "ENOUGH ALL READY!!!!!!"