I was overwhelmed. I can remember those feelings every year – trying to be strong and to navigate everything while feeling so emotionally and physically weak. And this year is no different. Except that, despite all of my could be’s and should be’s from the past week, I am reminded, kindly, gently, by a Father who has never been anything but loving and trustworthy and good to me, that He is.
When Brigid died, I was challenged by the book of Job. I had people telling me it was okay to be angry at God – that He could take it. And I knew this was true. But I had a lifelong relationship with God and Jesus. I knew that trials and suffering were part of life and that they weren’t to blame for them. I knew that trials strengthened our faith. And I remembered that when, at the end of the book, Job even dared to question, “Why?” God sat him down and told him of all His vast knowledge and power. Sometimes, even sarcastically – “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!” (Job 38:4) I knew what that meant. Sarcasm is my second language.
A particularly trying day with my kids on Sunday left me thinking a lot about those things. The two hours spent getting everyone dressed and out the door for, and then sitting through, church leave me feeling steamrolled, and maybe it was because of the girls’ upcoming birthday, but on that particular day, I spent a lot of time wondering if I could have managed if my twins were with us. And if they were, would we still have our sweet youngest daughter? If things are difficult and I feel overwhelmed with four, am I glad that I don’t have two more? Did God know I couldn’t handle it?
Some of the other losses we grieve after our child dies have to do with the relationships we had before their death.
People that we imagined would be there supporting us in our darkest hour were nowhere to be found. No phone calls asking how we were or how they could help. Nothing.