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Blog Introduction

This blog is the story of how my husband and I faced the illness and death of two of our children. Each blog post is essentially a chapter in the story, so in order to truly understand it, you are going to benefit by starting at the beginning.
I hope you find our story touching, and in some way find comfort and hope through it as you face your own storms in life.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Building a Wall

Morning came again as usual.  The sun rose in the east as always and slowly pushed back the earthly veil of darkness that had encompassed our own black night.  It's funny how the sun continued to repeat its cycle of rising and setting even when our own personal world had been knocked completely off kilter.  The sky should have no longer been blue, people should not have continued doing their business as usual, and the sun should definitely not have risen in the east, nor shone brightly all day.  The whole world, including nature itself, should have known my heart was once again shredded, and therefore should have responded accordingly; but it didn't.
Grief is an intensely personal experience.  It may be shared by others to a degree, but no one can feel the pain in your own heart except you.  But just as the sun continued on its path marking time, so life had to go on.  There were places to go, and things to do.
Telling Michael that his baby brother was now dead would be job number one.  I don't remember exactly what we said to him, but I know we kept it simple.  A 3 year old has limited abilities to understand such complex concepts as death and heaven. I certainly wanted to be sure he wouldn't be afraid.  I wanted him to know he was safe, and that what had happened to his brother, would not happen to him.  He did not appear to be bothered by the fact that his brother was gone, nor was he ruffled by anything we told him, but simply accepted it for what it was.  Maybe he wondered about it a little, but to a 3 year old, there was too much life to be lived, and too many toys to be played with to worry about this other stuff.
In an effort to further protect Michael, we chose not to have him attend the viewings and the funeral.  We felt that having him see us and others he was close to crying and upset,  would be hard to understand and possibly harmful for him.  Looking back, I would change that decision.  I would have put him right in the midst of it with us; allowing him to see the grief and tears, and allowing him to see and touch his dead brother, and to be real with what we were feeling.  Death was the reality we were handed; it is a part of living and we cannot avoid it.  I believe he would have been okay.  He may have asked questions, but asking questions helps to remove the unknown, and helps to lessen our fears. It's how we learn about life.  
 As we told Michael of the loss of his brother, and how Matthew was now in heaven with Jesus and his sister, the underlying thunders of fear and doubt reverberated throughout my mind.  I had no guarantees that something wouldn't happen to Michael.  He was just as susceptible as anyone to be hurt or killed in a car accident, or to die from some unexpected disease or injury.
I felt extremely exposed; my safety net of trust, threadbare.  Babies should definitely not die, but since mine did, it only heightened my realization that everyone I loved was vulnerable to a premature death.  The life I had planned for, the one I believed God would bless me with, had taken a horrible, blind-sided, turn for the worst. He didn't save my babies lives; He let them die.  Therefore, I couldn't trust Him with Michael's life; I would have to protect him myself.  My developing mistrust of God brought along an accomplice- overwhelming fear.  If God cannot be trusted, then nothing and no one is safe, and we are all little pawns waiting for the next big unexpected slap from His indiscriminate hand. In my head I believed in His faithfulness and goodness, but my heart continued to build a wall of lies that would eventually imprison me, and ultimately send me crashing onto the rocks of despair and depression. Subconsciously, my love affair with my heavenly Father was shattered; I no longer saw Him as my friend.

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