A song for today, listen here
A video that someone made - that speaks perfectly how this year has been, how I am now...and my thankfulness always to the care extended towards us - as the narrator says:
"I'm so thankful to those who without you my tragedy would have been unbearable. To those who were around me to hold my hand and catch my tears...thank you"
Watch it here: When A Baby Dies
And so many thoughts.
Notes on Grief- as I try to step out and observe it - it has gotta be the strangest human "thing." Are we that egotistical or is it that we do love that deeply and our love reflects its s Divine Source... when I think on that I do feel better. It's only Love and it can nearly kill you.
Sometimes I judge myself, but then I recall that a West Point grad/a five-star general/American President found himself undone by child-loss: "That was and still is the great disaster of my life - that lovely, lovely little boy... There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were," explained Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Recently I met a little girl and yet, never met her in person as I had hoped - I instead went to her funeral service. It was a Catholic service. The last Catholic service I attended was my dear Grandfathers, years ago, and I never forgot how surrounded by God's Grace I felt - I remember being glad to know that was where my Grandfather went every week - that that was who his Priest was - he had a good church.
This tiny little baby's service moved me as much. The Priest spoke with complete confidence - saying something along the lines of, either we are all duped by some big hoax, either it is true or not (God) and she is either with God and now a Saint watching over or not, and then if not, at least she is not subject to being fooled like all the rest of us still here.
At another point in the service he exclaimed calmly what he believed with assurance,
"she is with God now - who loves her more than her parents were willing to love."
I could feel that one. Wow. Now, there is a way to speak of heaven on no small wishy, washy terms - and it got me thinking, the whole message of the Bible, is how all of this is not even about us - but about God not wanting to loose us and about God existing for his own Glory - for His sake. He didn't want to loose Gwen far more than me - according to scripture. So the promise I am given in this painful place of longing - is that has been taken care of... and not even for my sake.
In the meantime - to be honest, I'm borrowing all the Faith I can - as it's all too good to be true, I need it so badly that I don't believe a word of what I say to myself. It's all too convenient - to talk about a happy ending. I believe it more if you think of it on a level far beyond us, as I mentioned above - but for now - I just know that despite all the pain, there still is much beauty and I know the "darkness" is the smallest measure of man - and yet it is what human nature excels out, finding ways to feel and stay down. So I can "get through" this even while I'm in it and be okay... and if you have Faith then I'll borrow yours, I'll believe you for now and in the mean time, the only thing I know for sure is you gotta try to "make hay while sun shines."
And back to humanity and my narrow little world -back to observing my "grief"- what has surprised me there is so little control in it and much of its power dwells in your sub-conscience (I'm sad now simply in response to the weather - my senses recall a baby in the spring - and all "shock" has worn off - I feel her not here more than ever before). I can't talk myself out of it - and I also don't believe I should - I need to somehow, live it again but for the first time with foreknowledge - it's part of facing reality.
And it is like I'm loosing her again. And today, this Thursday is the hardest I believe. This week...all the "last days" of her life, and today, the last full day we had together - last days of peace and no trauma... and knowing it this time around, that a year ago this Thursday would be my last day and night with tiny, little, Gwenyth Graham. That, also, we would get a call about Marie the next day... a confusing message from Myers' grandmother that ended with, "I think she's dead..."
I recall Lil in her bed -the "Thursday before" - waking up from her nap. I told her we were all going out to a plant nursery. Somehow the subject came up of leaving Gwen behind - I explained to Lil that Gwen would be sad if we did that and that no I wasn't going to leave Gwen, she was coming with us.
We were living normal life - Lillian was learning about having a sibling and I was busy with two kids and a house- and hoping to get some plants in the empty places in our garden beds, I picked Myers up from work and off we all went...and Gwen was dying all the while - she was sick and I didn't clue in.
A tree now stands in Gwen's memory here at our arboretum. The plaque is there with her name on it (I've not seen it yet). It's a tree I stood at, at the nursery, looking at and admiring while holding Gwen in my baby carrier, while Lil played in the puddles around the nursery. It is a Butterfly Japanese Maple and I stood beside it holding Gwen the day before she died.
Yes, she died on the 14th, but she died on a Friday and today is the hardest day, I think. I remember the Thursday before...