Growth is silent. You don’t really know it’s happening until you compare yourself to the past. When you back your feet against the wall, hoping you are taller than the last mark on the door frame.
It’s not something that happens over night. There is no noticable differnece from last night to this morning. But compare from last year to this year … you are bound to see some changes. Growth isn’t guaranteed; there are bound to be some set backs. But it’s the growth that makes you feel strong. Like you’ve accomplished something.
I saw growth on Monday night. I have been connected with another woman who lost her daughter almost four years ago. Her situation is so different than mine, however, her questions reminded me of what I felt like. When I look at myself in the morning, I don’t feel like I’ve healed since Owen’s death. I still think about him daily, if not hourly. I still reach for something orange to wear each day. I find it almost unbearable to watch a tv show that has children dying in the story line. I force myself to face the pain though, hoping it will eventually help numb the hurt.
I didn’t realize that the pain isn’t as breath taking as 8 months ago. I didn’t realize that I no longer had those stomach aches thinking that I could have done something to get a different outcome. Were his sheets too loose? Did I do CPR right? Were my compressions hard enough? Too hard? Did I count right when giving him breaths. I suppose you could say that I have accepted why Owen died. Even though we don’t have a black and white answer (still waiting for DNA testing), it doesn’t matter. I couldn’t have done anything to stop what happened. No one is to blame but the fact that we live in this world.
I still think about all the things I wish I would have done differently. I think about wishing I had kept the shirt he wore at the funeral. It was an orange button down shirt – Logan wore his matching green one and Weston wore his blue blue shirt. I regret not having his shirt to make a pillow out of. Something to hug when I yearn to be holding him instead.
I wish I would have kept his baptismal blanket. What would I really need with it now? It’s really something beautiful that the same blanket that brought him into his Christian life, also went with him from this world. I know that he had a blanket to comfort him as his body faced cremation.
I still have the regrets, but I have grown to be able to remind myself, that I made the “right” choice. I say “right” because what is really right about a child dying? There is no “right” choice. There are those choices that you make and those that you regret. But nothing about it is right.
I was surprised to see growth in myself so soon. It’s only been 8 months. Yet, it seems like so much longer. I remember a mom telling me that the pain never really goes away, it just gets easier to live with. I suppose there is a lot of truth in that statement. It’s not easy to live with …. but it is easier today than it was on May 26, 2011.
I pray for continued growth. I pray that God continues to bless me and my family. I pray thanksgiving for my invisible healing. And I pray for others who are in need of healing and growth.
What amazing insight in this blog. I love the comparison you use for growth – marking it off like we do our children’s height.
And for my own life, one of the biggest markers of growth comes when you hear your own words, coming out of your own mouth, supporting someone else who is now going through what you went through. Never easy, but truly growth. Take care.
Mel, Still thinking of you. It doesn’t feel like that long ago to me, although it’s been almost a year I guess. As I’m facing two family members (much older, one is 80 and one is 93) with cancer and dying in hospice, it reminds me that we all will die one day. We all know it, but we spend most days not really thinking about that fact. Maybe if we all thought about it more we’d be a little kinder to everyone, and our families especially. I also find myself thinking these days about how my kids are so funny and cute, and that one day many many years ago a mom found my 93 year old grand-mother and 80 yr old fr-in-law that same cute and funny and loving and adorable. Even though it was so long ago and there is no one left to remember them that little and cute, it’s so strange to think about it…that our lives are just a blink, and then we’re gone. Just the same thing, we’re born, we live, we die, over and over again. 2 year olds weren’t that different one hundred or even five hundred years ago. And I try to remember that with everyone who bugs me at work or during my day, how little and cute that person once was when they were 2, and how little it matters if someone makes me mad, in the bigger picture… who will care or even remember me and my problems in 100 years? Well, rambling….Anyway, no child should die before his mom, period. But it happens. I’m sorry it happened to you. My thoughts and prayers are with you, my friend.