Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Perspective

I feel like I am gaining a new perspective on the loss of my daughters as my grief changes. I don't feel less grief yet, but I do feel my grief differently. My pain used to be so raw and intense, and often hit without warning. Sometimes it still does, but not nearly as much. Now my pain is quieter. It is always there, but instead of being right on top of me all the time it shadows me almost. I always sense it, but there is a little more distance between it and me. And that little distance allows me a deeper understanding I think. At the very least it leaves some room for a deeper sense of peace.

I often struggle to accept that my perfectly healthy and properly developing babies got thrown into the world too soon and became profoundly sick and injured as a result, and eventually died. They were not born early because they were sick, they became sick because they were born early. And it was simply too much for them to overcome. Why I went into labor so early remains a mystery, which bothers me greatly. I have this sneaking suspicion that my body simply failed. I have forgiven myself for failing my girls. I know in my heart it was not intentional, just something that happened. But it still gets to me. They did not deserve what happened to them. They really didn't.

I don't understand why they were born early, but that does not change the fact that they were. And I don't understand why they became so sick, but they did. And the fear that I felt when I learned of their permanent brain damage was beyond explanation. I would stay awake at night wondering what kind of life was in store for them, what kind of pain and suffering might be in their future, both physically and emotionally. Wondering why them? Why did this happen to them?

To be honest I did not even know how to pray for them. I wanted them to live so badly. The thought of losing them was unimaginable. But with their quality of life so uncertain I had no idea what kind of life they would have. One doctor softly commented to us that some fates are worse than death. I was confused and scared. I didn't know what was best for them. I wanted them to live. But I didn't want them so suffer. I just wanted them to be ok. I was unimaginably conflicted. Either outcome was my worse fear realized. Why won't you heal them God? I would silently pray. Please, I beg you, make them well. Do something! Anything!

At their funeral I remember telling God that this was not what I meant at all. I wanted a miracle. I wanted my girls with me. I was so sad to say goodbye to them. As time passes my perspective is changing though. I can't help but wonder if my prayers for them were answered after all, just not in the way I had hoped. God did do something. He healed them. He just chose to restore them in heaven instead of on earth. I admit that I would have preferred to have them restored on earth. I just miss them so much. But I trust that God spared my girls from a life of pain and suffering. He knew how much losing my girls would hurt me. But maybe He also knew that living would hurt them more. As much as losing Aubrey and Ellie has broken my heart, I am beginning to truly recognize God's mercy in it. I no longer see only what was taken from me, but what was given to them. God saved my baby girls. And for that I am truly thankful.


  1. Those were beautiful words, Rachel.

    I had a good friend die earlier this year from cancer. He was way too young and left behind a precious little girl who is handicapped.

    We all prayed so very hard for him to have healing here on earth. His wife needed him to be here with her desperately. He was a strong Christian man and had a heart of gold.

    After he died, his wife posted that Casey did indeed get the miracle we had all prayed for. It just wasn't the miracle in the way we had hoped. He was perfectly healed...just not here on earth. God's miracle for Casey was in bringing him home to glorify him.

    This absolutely didn't lessen his wife's or the rest of our pain. We miss him. We grieve for his family...his little girl. We remember his amazing larger than life personality and we want him here with us.

    But, he did get the miracle we prayed for.

    That perspective has helped his wife so very much.

    I'm praying for you to have peace.

  2. Wow Rachel. That post really shows how far you have come. What amazing growth and astonishing insight.

    Good mothers will always do the best thing for their children, even to their own detrement. I think that is exactly what you did. You let them go, let them be whole with God despite your own longing for them. What a wonderful mother you are.

    God bless you sweet friend.

  3. Rachel, even though I do not know you personally, please know that I check up on you and am praying for you & your sweet family. I hope you enjoy your Christmas with Kirk and Dustin.

  4. Rachel, I have thought of you SO many times lately. It's very early on Christmas Eve here and I know how hard first holidays are without babies there. You have just been on my mind so much.

    I have revisited my own grief lately when my husband and I went to our son's grave only to find a fresh grave RIGHT next to his in the spot where my husband & I had planned to be buried... it has been SO hard for me to let go of that, but that's a whole other story. In my recent grief, you have weighed heavy on my mind. So many people don't understand the weight and depth of this burden that we bare. The Lord has really brought some new perspective for me on Christmas this year and instead of crying like I do every Christmas, I am going to try to remember that my sweet little son (and your beautiful daughters) are celebrating Jesus birthday with Him, and what an awesome party that must be.

    In my experience, you never get over the death of your children and there is always an empty place for them in your heart, but life can be good again, and it will. It just takes time and that is the tough part. You are walking such a hard road right now and just know that you are on my mind and in my heart and that I will be thinking of you and praying for you this Christmas.

    Love, Holly


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