Loss, one year later

13 Mar

I’ve heard people say that a parent never wants to experience a child’s death.

I didn’t understand how a natural part of life could be so devastating as to cause one not to want to live anymore.

I didn’t understand it when my mother died when I was 11 years old.

I didn’t really understand when my maternal grandmother refused to eat and was overcome with depression when the 7th (as far as I know) of her 8 children died before she did.

I didn’t understand the sense of hopelessness and doubt that takes over when one has lost a child. I didn’t understand it all until I lost Demilade.

I’ve never been the type to talk about all of the things that I have been through. I am certain most people look at me and immediately think that I have been lucky in life. We all do this. We look at someone who seems like a great package and has it all figured out and we stand in awe and admiration; and sometimes we envy, not considering all the hardships they may have had to endure and the scars that are too deep for all to see.

I relatively do count myself lucky. But as lucky as I am, its been a tough life.

I know loss. My older brother died in 2004. Even though I had lost my mother at a young age, when my brother died, I experienced the finality of death. When the body of your loved one is lowered into the ground and covered with earth, there is nothing more final. That is the end. There is nothing left but memories.

Last year when we buried my boy, I can not tell you all of the thoughts that ran through my mind. Some are too disturbing for me to tap into again, but the one thought that stayed with me was that this was the end of my journey with him. I had only gotten one day to look at him. I’d never see him again. Although lifeless, I felt a sense of comfort having gazed upon his face, holding him and confirming who he looked like. Knowing that he was the spitting image of his dad. I was comforted by the fact that although the worst happened, my 33 weeks with him were not just a figment of my imagination.

All the day dreams I was having of him growing, laughing, crawling, even running were just dreams now. I’d never experience these things with him but he was indeed real. All of these things were  marked final by the earth that would cover him.

So now I would say I understand a bit what it is to lose a child. I can literally walk through the sequence of events in my mind from the moment I was told there was no heart beat in the wee hours of March 13th, 2013, to the moment he was buried on March 18th. Everything flashes before your eyes over and over again.

I still see the flashes, the only difference is that I am not as defeated, hopeless and doubtful as I was one year ago and over this last year.

Losing a child is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced and I now know why people say that a parent never wants to experience a child’s death. The emptiness and longing that results is something I have felt every single day of this past year.

2 Responses to “Loss, one year later”

  1. namfukwe March 13, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    My dear baby girl, my heart cries with you. You know how much it takes for me to write online, but in memory of our first grandbaby, Demilade and for you, I do so. No words can My dear baby girl, my heart cries with you. You know how much it takes for me to write online, but in memory of our first grandbaby, Demilade and for you, I do so. No words can make up for the past but one thing I do know because we serve God who is merciful there is always hope in the future. Having lost four, including my first, I can attest to the experience (the despair and the questions), however even I cannot attest to the circumstances (the timing and the C-Section). Often times we never know why God appoints us to certain experiences but one thing I do know is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel; they blessings will pour. This is something I have seen and experienced in the many different aspects of my life. Yes, death has certain finality to it in our eyes but death does not have the last say; God has the last say. My encouragement to you is keep looking up to God as you and your hubby have so far demonstrated and in due time you will look back and say “see where the Lord has brought us from and where he has brought to.” Demilade lives in our hearts forever. I leave you with the words that my workmate so appropriately wrote:
    “Two years ago we were on our way to the hospital in Grand Rapids to welcome our 7th grandchild. All 3 of our daughters were pregnant at the same time, and we had a grandson born in September, a granddaughter in December, and we couldn’t wait to meet this new little grandson to be born Feb 19th. We got a phone call from our son-in-law informing us that when our daughter got hooked up to the monitor, the doctor could not find a heartbeat. Our daughter had just been to the doctor on Wednesday, and then on Friday, we learned little Palmer was no longer alive. I think that was the most difficult thing I have had to face in this life thus far. Yet God has been faithful and continues to heal to our broken hearts and pour out His love to us.

    Here are some of the comforting thoughts God gave our family in the tragic stillbirth of our little Palmer, who would have been 2 this February:
    • The first person that little Palmer saw when he got to open his eyes was Jesus!;
    • The first air he breathed was celestial;
    • He did not have to go through the pains and struggles of this life;
    • He knew love from his family while he was in the womb;
    • Like David said at the death of his newborn son, “I can go to him, but he cannot come to me.” (II Sam 12: 19-22) Heaven will be a great reunion! If you haven’t read the book Heaven is For Real, you need to get a copy and read it; that really encouraged our family.
    • One of the reasons Jesus came was to ‘heal the brokenhearted” (Luke 4:18); He knows your heart is crushed right now;
    • God has promised to walk with us in this dark valley:
    o Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
    o Hebrews 13: 5 “… Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
    o Ps. 46:1-2, 10 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea….Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
    o Ps 139:15,16 “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
    o Job 1:21b “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”
    • God through Christ sympathizes/understands what we are going through:
    o Heb 4:14-16 “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one what has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
    o Ps 116: 5 “The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.”
    o II Cor 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles…”
    o When Jesus came to Bethany to be with Mary and Martha when Lazarus died, He wept (John 11:35). Let the tears fall.
    o God understands the loss of a child—His Son died for us.

    I am so sorry for your family’s great loss—a precious little baby with an eager, loving family in wait. Search the scriptures in your pain; ask God to speak to you of His comfort, His love, and His wisdom. We cannot know or understand why, but we must continue to trust in the Sovereign Lord, our loving heavenly Father: Isaiah 55:8 “ ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Rom.11:34 “Who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has been his counselor?” So we hold onto what we do know, and that is that God is good, that He is Love, and that He loves us. Ps 73:25 “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

    We will be praying for your family. ”

    Always remember…We love you!!! Mom & Dad

    • elledacosta March 13, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

      Mommy,

      You all have been a great source of inspiration. I always think of you and your perseverance. Thank you and I love you.

      How timely you are with your message I was searching my email for this forward and couldn’t find it. It brought me comfort when I first read it and other days when I reference it in my mind. Thank you Mom.

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