Have you said goodbye? Sure you have. You had to. You were even forced to say goodbye and then let go–from life as you knew it and felt comfortable knowing, because of life. Whether or not you could or would be able to when it was expected of you… It went against the force, against your willingness because there being no other option. What then? You had to give in, to accept it.
Did you have your moments of anger mixed with hurt, then into bitterness?–Yes? I have.
I have lived, loved, dreamed, gone through things that could have even been worse… “because things could always be worse.”… but for me, personally, I have grieved–just as you; maybe not in the same capacity, perhaps in a different kind of the same capacity–because it’s in an imperfect world in which we live. It invariably touches every life, every soul, every being–loss… life and death. We’re never quite ready for it.
I have to admit that I thought I had healed to the mark in the road where I thought I was. I wasn’t there. I was still far away. I wanted to be there.
In public, in social media, in blogging, it’s often frowned upon–talking about this kind of subject matter–death. Especially the death of a baby, of a child. It’s hard to bear. It’s tough to cope, to get through it. People don’t want to feel it or be reminded that it exists, that it can happen to them. We’re “suppose” to only write and talk about the “positive” stuff, the feel-good vibe that we “ought to be spreading”, that we should be conversing about. Maybe not as a born-leader, but as a writer, I find it impossible to do. It’s sought as an unacceptable substance to talk about, but I have to talk about it. A person gets termed as, “drama queen” just for going through the process of loss, life and death, talking about it–then having to start over again, to begin again… It’s cruel, the imaginations and thoughts of others, the words… but hey, that’s life.
My first grandson is four today. He was a preemie. He’s not here to blow out blue candles on top of a lush blue-velvet birthday cake… He’s not here to hear the sound of birds chirping and the fluttering of wings in happy glee. He’s not here to climb a tree. He’s not here to throw a ball to his daddy, to see the smile of his mother, to swing at the park… He’s not here to play trucks with his little brother. He’s not here to play patty-cake or tag with this ole ‘grandma’, or to sit on his grandfather’s lap, the one who resides with me… He’s just not here. He’s celebrating his birthday in a place that we call Heaven.
Many people have their own set of beliefs about God, Heaven, and if there’s really such a place. I rest in this verse: “In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” God spoke light into darkness. He spoke life through death. I rest assured that there is everlasting life. He is the hope, the purpose, and the ability for me to be able to hold my grandson in my arms again, someday in the not-so-near or long future–no matter what age he will be then… or I. I only got to hold him one time.
Right after the death of my grandson, I was told by somebody that I was never to mention his name again, “that it is the past”. If you’ve lost a child of your own, or a grandchild, talk about it. Talk about it, for crying out loud. Work through it. Don’t let some mean person shut your mouth for a second, not for a day, not for the next three years following. That beautiful child is still living, still breathing, and knows more about life now on the other side than any of us ever have or do on this ugly earth where people’s hearts wax cold. That precious life was, and still is, significant in your life–now and forever. It takes the presence and the future to heal, not to forget or demean, but to live regardless of such loss. At the same time, don’t let guilt hold you back while you’re healing and finding the purpose and meaning of having to suffer through loss–in the form of a child that you had to let out of your arms. It’s nuts being such a coward to set down rules and regulations not to talk about it. Nobody typically always grieves alike, but there’s no room for selfishness. What one person tries to forget, another needs to remember, just to “heal” and live. The heart goes on and continues to love and remember.
I think when there is healing, it’s coming-and-going, a back-and-forth kind of process, until it reaches a head-form of finally being able to embrace, then being strong enough to go through the depth of sorrow that it requires, to get to the very core. Guilt and anger are a part of the process. You might be angry at God without knowing it.
Parenthood and grandparenthood are different but very similar. As a grandparent, you feel like this life that has slipped away is, in a way, like your very offspring–like your first offspring. After all, it’s your ‘kid’s’ kid. Damn anyone for damning you for feeling this way if they say you have no right to your feelings. You might get reprimanded for having this feeling, but it’s natural to experience it and express it in your heart–then to your ‘kid’, the parent of your grandchild, and to others. It’s mixed, the wanting to figure it out, and also wondering if it’s the right kind of feelings to have and claim. The truth is, there’s no right way.
Have you seen the movie, Heaven is for Real? One of the things that stood out to me the most was when the little boy in the movie, the main character, said that there are children in Heaven; that when you die as a child, you continue to grow up in Heaven until you reach the same age as the adults that are there–that everyone is young in Heaven as adults, but that there are children. I am content in this–
If you’ve lost a child or a grandchild, you stumble through the years wondering what he or she would look like at each point in the segment of time, of years. On earth, you think of what they will have missed out on, what you will miss out on with them, your child or grandchild not being here… I think Cayden is a kid now, a beautiful child of God with blond curls of hair that a heavenly sun shines through as he runs, prances, and plays in bare feet on a meadow of lush green. I think as I have dreamed him in white, and that his smile is more radiant than the sunniest day that I’ve ever seen here, in a place where he never got to be in the sun playing. But his playtime in Heaven is surely to be the most childlike event of the happiest time of freedom that any child could dream of experiencing. To a child, a bright yellow sun is freedom, is joy; a blue sky with soft white clouds is a heaven to their day… birds are the symbol of freedom that they feel. Cayden probably has more feelings and knowledge that has ever been known by any grownup or child here on earth, as children like him who reside with him in a place that is Heaven.
It takes time to go through death–the death of any loved one–a parent, a grandfather, aunt, best friend–whomever–but with a child, it seems longer of a time that is required by life just to reach the point of being able to accept, to attempt to understand God’s reason and purpose for life thereafter when a life never really got to begin to live–so it seems at the time. One second, eleven hours, or 4 1/2 months is life, even here on earth… Cayden the kid.
John 3:16–“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” KJV
Song & Artist: From Time to Time by Ashley Monroe