October 7, 2008

Thankful? Really?

This post has been rolling around in my head for months and I don't write it because I'm afraid someone won't understand. Or that they'll misunderstand. Or that I'll offend someone or make someone uncomfortable. And then today I decided to write it because it's my blog, dammit! Anyone else's issues are theirs and they can deal with it in their blog, I write what I want to.

I stumble upon dozens of blogs each day and in the mix are the ones written by mothers who've lost their children in one heartbreaking way or another - stillbirth, miscarriage, cancer, drowning, SIDS... None is less tragic than another and the point isn't which situation hurts more. This is about how I feel. I'm not speaking for any other mother.

I read the words of a mother who had to make the decision to take her daughter home and not fight the cancer anymore. The mother who checked on her son during a nap to find him cold. The mother who delivered a full-term, perfectly healthy baby boy except that he didn't breathe and there are no answers as to why. The mother that finds her toddler at the bottom of the family pool. There is no easy way to lose a child. But I've been thanking God that I didn't get the chance to fall any further in love with Anna and then have had to say goodbye. I didn't have to hold her in my arms and watch as she breathed shallower and shallower until she didn't breathe anymore. I didn't have to make the call to discontinue nutrition - I think is how I've read it described. I didn't have to make sure she had enough pain medication so that she neither felt the pain of disease nor did she resemble the child she was before the disease stole her. I didn't have to stand screaming while the paramedics kept trying to make her breathe after who knows how long at the bottom of the pool. I think about the nightmares these women must have. I wonder how they manage to swing their legs over the side of their beds and get up each day. And I've been asked the same thing.

I guess I feel the meaning of God doesn't give us more than we can handle. Somehow God knew that I could survive losing Anna in the way that we did and that I simply could not survive holding her as she died after months or years of having her here to attach myself further. And as twisted as it sounds, I thank God I lost her in the way I did. If it had to happen, I couldn't have taken an ounce more than I took. It's almost blasphemy to be thankful for anything regarding the death of your baby. But thankful I am.
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