Wednesday, 23 August 2017

No guarantees

I did it again. I went to google looking for answers to my questions. There is an explanation for everything out there, but whether or not I believe one over the other is up for debate.
I first watched a speech by a bereaved sibling at The Compassionate Friends conference in Orlando this week. It is an organization for people who have lost a child. It was an inspiring speech of how the death has ignited positive growth within individuals who embrace it. The overarching theme was that love lasts forever. The most impactful thing this young woman said was life is not measured by the number of years, worth or by what we do. It is simply the love we experience and how that love never goes away as it always in our hearts and connected to the memories of our loved ones. They live within our hearts so that they can continue living and experiencing everything we do. They only get the chance to experience through the eyes of so many others and not in a single, self-centred way we do in our bodies.

That speech led me to a Christian doctors' explanation of why God takes our children. It brought me comfort when he said life is a training ground, our world is about learning and growing and for some children their souls have already learned what takes some (slow learners) many many more years to learn. He used the term old souls, which is how so many who knew Xavier would describe him. He did seem to know and understand far beyond what you would ever have imagined a child should. It is their soul that chooses to "graduate" to Heaven with our Father. He went further to explain how our universes combine and our loved ones are not gone, but changed. They, like God, live among us in ways our conscious minds cannot fully comprehend.

In stark contrast, my next lesson was how God does give our kids cancer. He chooses who and uses pain and suffering for the greater good of others. It is not as a punishment to anyone, but rather a way to grow us, to give us opportunities to submit to Him and have eternal life with Him. She says it is our own perception that our children are not to die before us, but that was never a promise God made to us. We made up our own rules and judge His plan with our tiny view of the universe. Our children are His children and our role as parents is only temporary. How are we to question when or how he takes His children back to Him. Like any parent, we may make decisions for our children they do not like, but it's for the greater good. His decision to "take back" his creation we know as our children does not make sense to us nor do we like it, but it has a greater purpose beyond us.

Each explanation has its merit. Each one I believe speaks some truth. The latter is much harder to swallow, but yet makes sense that everything in our lives has been preplanned by our creator. However, it does not necessarily reflect a loving God in our small world view.  I am not sure I can accept that noone dies too soon or wrongly, except that I believe everything happens for a reason. But what's missing is the influence of evil. What is evil if a murdered child is God's plan?

In searching my own soul, I see a growing intimacy with Jesus I had only scratched the surface of during Xavier's time on earth. I had faith, so why did God need to do this? Would I not have strengthened that relationship if Xavier hadn't died? How did He know I would grow closer to Him and not reject him as could quite easily be the case.

Although it is again the natural order of things for  child to die, whose order is this? It is our own human belief that this is the way it is to be. No guarantee.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Diary of a Grieving Mom: Sick with emotion


July 26
I can't keep track of time. For some reason I have been stuck back in the middle of July but somehow time keeps moving forward. 
Lately it's the little things that get me ... like having the last kind of ice cream Xavier ever ate. He wasn't well when he had it but he still enjoyed what he could of it. 
No kid should ever have to have their last ice cream at 7 years old. 
Then the sad thought that when Mackenzie comes home from a night at her grandparents that Xavier won't be coming home with her. He hasn't just been gone for a visit. He is gone forever. 

July 27
How do you choose God what child will get cancer and die? If you have our lives planned our paths already laid out how do you pick... do you ask them before they come to earth? Do you give them a choice at time of death? I don't understand how such a loving God could allow so many children sick and die. I get that it is a much bigger picture and everything matters and is connected to the life of another person... so if so many kids weren't dying of cancer those scientists and researches wouldn't have purpose or find that cure to help so many. But their deaths are a sacrifice for someone else's life... it sets off chain reaction the ripple effect. So again how do you choose which lives will be affected? 

My realities are so messed up. Now when I look at pictures of us all together it feels like a dream. Having that life with you seems so distant already that it feels like it was never real but only in a dream I had once. 
I dream now of a life with you forgetting we had one. 
The longer we are without you the more that life feels like it's fading and hurts more because it's forcing me to live in this new reality without you. I am trying so hard to hold on to you it's not healthy I know because it will keep me suffering 
I forget that there was more in my life that made me happy than just you.
When I look at your picture from years ago when you were well and looked like the old Xavier I can do it without crying at least for a few moments. But one glance at a more recent picture of you and I am full of tears. I hardly recognize you after seeing pictures of you well. I didn't realize how much you had changed because I was with you as you changed and we didn't usually have so many pictures around from years before. It makes me so sad that you had to go away even before you went away. 

"The goal of grief is to say goodbye to our child on all levels, to embrace the contribution our child was able to make to life and to exercise gratitude for the life that was, albeit all too short. To identify and express anger as a natural, human response is one of the steps on the way to recovery."

I am sick with emotion.
As the day goes on I fill with anxiety, wanting wishing for the day to be over. It happens day after day the feeling washes over me again as I yearn for this day to be over again and again. 
My days are long and hard only tiny slits of sun peak through 
My mind is racing yet to an outsider I am hardly moving I am left with no energy as I try to make sense of the incomprehensible 
I hold in so many tears yet it feels as though I cry waterfalls every day 
I wonder how others have made it through 

July 29
Mark just found a cassette tape in his garage stereo and it was Led Zeppelin ... of course Xavier's favourite 

The simplest things bring a lump in my throat like watching a fluffy feather float from the tree to lay on the ground in front of the kids playset. My thought immediately drifts to Xavier in Heaven. 


Aug 1
Today we head out for our first family vacation without our whole family. Going away without Xavier seems so wrong and fills me with so many mixed emotions. It's a step in the right direction towards our new life without him physically here but not without much pain. 
To say I have bad days is an understatement. These so called bad days split me open again to the very core. I feel every fibre of my heart breaking apart again. I sob uncontrollably and I lay in fetal position wishing I could go be with Xavier. It's in those moments that I don't think I can do this... the pain is so great I lose all sense of control. The hope I may have had yesterday dies and I wonder how others have survived this misery, this torture we know as the watered down euphemism grief! 


Aug 3
Vacation without you
It's been so hard to enjoy our only summer vacation but it's too hard without you. You have been on my mind every minute here. 

August 5
Had a dream last night about a big tornado. The weather was terrible but as we (was with friends but could exactly tell who) looked beyond the darkening clouds it looked light. We watched and saw the dark blue and grey clouds with pinkish orange sky underneath. Long fingerlings shot out from the bubbling cloud reaching both up to the heavens and to the side of the cloud before appearing to come down. At that point we ran to the basement for safety. It didn't take long and the storm was over and beyond was sunlight and calm. 

A crashing awakening

I have attempted in making sense of what's in my mind, my heart, in writing recently with little success. 

This skill I thought I had for perfectly pairing words to make beautiful lines of symmetry have become a multi-vehicle pileup on 401 near Woodstock. 

Words and thoughts colliding with each other in every direction and spinning out of control only to come to rest in places not meant to be driven. 

And as this mess inside my head ensues, it slows every other function of my body. Much like the ensuing traffic jam after the crash. But somewhere, somehow, life goes on and traffic flows on other roads much like the lives of those around me. I am stuck in this misery, but it's only on one highway - mine. 

See I have already veered off in a direction and travelled much further than had intended when I started this drive.

There has been a slow transformation happening within me since Xavier died. I did not realize it until recently reflecting on these changes inside me. 

It all started with a song. A friend on Facebook had posted a song. Although I can't remember the title of the song, it resonated with me so I clicked the link to listen. The song was good, but I was curious to see what else this musician had done. That's when I came across a song featured in the Christian movie The Shack. Immediately I didn't care about the song. I was intrigued by this movie after reading a short synopsis about a grieving father who lost his daughter. 

I watched the movie. Then I watched it again with my husband. Both of us in tears as our hearts and souls grappled with the messages from this movie. I still wanted more. So I found the book at the library and read it within three days. It was so much better than the movie but most are. 

Nothing happens for a reason. It was meant to be that I stumble on this movie that gave me some peace, some explanation to ease the pain of losing Xavier. Yet at the same time it made me question so many things and left me longing to learn more.

I started googling. I picked up the Bible and began reading scripture. I searched my own heart and continued to wrestle with ideas about life, God and the universe in my mind.

God is good. 

I don't blame him for what happened to Xavier. He is not the reason for my pain. But He is using this experience to pull me closer to Him. 

He is speaking to me; in my dreams, in meditation and in my heart. I never understood when people said God talked to them, but through my experiences with Xavier I am seeing, rather feeling this. 

I know when he is telling my heart something. It's my heart not my mind that I listen to. He is here with me and helping me figure this life out without my precious son Xavier. 

I get Him more now than I ever did. Do I have questions, yes of course. Do I still have doubts? Yes, of course. But I am learning to trust what's in my heart, that intuition. And when I can do that I know I am trusting God. 

Since making releasing blame for Xavier's death, I have felt more peace. An understanding for what it's worth and that as much as I miss Xavier, life still has a purpose, although I am not sure how or what it is. 

I am beginning to consciously recognize an existence beyond what is seen. To know that earth, like our bodies, are only temporary shells for which we live. Living is not a place, life is not a thing. I want to surrender, to unleash the control I think I have on life and just be. I have felt the connection to a greater being and I am hungry for more. 

My relationship with Jesus is the closest I can get to Xavier right now. I want to know His spirit. I want to see Xavier again someday in the Heavens with God. 

I am a child of God. 


Spiritual relationship