“My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it Himself.”
CS Lewis, "A Grief Observed"
I tossed and turned, cried and fidgeted all night. I woke up and finally decided to take something for my anxiety. It's been months since I've had to. My stomach churned, my heart quite literally ached. I knew that many states away and over hundreds of miles, my sweet friend was laying next to her little boy for the last night that he would occupy this world.
Sleep finally found me but I woke in a panic; sweating.
Anguish. Deep, threatening, penetrating anguish.
Such palpable pain.
The idea of his death, or my own child's for that matter, doesn't bother me. It doesn't sadden me or panic me. In fact, the idea brings me peace.
What is disturbing almost to the point of physical heaving is the knowing what comes next. It's something I can't quite wrap my head or heart around. Something that is so far beyond my comprehension is what causes this deep, frustrating anxiety for my friend and for myself.
When you have held a child's body every day for many years and been literally connected to him at the hips, shoulders, neck;
When you have cared for his every need and listened for his every breath;
When you haven't left him for more than a couple hours at a time in over 6 years...
and then suddenly his body is no longer in yours...
No really, What then?
Connor went peacefully from his mother's arms to our Father's arms this morning. Tonight she wrote a beautiful entry on her blog:
My friend. She is so brave. She is incredibly strong.
But she is a mommy who has never slept one night without her son. She is a mommy who was so tightly wound up in him, it's unbearable to think about her being separated from him in this world. So unbearable for me to think about because I feel that same, deep, incomparable physical connection to Mabel. She is draped on me day in and day out. She has become like a tumor on the side of my neck, quite literally. And to have to peel her away and release her to God one day, it's just too much to think about.
Yet I've forced myself to do that because I love Crissy deeply. I have felt empathy like this before, for Val almost a year ago when Stevie died and the year before when Stef passed. But Connor is young. He suffered with an unknown brain disease and his body jerked like Mabel's. He and his mommy are just incredibly, eerily close to my heart.
I don't think I can hold her closer, but I intend to try. I don't think I can kiss her more often, but that's always my goal. These children are only ours for a time. They are borrowed, not for keeps. I feel incredibly blessed that I know that and live with that knowledge every day because I've been able to tap into a depth of this life that many aren't able to reach.
To our buddy, who is now in Heaven...
I'm so thankful for the breath he must take unassisted. I'm so thankful for the freedom he must feel in our Heavenly home. I'm so thankful for no more suffering.
But for his mom, Crissy, please pray this holiday season and in the weeks to come.
Let's wrap her in comfort the best we can.