There's a component to grieving the death of my children, that I did not experience with other deaths. With my father, mother, sister, brother and close friends…after their deaths, it was quite different.
With the deaths of my children, every little indiscretion I had ever done…was magnified to the umpteenth degree. Every shortcoming of mine, was accelerated to "Mortal Sin" status. I agonized over how I failed them, no matter how small. For instance, once when I was in a hurry, I had on my "to do list", trimming little Lisa's fingernails. But I nicked her fingernail skin, and she even bled a bit. I felt very badly at the time, but after she died I was a wreck remembering that happened. I even picked up a nail clipper and…you can fill in the rest.
With no other kind of death, have I agonized over any supposed "failings". I might have a quick thought or two about something I did or did not do-but there was never the soul crushing, "How could I?" that accompanied my children's deaths.
I look back now, and I can focus on the fact that I was trying to do a good thing... that later went all wrong. In the beginning of my grief, I never could focus on anything I did that was "right" oriented. Only the negative outcomes were focused on. And they were my constant accusers, and thought torturers. (Satan is called "The Accuser" for a reason!)
And with the amount of soul pain that caused me, I cannot imagine the agony of survivors of those whose children died by suicide…
Finally telling myself that I was turning my back on God, by refusing His forgiveness for any of my trespasses (real or imagined) against my deceased family, is where I found my soul- peace. If God Himself said I was "forgiveness-worthy"…who was I to say, "No, God…that 'aint gonna happen…" By allowing God to forgive me, and giving myself permission to forgive myself, I finally found rest for my soul.
"Goodbye" has a word origin that I never knew until recently. It comes from the contracted phrase, "God be with you." How fascinating to me, that what we bereaved Moms struggle so with-"The Goodbye"….that this word "goodbye", has at its roots, the presence of God being invoked!
Not having been able to have had any last words to my husband or children, caused me so much pain... It seemed to me at the time, there was no more communication possible. I realized after awhile, that because they are "with God", when I communicate with God, we can communicate with each other- through God!. That there really is no ceasing of communication after death. "God be with you" …changes everything! Because with death, "Goodbye" also means, "Hello Again!" Thanks be to God.
I think it is the normal reaction to losing a child. And you are right about suicide; the guilt is unbearable. Some how over time there is the realization you would probably do the same thing over again cause that's just life. I loved my children as so did you and did the very best I could...even the unintentional mistakes....all out of that love. I think lots of parents have done the same ouchy nail clippings, too. If we could have prevented the harm that came their way they would be here still. It just isn't up to us.
I never knew about the meaning of "good bye".....a wonderful enlightenment for me today! Now, all we have to wait for is the Hello again! Much love, Dale
Thanks Dale, and yes…waiting for that "Hello", and Reunion embrace, is what keeps so many of us able to keep trudging along on this journey!
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