"Wanted Dead or Alive," the old song sung by the group Bon Jovi, has made me think closely about that title choice, from the bereaved mom viewpoint. I certainly wanted my children and husband back in any way, shape or form I could have them. Heck, I was ecstatic finding some of Lisa's hair in her old hairbrush one day long ago. But "Dead or Alive" seems to me rather redundant phraseology. Because "dead" refers only to the physical body being dead and not the most important "me" part of us--our soul. That can never die. Our souls are safely held by God in secure, vault-like safety because of His over-reaching Omnipotence:
"I give them eternal life, and they can never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one will snatch them out of the Father's hand." (John 10:28-29)
There's no room for doubt in what He says there. My husband and children's souls, all our souls, are safe with God. Any matter of destruction may come to us physically, sometimes with resultant physical death (like with my family) BUT their souls, all souls of the departed are still unscathed and untouched by the errors of humans. Because of God's Omnipotence, nobody can do anything to us unless it is allowed from above. No matter how awful, there's a reason why something bad's been allowed to happen to us or to our loved ones. I've been so relieved these 30 plus years, trusting that God had a reason why my husband, son and daughter all died instantly in a senseless crash . . . and why I survived.
Speaking about "survival," we had a visit by our Presiding Bishop (Episcopal church) who made a comment I thought befitting for us, bereaved parents. Talking about our departing rector and upcoming "change," she said essentially that after a wound, scar tissue will form. But . . . The important thing is . . . "Scar tissue is always tougher than regular skin."
That's how I feel, that bereaved moms and dads are tough. Constant repetition of our "triggers" causes scar tissue to form over wounded areas. And sensitivity to painful stimuli has been lost in those areas that are now substantially more tough and thick. Amen to that!
We're a tough lot, us bereaved. When I go in for weekly accupuncture treatments, my nurse asks me every time in a monotone voice, a few routine questions asked all patients,
"Has anyone punched, slapped, hit or otherwise physically hurt you in the past week?"
I guess domestic violence is pretty prevalent, unfortunately. But what about emotional abuse? I've read that can be even worse than physical abuse in a troubled relationship.
As far as I feel, there's no greater emotional pain and heart-stabber than the loss of children; the emotional equivalent of being on Death Row. The ultimate faith-questioner and the greatest potential for spiritual growth due to the extreme flexing of all our resources to cope.
The Bishop said something funny to conclude her sermon last week. I think it's appropriate for bereaved parents facing "change," too.
"Nobody likes change. Except of course, "wet" babies!"
Thankfully, we have a Saviour Who knows all about profound loss and bountiful gain, and how to help us make the best of it.