There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Daughters of mine

At Mark's viewing at the funeral home, a woman gave me a well-intended, yet curious, piece of advice. She told me not to forget about my daughters. My response...(in my head, of course) What?!! Forget about my daughters? My daughters were the only reason that I was still living and breathing...the only reason that I could think of to go on at all. How could I possibly forget them?

She was, as she went on to tell me, speaking from personal experience. Her brother had died when she and her sisters were children and she told me that her parents had basically "forgotten" about the girls. And, as sad as it is that she had to endure that...I can understand how easily it can happen. I hasn't happened to us, but it is a daily struggle. Not because we don't love our girls every ounce as much as we love Mark, but because it would be easier to give in to the grief and give up on life. It just hurts that much.

It is a delicate balance between grief and happiness when you have other children to care for. Life stopped for us when Mark died, but yet, my husband and I are responsible for these other, equally as precious, lives that depend on us for everything. Should I decide that I just don't want to live through this sorrow another day...I am condemning those precious girls to even more emotional turmoil than they have already experienced. They long for us, their parents, to be "okay". They have their moments of sadness as well as sharing in many family moments of sorrow. However, for the most part, they want life to be "normal" again...whatever that is. We have no choice but to do our best to appear function well enough to keep us from literally going crazy. Our girls deserve that. They deserve better, but it is all we can do right now. Grief is an all-encompassing monster that can consume every bit of energy that I have. But, in the midst of fighting off the pain, I must purposely make time for the joy.

I can't explain how much my love has grown for these extraordinary little people that live in my house. I appreciate everything so much more. I try and absorb each little tidbit that they throw my way. The smiles, laughs, cuddles, jokes and conversation. It all means so much more than it ever did. The only problem is that most of the time my broken spirit overwhelms me to the point that I can only focus on how much I miss Mark. It is certainly frustrating. I can forget the pain for a few moments when I am basking in the special moments that come, but as soon the time is over, my mind is violently jerked back to the reality of grief. The truth is, I have to say goodbye to Mark each day just like the day he died.

The sweetness mixed with the sorrow is bittersweet and not what I had planned for my life. That is why I am trying so very hard to realize that it is not MY life. I gave it to God long ago and I intend to see what He has in store for me. My lack of understanding doesn't mean that God doesn't know what He is doing. I wish that I had the answers...I find myself pondering the "whys" each day, even though I may never know here on earth.

I will choose to be thankful for the 2 magnificent years that I had with my son and to be equally as thankful for my 4 beautiful, curious, intelligent, energetic, compassionate and caring daughters whom, as my Granny used to say, "I love to pieces"!

I love you girls!

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