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, February 17, 2011


I don't remember what I used to worry about before Mark died. What did my mind obsess about at night when thoughts wouldn't go away and was there something in particular that bothered me when I got up in the morning? I really can't recall.

What I do know is that now my mind never rests. Thoughts about Mark are ever present and though sometimes is still doesn't seem real that he is gone. Sometimes it doesn't seem real that he was ever here. But then, there are those pictures...always his sweet face looking back at me and so real that I can almost hear his voice.

Mark's death has launched me into a perpetual state of worry for the safety of my other children. It is overwhelming and exhausting. This morning, I couldn't help but wonder why Maegan had slept so soundly during the night. She usually sleeps all night, but there is always a cough or movement that wakes me once or twice. Not last night. I awoke to terrifying thoughts that she must be dead in her crib. What would I do? I kept picturing myself walking in to her room and finding her there...wondering how I would handle the situation. I so traumatized my oldest daughter after finding Mark in the water by screaming and kicking that I wouldn't want to do that again. Would I send them all outside so that I could scream and cry and hold her lifeless little body in my arms? I could even envision what she looked like dead. Why? Because I have seen my own child dead. Lifeless and losing the color from his skin while I hold him. The biggest blessing of the day was running to Maegan's room, opening her door and seeing her chest moving up and down with every breath. I even had to touch her and feel the warmth.

This is the ugly truth of grief...of the entire process. It makes most of life seem so trivial when your mind is occupied with such painful "what ifs" and the truth of what has already happened. The worst part is that I know what it would feel like if it happened again. I could imagine it and feel it as a real occurrence.

A few days ago, my children and I were listening to a song in the car that had to do with God's miracles being all around us in our daily lives. I could tell that my eight year old was bothered by something and so I turned the song down and asked her what was on her mind. Very matter-of-factly she stated that "There was no miracle when Mark was in the hospital...God didn't give us a miracle then." Then, she just turned her head and stared out the window. I said nothing. She was right.

Where does all this lead? Trust in God? The Bible commands it and I fail every time. I know that trusting God with my children doesn't mean that He won't take another one from me. It didn't keep Him from taking Mark. It means that I am supposed to trust God in all of His decisions and know that they are right. I do because I have no choice. If I didn't trust in a plan and purpose there would be no point in going on at all.

Is it supposed to keep me from having obsessive, disturbing and worrisome thoughts? Maybe. I'm working on it. The process is much harder and longer than I could have ever imagined.


  1. Angie,
    I can so relate to everything you have written here. The worry for my other children is great, as well. I live constantly in fear of finding them lifeless, I know the look and it's not one I ever care to see again.

    I struggle mightily with the purpose of prayer. If God has it all planned out, why pray? I've been considering doing a post on my blog on this topic but have held back for fear of the feedback I might get. Last week I received a comment, which I did not post, telling me that Laynee's death was sad but senseless. Anonymous (of course) proceeded to tell me that children should never be left unattended and that because Laynee was special she needed an "extra eye." Thank you so much, anonymous, I'm sure I've never thought of such a thing. By the way, I lost my child, not my brain.

    I feel so confuse and so lost right now. Some days I feel like it's going to suck the life out of me.

    Wish you were nearby so that we could sit and pour out our hearts to each other. I so long for someone who knows all the variables of such a tragedy.

    On a side note, when we had our huge midwestern blizzard a couple of weeks ago, I wrote Mark's name countless times in the snow. I wanted to send you a picture for your gallery. However, the snow was so bright that I couldn't get a decent picture. Know that I thought of Mark alot in those days. Not sure why, I just did.

    Have you read the book "Heaven is For Real" If not, please send me your mailing information. I would love to send this book to you. It is a beautiful depiction of heaven, one that I think would be meaningful to your entire family.

  2. Sweet Angie,
    How my hearts aches for all of you. I want you to know that you, Joe, your precious girls are always in my prayers.

    I can still see Mark when I close my eyes, not at the hospital (though I remember that), but at church in the pew when I could get a chance to steal him out of Beth's arms and hold him.

    I know nothing of your pain first hand or of God's plan except that he has one.

    I want you to know that I am constantly sending prayers your way and I am here for all of you.

  3. Right there with you...every word.

    Thinking of you....and praying with you as we both live this new life.

  4. I am an Angel Mom too, and I found this quote that helped me today. I, too, have had my times when I have struggled with knowing that it wasn't my turn to receive a miracle when my Angels passed away, but this made sense to me.

    "When someone has an ailment or an illness and they are healed as the result of a blessing, their faith is being strengthened. But for those who aren't healed but continue faithful, their faith is being perfected. The first is a faith-promoting experience. The second is a faith-perfecting experience."