They say that the pain of child labor completely vanishes once you have that child in your arms, and I can attest, that is true. For sure I remember the pain of labor, healing from a c-section, and other unmentionables, but really, those pains seem so distant once I see that full head of hair, petite little girl. It is amazing how God can take the awful and make the beautiful. Beauty from ashes…
Very few people really know what Molly’s last moments were like. I wrote a blog here that shared some thoughts from her last hours. Though the words that I shared were true and not fluffed up to get some kind of great, spiritual point across, the horror was left out because, at the time, I was not ready to process it all.
Shock is literally the only word that I have for that last five minutes of her life.
I don’t know if you have ever seen a person die.
I have actually been to many death beds, but have only witnessed two deaths in my life.
That was plenty.
But with Molly, though we knew for 11 months this day would come, I wasn’t remotely prepared to experience the trepidation of her last breath.
I know that this is heavy for some, so feel free to skim ahead. But there is definitely a point to all this. A reason for sharing.
As Molly’s fingers and toes turned blue, and as her skin became gray, I was stunned at how ugly death was.
“This is not my child. My child is beautiful. Alive. Bright and pink. This is not my child…”
Her breathing was slow and sporadic. Her air passed through her lungs with a sound of soft screams, as if a small person was trapped in her lungs trying to get out.
Her breath was truly the smell of death. For as her organs began to shut down, they let off an odor of dying and decay.
Let me remind you, this was my child. My 6-year-old child.
As the last moment arrived and her breathing took a very drastic change, what I saw before me was like a fish out of water. Her chin dropped low, her body gasping for air, but to no avail. It was fighting, but was fruitless in its efforts.
It was these very gasps that haunt me still. The image of her body giving one last effort to live that I will never, ever forget.
This is death.
This is the harrowing truth that we are faced with every single day. And so often I am at a loss. I don’t understand it. I can’t look at it. I must forget it.
But then I see God the Father.
He, too, watched His Son die.
Not only die, but suffer through agony and pain for hours. He had to watch as each nail was driven in. He looked on as the thorns were pounded into his head. He saw the sweat and blood mixed together fall from his forehead. He heard the cries. And He suffered right there with Him.
What this means to me is that those of us who have lost our children, no matter how or why, have a connection with God that none other can have.
It is so hard to separate pain and blessing, so I won’t. But I dare say that I know God in an intimate way that others cannot.
Though it is a group that I never wish to be a part of, I am thankful that through this I have this communion that can never be broken.
God the Father and I understand one another. No one gets my heart better than Him. Not only because He created me, but because He has been in my shoes.
This is an awesome thought.
And I don’t mean “awesome” like “cool”. I mean my speech is taken away as I think on these things. I cannot utter a word as I dwell on how much more the gift of salvation is to us. Not only did Christ endure the pain and rejection willingly, but God the Father gave His ONLY begotten Son for me.
Maybe I am not as spiritual or giving as others, but that’s the truth.
I would never be able to give up my child for someone else. But I didn’t have a choice. God did. And He still said “yes”.
These waters are still so muddy some days. I can only be honest and real. However, I stand here today, in astonishment of who God is and what He has done for me.
So on the days when my world falls around me and as a parent who lost a child, I feel lost and desperate for relief, I will focus on this lesson.
He lost too. He knows my pain and hurt. He sits beside me and weeps. He holds my hand to let me know that He understands. He gives me time and allows me to feel, which is something I don’t even give myself.
All I can say is what an amazing God I love.