Sunday, February 7, 2010

Taking His Word For It

Yesterday I remembered some precious counsel given early concerning the deaths of my children. I thought it was a good time to share.

With Jackson, my stillborn, a personal experience revealed that his death was linked to my husband and I realizing our destiny in life. His death is a part of our “mission”, whatever that is. Knowing that has given me immense peace. Still, I am not far enough down the road to see the destiny, the mission, the job, the work, or whatever it is that we are to do. And of course, still, my heart is broken. Knowing there is a purpose to a trial does not exempt anyone from the painful process. It in no way lessons the loss or shortens the required road.

A few months after Claire died, I got mastitis, a painful breast infection. It was a serious complication of only being able to pump. The mucus was green (TMI, I know) and indicated that I might soon be back in the OR for a quick surgery to clean out the infection. I was terrified at the thought of going back to that place. I asked my husband for a blessing.

In the LDS church, a blessing is like a super charged prayer. Through it, you can receive physical healing or strength or verbal answers to big questions. We can always pray privately and receive such answers as well. But sometimes there is a desire for more and the Priesthood is a channel to get more. I believed that Blue, using his priesthood could tune in to a higher power. He placed his hands on my head and clearing his mind, related to me words that our Father in Heaven spoke.

I did not tell Blue all that was on my heart. I seldom do, being so private! I tell him a lot. But not every little fear or question in my mind. What I was looking for in the blessing was that I would not have to go back to the OR, or else some peace about it if I had to. My anxiety was out of control! In the blessing I did get my answers concerning mastitis, and my anxiety was gone. But that was not all. Blue went on to say that someday answers would come to the many questions I had inside. The part I recalled yesterday: that there was a progression taking place, and the end result led to joy and happiness.

Joy? Happiness? I heard it and knew that it came from my Father and not my husband. But was He crazy? He must be crazy. There was NO way I could ever be fully happy again. Not now, not after I had to watch my daughter fight so hard for life and death.

I thought, “Maybe, maybe I could one day have been happy again after Jackson died, but this is too much. I am beyond happiness. My life is all about survival now. Maybe you’re not aware of how much I loved those babies and how much exactly it tore me apart to lose them. Maybe You don’t realize how much was at stake for my family with Claire.”

“Oh Lord, You’re not kidding when You say that Your thoughts are not my thoughts and Your ways are not my ways. I will try to trust you here, but I think You’re plum crazy to take two big babies from me and think it’s going to lead me to happiness.”

Some people might think I am blasphemous to think such things. Others may think I am dumb to participate in any type of prayer or conversation at all. I have seldom been blindly faithful. I have quite a few questions and some of my own opinions. I get angry with God sometimes. I don’t get Him and I ask LOTS of questions. I almost laughed out loud when Blue said the words about this being part of a plan for happiness. I tell the Lord of these doubts because it’s not like I could hide them from Him anyway.

Then I hold on to the words of promise. I believe. I try to do my part, discern my purpose. I wait, knowing as I said that I can’t cheat the process or earn a reward without the work.

Yesterday, when that promise came back to me, I decided to share it. It will no doubt be a LONG time before I can say that I am soooo happy and that all is well. I don’t even know if this blog will survive that long. But I want to throw it out there. He said that there is a plan that I don’t understand that will lead to joy and happiness, two things that I can honestly say I haven’t had a ton of in my life. I cannot change the past. I am resigned to look for my place in this future. So far there’s a lot of work: the day to day grind or living with deep reaching grief, caring for a depressed child, letting go or readjusting goals and dreams, losing and gaining relationships, seeking to understand as well as to be understood, living with emptiness, living isolated, physically recovering…

It’s hard to see good in the midst of the work. But I trust the process. I lately have thought, maybe so many things in my life have to die to make room for something new and better. Maybe this is pulling weeds and tilling the garden because something beautiful is going to grow. God knows better what I need than I do.

I want it to all be documented. I want to be able to share it all, not just the flowers. Because I think it doesn’t mean as much to flout blessings after they are realized and say, “I knew God would do something great. I just knew it. I remember a blessing when He said He would and look – He did.” Those type of things make good stories, but I want more. I want to connect with others with pain and sorrow, others who are pushing through a darkness seeking for a light. It’s such a hard process and not being alone makes it easier. I think if you are not willing to look at the ugly, you won’t be able to truly see the beautiful. I think if you have never felt pain, you can’t enjoy feeling wonderful, if you have never battled sickness you can’t appreciate and enjoy health. If I only posted the good days, the days I have peace and faith, and good friends surrounding me, I would certainly LOOK good, but what would that do for anyone but myself? People long to be understood in their pain and weakness, because it’s there that character is truly tested and that’s where we find ourselves in need of others. That’s where we have the opportunity to meet God, to be used for His greater good, to gain confidence in ourselves and our friendships, Him, and this mysterious life.


Anonymous said...

I found your blog by accident somehow, some way. Maybe it was meant to be.

I too have been through tortuous grievences and heartache. While mine isn't losing a child, hell, we have tried for years and can't get pregnant.

But, I know how it is to lose three loved ones in 2 years. At the ripe old age of 19, I lost my mother, grandfather, brother who was my best friend, and two sisters all within an 26 month time frame. I asked for priesthood blessings, I tried to understand, I really did. What I got tired of were the comments by the insensitive church members who say, 'HF doesn't give you more than you can handle'. I call BS, I had suicide attempts, suicide ideation and gained 65 lbs in one year.
While I don't know you, I get you. I get the angry sarcasm, I get the you want to help yet you don't want to help attitude.
I too hope to find happiness one day, but for me, I don't see it happening. I live a good honest life, yes, not in the church, but I am still a geniune honest nice person who tries to live a simple life yet God still punishes me and puts challenges in front of me daily. I am ready for my happiness, it is my turn, as it is yours.

Kaylani said...

Kelly~ this post was so beautiful. I'm sure that's not what it was meant to be. I don't know how anyone dealing with immense grief can read your blog and not find peace. You have an incredible talent with words and expressing yourself in a tangible, relateable way. Although I have never felt pain of your magnitude, I hurt for you as a mother. I pray that you don't feel 'punished by God'. I know that you said that you don't know what your mission is yet through all of this and it may be hard to see, being you, but I feel like you're in the middle of it now. What you are doing for yourself is so theraputic, but what it is doing for others, I believe, is so priceless. I love you, Kelly. I really do. I pray for you to have peace and especially joy! You are an incredible woman with the ability to bless hundreds through your words. Love you!

Kelly said...

I want to thank you, Anonymous, for your openness. What a crazy thing that you found my blog -just a few hours after I posted. I am sorry for your immense losses. I too have lost many loved ones in the last 3 years. I know what it feels like to think you have a note on your back saying, "kill people i love!" But of course I don't know what YOU went though, or still have to go through because of your losses...
I think a lot of people are tired of hearing that famous mormon cliche about not getting more than we can handle. It's so easy to say, and to take comfort in when you are not in a trial. In it though, even if it's true, it doesn't help at all!!!
From my own experiences, i can say that sometimes I have not done my part in getting happiness, but other times, someone else has not done their part. I think we will die and ask "why" about a lot of pain and the Lord will show us how He sent so and so to help us but so and so chose not to. And i feel that, then, somehow, we will be ok in the end.
It's hard for me that God does not reveal answers when we feel we need them. But what can I do? I am not him! I can't make up answers! I hope that if I get smarter, He will be able to give me understanding sooner! Who knows.
Compliment yourself. You are great. You're amazing. If not so, God would not bother to be in your life at all. Look at all the great people on this earth. No great leader got where he/she was without major trials.
I am so glad you are hanging in there. My dad committed suicide and I now can see how it feels like the thing to do at times. But we have to hope for a better season. I live for my family because I don't want them to have the pain I have. You will have a better season. And you will cherish it all the more because you know what it feels like to live in a bad season.
Thanks again for your comment!

Holly B said...

you amaze me. you are so wonderfu in everything that you do. i am so glad i found this blog and that you are able to express your feelings and help every person that reads your words. thank you for being such a great friend and a wonderful caring mother to look up to. I LOVE YOU KELLY and your friendship!! and your wonderful family too. and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts so I can try and get a glimpse of how you my friend feels. GOD will bless you all xoxoxox

Anonymous said...

Hi - I stumbled upon your blog looking for stillbirth support groups. Whats funny is that every website I went to seemed to only have ladies that have lost one child. I feel exactly like you with the whole "lightning strikes twice" thing. My husband and I were pregnant with twin boys in 2006. On Mother's day I found out my son Noah passed away. Thankfully my son Ethan was born healthy. Nothing like bringing your 3 week old to his brothers funeral. Three years later we found out we were expecting a baby boy. On January 17th 2010 (Sunday) I noticed Seth was less active. My husband, son and I went to the hospital just to get checked. We found out Seth had passed away. I gave birth to my little man on January 18 2010. Same exact day that Noah passed away 34 weeks 6 days. The fact that I have more dead children then living children kills me! I often think what it would be like to have all my boys here with me. I would love to be the crazy lady with the out of control twin boys and the new baby boy. I hate that my son has had to attend 2 funerals already in his short life and both have been for his brothers. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I know God does everything for a reason. I know it is all part of his plan I just wish I knew why we had to go through so much pain. Thanks for sharing your story and making realize I'm not alone :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. You're such a strong person and an inspiration.

Los Torrientes said...

Pretty sure you're going to have to give that talk at General Conference, that's why you wrote it down... Not sure it that's what you were going for, but that's obviously what we all got out of it. I couldn't tell if you were full of hope or despair, it just seemed so beautiful and faith filled in spite of it all. Please keep writing, even when it's all the "good stuff" and you're filled with joy and happiness. And I hate to break it to you, Mrs. Reality Blogger, but you already make you look good. :)

Tiffani Talks said...

Kelly, thanks for sharing your experiences. How "real" you are is refreshing. I'm just sitting here in a puddle of tears, so heartbroken for all of your losses. I wish no one ever had to go through the pain you've had to experience. I'm so sorry.