Monday, December 28, 2009

Understanding Jesus

On December 9th at 11pm, Debbie was not to be seen.  It wasn't like her to be late.  She was one of the CNAs scheduled to work.  But before I could find out what happened, someone blurted out the news.  At 5:30 that afternoon, she was caught in traffic by the train tracks in her SUV with her two young sons aged 9 and 6 sleeping at the back, when the Amtrak train barrelled down on the car.  The boys were instantly thrown off the vehicle and killed on the spot.  Deborah was rushed to Duke, and survived.  All that the witnesses could remember was an explosion and Debbie's screams.

My legs crumpled.  A staff member fled to the bathroom and threw up. 

Later that night, I gathered my staff in a circle and,  holding hands, we offered individual prayers for the children's souls and for Deborah's peace of mind.  Fourteen months ago, she had just lost her first-born son to a shooting incident, and before this recent event,  was still visibly grieving.

I don't get it.

I don't get that we have to die in such a violent way, especially children -  in which case, people are bound to point fingers. Why leave the living in anguish and pain?  Debbie was heard to say later, "Somebody up there must really hate me."

I married late, and it took three years before I became pregnant.  It was an ecstatic moment, more so knowing we were to have twins.  But I miscarried at 13 weeks.  They would have been the first grandkids on both sides, and the third generation of twins on my side, at least.  We buried the placentas, but the memories lingered. I saw the pain in my mother's and my husband's eyes, which compounded my grief.  I felt the burden of guilt and blamed myself for the longest time, even though I am a nurse, and knew better than to do so.  My mind did, my heart didn't.  Nobody blamed me, but I tormented myself. 

Earlier this year, I was pregnant again, but lost the baby in June, at 6 weeks.  Matthew wept and the memory of my 6-year-old clinging to my bosom wailing the loss of  "my baby sister" (as he was sure it was a girl) continues to sting my heart.  My husband cried a silent tear. "She" has a simple resting place by the tree behind the house.

I am comforted by the thought that we have three angels watching over us, and that the twins now have someone else to love, and they won't be so lonely.  It takes a lot of explanation to Matthew, and I know I am not equipped.  He is on a journey to knowing Jesus, while I keep on stumbling on my way to understanding Him.

Jesus died in the most violent of fashions.  His disciples and the multitude of His followers were stricken.  They felt horrified, and scared.  And they also pointed fingers.  They were guilt-ridden.

Debbie must feel the same wretchedness as the disciples, the same unworthiness, loneliness, and grief beyond all griefs at the untimely deaths of her sons, leaving her to bear the brunt of suffering.  Fingers pointing her way must feel like a thousand daggers, even as her mind screams for mercy, and her heart wails for her loss.

I draw my analogies as I type, and so forgive my lame attempts. 

One day, I hope to understand what I have written. 


Ayie said...

SO sorry to hear all these but nobody can really answer any of these. Just keep your faith. My prayers also be with your friend and all your angels.

Anonymous said...

In a reading I heard last Thursday, it said something like this "My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways." This sentence alone has helping me going through some tough times!

I'm sorry to hear about your lost, and about Debbie! May God give you strength, and keep you and your friend comforted in his love..

Thinking of you, my dear friend!

Judy Sheldon-Walker said...

Cherie, I am so sad for your loss. I cannot imagine the pain. My oldest son has been in critical condition and in ICU not once but three times and my heart leaps every time I see him. My baby boy died in my arms. His eyes rolled up into his head, he turned blue and stiff, BUT I revived him from the CPR I learned in the army. I have witnessed so many miracles. These are only some of them, and it pains me to see you suffering so. God loves us so much. When we are in pain it is hard to fathom, but life is made up of both joy and pain.

Cherie, where are the words to comfort you? What can you give Debby but a shoulder and a prayer?
Job lost it all only to get it all back. I do not want to be tested like he was. I am not as strong. I pray that Debby finds comfort and strength in God.

RNSANE said...

Cherie, after reading of your losses and the horrible tragedies of Debbie's, I wonder what right I have to lament the loss of my job of 21 years. You write beautifully and I am glad you have that outlet to express your pain and grief. It is so hard, at times like this, not to rant and rail against the Creator. One does question why these things happen, of course, but to be able to reconcile such events with God's will and to reach some sort of peace is, to me, a miracle of sorts. May you and Debbie both feel that miracle. My love to both of you.

Brian Miller said...

there are some questions we may never know the answer to...maybe His death in some way allowed Him to feel the pain He knew we would feel, and His choice to live and offer life anyway...i dunno...its never easy...

otin said...

I guess it all depends on your faith as to how you look at things. If you believe that everything happens for a reason, then you should hold onto that and be comforted by that thought.

BTW I understood the post perfectly.

Sabrina said...

I'm so very sorry for your friend's loss and your losses too. I will pray for her!

rainfield61 said...

My prayers also be with your friend and all your angels.

Thinking of you, my dear friend!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Words fail but the tears flow freely. As much as we grieve, Christ grieves even more and it's not someone "up there" who hates us; it is Lucifer, Satan, the devil and he seeks to destroy us Any and All Ways he is able.
Christ died so we might have eternal life and in doing so, He gave us the gift, not only of salvation but of Faith.
The more we hold onto our grief, the less able we are to give it to Jesus. Each and every time grief enters your mind...Give It To Jesus, immediately! Trust Him to sustain you, to comfort you and to bring peace and rest to your mind and heart. That's my advice to Debbie as well.
How many times must you give it to Jesus?
Only one more time than grief is brought to mind and heart. That's all, just one more time.
You, yours and Debbie are in my prayers.

Whitemist said...

Suffering does seem to be the staple of this world.
All we who suffer together can really do is to hold on and not add to the suffering.
My prayers are with you and your friend.

cherie said...

What comforting words you offer, my dear friends. Debbie was on my mind so much when I wrote this and so I apologize for having taken some of the attention . I have been way over my own grief.

I do not think death is the most monstrous of all tragedies. It is a far worse tragedy to be a prisoner in one's own mind. I pray that she find the strength to move on and not dwell on the agony of the past.

You know how much easier it is to carry our burden when we think of others carrying heavier yokes? What then of the man who carries the heaviest load (in his own perception)? How do we console him? So many ways, but so difficult.

I hope Jesus touches her as He has touched so many others. Thank you, again, for sharing your warm thoughts with me.

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