Saturday, January 2, 2010

5 Weeks....

My sweet little boy would have been 5 weeks old today. I realize I can't go on counting the weeks forever, but I feel like I will...even if only in my head and heart.

A lot of thoughts are rambling around my brain right now. I still continue to be in shock. I have no idea how 5 weeks can seem like eternity and yet it has flown by. I cannot tell you how thankful I was to see Valentine's Day stuff in the Exchange today. Time, thankfully, marches on.

Unfortunately, all those who tell me that time doesn't make it better but helps lessen the intensity must have a different time schedule than I do because the sting is still here...and it is still intense. Still seems so fresh, so raw. I literally can smell the hospital room. I can feel them lifting me off the hospital bed and onto the operating table. I can count every single hair on the back of Matthew's head as the nurses whisk him away--that's how close to the surface of my mind the events of the last 5 weeks are.

We have just continued to be enveloped in people praying for us and loving us...asking questions of God that puzzle them and they expect would puzzle us as well. Why? Why us? What's the purpose? What are we supposed to learn? Friends and family, and even complete strangers who instantly become friends and family tell me they don't understand--they are hurt, and hurt for us. They are mad and mad for us. They, and we, continue to remain just numb.

The thing is...I think the thing I am most is disappointed. I'm not questioning God--He's God and I'm not. But, I would be completely and totally hypocritical if I did not admit that I am disappointed in God. I know this is awful. I know this is not fair for me to feel in light of the many, many blessings that God has given me.

But it's where my heart is. I am disappointed...I have tried to live my life the way I thought God wanted. I have tried to be a good family member, a good friend and a good Christian. I have claimed God as my Lord and Christ as my Savior. I publicly and privately give Him thanks for all my blessings. I constantly try to follow What Would Jesus Do mentality and I have tried, to the best of my human ability, to be faithful and to maintain hope and faith even when it's been hard. Hard--ha ha...that word makes me laugh. I never knew what hard was until I was forced to deal with losing Matthew. Let me say right now, there are LOTS of us who don't know what the word hard really means.

I'm disappointed because in light of all that I've done...the way I have tried to live my life has been to glorify God...and yet--I'm being tested in a most torturous way. I'm disappointed because I thought I was living the way I should live and would be the recipient of the good that God says He gives to those who love the Lord. And I feel like I've been let down.

Which also makes me feel disappointed in myself for being so audacious to be disappointed in God. Who am I?

I'm also angry, but not for the reasons one might think. I'm angry because I feel like this is all a test for me...I made a promise and God called me on it. My anger is because if this is MY test, it should NOT hurt so many others so. No one else made my promise. No one else deserves this torment so that I can come out of it where God wants me to be. Most of all, John does not deserve this. He does not deserve to suffer this hell because God's working in my heart and on my faith. I'm angry because my test should be my suffering...certainly not John's and DEFINITELY not Matthew's.

I realize I will incur messages that will tell me Matthew did not suffer or that he's in a better place or question who I think I am to have input into how God decides to use each of us for His plans and I probably deserve those messages. It doesn't change how I feel, though, and I guess this is all part of the process I'm in. Like I said, I have all sorts of things rambling through my head.

I just know that if this is my test, there's no reason that John had to endure the torture he did in watching the dozens of people work on Matthew, seeing his precious newborn son be poked and prodded...hold his dying son as his heart beat for the last time. Those are things that I have the luxury of NOT facing because I can choose to NOT look at the pictures; I couldn't have been there at Georgetown as Matthew died if I tried (which I did, by the way). Those memories that John will have to deal with forever are ones he should never have--and I'm angry that he's suffering so much.

I'm sure the mood of this post shows this was a hard day for both of us and it was. But you know what? Every day is a hard day. Every day I look in the mirror and think, "Whew...must have been a rough day because I look like I just survived the Holocaust." Every day. I don't think I will ever look like myself again.

And I won't. I'm not the person I used to be. The person I am now is defeated and grieving. The person I am now is absolutely and forever will be devastated that I have clothes my child will never wear, arms that will always ache to hold him, and is trying with every breath I take to muster hope for a larger family--though there will always be one missing in every family dinner, vacation and picture. And I look like it.

That's what 5 weeks of having a hole in your heart looks like. I can't imagine what toll a lifetime with that hole will take.


  1. It's ok to be disappointed. I am disappointed for you. My heart aches for you, and I pray daily for strength and His comfort on you and your family.

    Rose Kennedy once said,
    "It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone."

    I pray daily that God will lessen your pain and begin to close the hole in your heart... though the memory of precious Matthew and his story will never be forgotten.

  2. My heart continues to ache for you...I'm so sorry that these are such awful days for you. Please hold on to the faith that God has blessings for you and John that none of us can imagine. And hold on to each other. You will get thru this and we are with you thru the good and the bad.

  3. You are so brave and every time you post you are displaying such courage and faith and I can not, for the life of me, figure out how one woman can have so much courage. I have no doubt that your blog will one day save someone's life....seriously. You are an amazing, faithfull, courageous woman. I am a silent reader for most of the blogs I visit..but I felt moved to tell you today how strong you are.

  4. Thank you for sharing with us what you are feeling. I hope that it helps lessen your load so that we can carry even just a small part of it right now. We all love you so much and want to do anything we can to hold you up right now. You have touched us all in ways that you could never even know. You are special, Lori. Did you know that? There is something about you that draws us all to you. Before you lost Matthew, before you were given Matthew, you have a gift. A very special gift and I am so very happy that you are able to use it through the blog world. I agree with Michelle's comment: you will save someone's life someday with your words. They are so real. And we all thank you for that. It helps those of us who love you and are so worried about you to know how you are instead of just hearing silence. I can see now that the silence is not a good way to handle a tragedy like this and I wish I had handled my own very differently. You could have helped me. And you are after the fact. You are one of the greatest gifts of friendship God has ever gifted me with. And I thank Him for you every single day.

  5. I can't know the toll it's taking but many of us can imagine it. Thinking about time easing the intensity of pain is agreed useless now ~ so soon. I think as you mentioned that this pain will always be there in your heart but I do think it must get easier with time.... with years, decades. My hope is that it does for you and for John. My grandmother lost a baby during the birth process and she talked with me about that baby on occasion but certainly 40, 50, 60 years later it seemed she had grown some perspective on the pain. Her sharing her loss with me (before I ever had my own children) gave me insight into the depth of bonding mother's do have with their children that they don't even get to have and hold for the lifetime that they should have had. And I think that has helped me appreciate my children even more than I would have. This might not just be a test for you.... I am sure there are lessons in your loss. I'm so sorry you have this hole in your heart and family. Always praying for you to feel peace.

  6. I too am so sorry for your pain and grief. But it does seem you are managing and going through the normal steps of grief. I'm sure it has to be good for you to blog and write about your feelings. I pray it brings you closer to the Lord and gives you strength and clarity to continue on in this year of new beginnings. Thanks for being an open book and sharing as it encourages us all. We all have trials of some sort and we all need to witness His healing and to know He is reliable and trustworthy for us to cast our cares upon. Praying you are ok. Wish I could give you a hug.

  7. Lori:

    I hope you always feel free to grieve the way you want to grieve, not the way any of us think you should. It's very personal. You will do it your way and John his way and your extended family in their ways. I will keep praying that you feel free to "do it your way" no matter what folks say about that.

    Kathy W

  8. When I link to your page, I never know what I'm going to find. It used to be that I'd chuckle or maybe shake my head at the idiosyncrasies of elementary ed. or the medical community. Lately, of course, it's been a sob fest laced with spiritual ponderings and the overriding desire to comfort.

    It seems to me that your feelings and responses are true and valid for you; it's *your* journey. I'm not as deep in my Bible studies as I'd like, so for me, there are a couple of things I'm not sure about: Does God test only one person at a time? Does he test only "you" exclusively and not "you" inclusively? Isn't John a part of "you"? And the other thing is, does God say he's going to test us "so far and no farther"? Isn't it a harder (pardon the word) test because other people are involved? Doesn't that make how you're facing it even more of a victory?

    I know I'm not saying these ideas well. So many of the people who follow your blog have walked the path you're on or are so much farther along their walks with God than I am. I read their comments with gratitude for their insight and the comfort they must give you.

  9. It is only natural to continue to feel that so strongly at 5 weeks - hardly any time at all. For me, the first 8 weeks were equaly hard. They were intense, dark, and I felt I was surrounded by a cloud of despair from which I could not escape. Then, around 8 weeks, I had my first moment of true happiness again. Then, I'd start having a few good days mixed in with the bad days, and it really has gotten a little easier. Well, either it's gotten easier or I'm incorporating it into my life. 5 weeks is such a short amount of time.