Wednesday, April 18, 2012


One of my friends, a very sweet woman who lives in my town, has been helping me process my pain.  She is simply wonderful.  She has three daughters.  Her middle daughter was 24 when she died of leukemia.  Though her daughter died several years ago, my friend has met with me on several occasions where we talk about our deceased daughters.  I very much cherish those moments.  I am learning a lot from my friend.

The other day I received an email from my friend saying, 'losing my daughter at 24 was hard enough, I can't imagine what you and your husband are going through.'  How very kind of her to say.

Here's something I have learned about losing a child.  It doesn't matter if your child was anywhere from gestation to 499 years old in age.  When you lose a child, your heart is broken, period, and I don't believe that it matters what age that child was.  No one is prepared for their child to die....even when you can see that they are very ill.

So why is it that we aren't prepared?  A small part of me thinks we are ignorant or naive, but a larger part of me thinks that it's about

You see, without really thinking about it, from the second you learn you are going to be a parent, forward, you immediately begin to plan ahead.

You begin to think about where the child will sleep, what kinds of things you will need for them, where they will receive their care (if you work outside of home) and of course, what their name will be. You wonder will you have a son or a daughter.  After they are born, you begin to think about people to see, places to go, things to do, all of the new things you didn't know you'd need.

And, as they age, you start to plan more and more....sports, cars, college, etc...  

I was the kind of parent who liked to try to be prepared for anything....

The day before Catelyn died, we had been told another round of dialysis would be needed for sure, so I took a quick trip to a store where I picked up things I thought we'd need in our hospital suite:  snacks for me, things to do, a couple of videos for her to watch while we snuggled, etc.  I picked up new socks because I felt that her socks were getting too tight, and as I walked past the clothing section, I noticed a really cute little pair of shorts in the next size bigger on clearance for $3 dollars, so I grabbed them too.
Catelyn ready to swing!

Please understand that part of me had been worried as to whether Catelyn would be okay.

There was that teeny-tiny (5%) chance things would not go well....there was a chance that she would have to have kidney treatments (dialysis) for life.  There was a chance... why did I buy those things - especially that little pair of shorts (which I never did return)?

Because parents never stop planning ahead.  Even when our children are sick we keep the hope that things will go well.  Our children will get better.  We love them so much we refuse to give up hope.

Yay for hope!  What a wonderful thing.  Without it our lives wouldn't be nearly as joyful, and our pain could not be felt so deeply.

In other words, we would not really live.

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