God Wins…but can I ?

A Mother's Journey


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You asked her Name

We don’t know one another really.

You are someone who served me

years ago.

Some criticize people in your profession as cold

and all about money.

But with one question, you showed me

that you are more than a doctor trying to rush through the day.

You hadn’t seen me in 10 years,

since the tragic loss of my daughter.

As we were talking about my health, my heart loss came up.

Of course, you said “I’m sorry.”

But then you took one step closer.

You asked, “What was your daughter’s name?”

I nearly gasped.

Someone asked her name! Her name!

The name we struggled to give her because we wanted

the most absolutely beautiful and

perfect name for our daughter.

We went back and forth between two names for many months

before she was born.

It took 24 hours after her birth to gift her with the name

that would clothe her for the rest of her life.

A name breathed with deep, deep love as I looked into

her tiny, newborn face.

A name said over the years with laughter, tenderness,

concern, discipline, urgency, frustration,

joy, pride, admiration and respect.

And a name said in her final days through sobs and tears.

A name I now desperately want to say and hear.

Although few people

delve there.

I can count on one hand – maybe two hands –

the people who say her name to me.

How did you know asking her name would bring deep joy

and comfort to a grieving mother?

And then you asked more questions about who she was as a person –

what she loved to do – what her illness was like.

You risked discomfort, mine and yours, to peek inside my world.

I will always remember your question as one of the kindest

that I ever received.

Thank you doctor – I have a suspicion that before being a doctor –

you are a mother.

“What was your daughter’s name?”

“Leah.” “It’s Leah.”

Blog_Me and Leah Thanksgiving

Here’s a picture of me and my little miss two years ago on Thanksgiving. A joyous moment when she was making fun of how I was taking our selfie. What a joy-filled girl. People may wonder at the second Thanksgiving without her, “Is it any easier?” No. It’s not.

 

 

 


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Stuttering, Stumbling and Speechless

Ever since I could talk, I’ve very rarely been at a loss for words. If my parents were alive, they’d affirm this fact 100%.

When we’d be in the car, I’d be chattering in the back seat. I played the interviewer; my parents were trapped as interviewees. When they would answer one question, I’d respond back with “Why?” After several of these back and forth exchanges, my dad would say, “Who put a nickel in you?” 

After another 15 minutes of Q&A, I’d hear the dreaded words, “Let’s play the quiet game.” Dang. I hated these words.

All this to say, I’m open to sharing my personal thoughts and experiences and asking other people questions about their circumstances and lives.

Since Leah has passed away, there is a point in the conversation that has left me stuttering, stumbling and speechless. And quite frankly frozen.

It happens when I am talking with people who have lost a spouse, parent, sibling, cousin or friend. They’ll be sharing with me about their loss and suddenly look at me with an “oh, no” –  “deer-in-the-headlights” look and say, “But, I know that nothing is worse than losing a child.” 

The truth is that I haven’t known how to respond to this statement. I truly haven’t. I’ve felt awkward and uncomfortable. I don’t want the other person to feel that I minimize his or her loss, so I typically respond, “All loss is difficult,” which I do believe is true.

My response and feelings about the statement have been unsettling for almost two years now.

So, I decided to pose a question on a Facebook site for parents who have lost children. I asked parents if they experienced this statement and asked, “How do I best respond?” The comments were beautiful, affirming and enlightening. They taught me something about being real.

As a result, I will change my response.

The truth is that losing a child is the worst loss one can have. It just is. The worst. Ever.

So from this point forward, I’ll say something such as, “Thank you. Thank you very much for acknowledging my heartbreaking loss. Losing Leah is the worst loss I have ever known, or will expect to know. I appreciate your sympathy. I too am sorry and hurt for your loss.”

For those of you who have said something similar to me, I apologize for looking back at you stunned and speechless. Please know that I thank you for acknowledging my extreme loss.

Truth: losing my child whom I love unconditionally, with every ounce of my heart and being, is the worst loss. Ever.

I miss you deeply sweet, beautiful, funny girl. And your beautiful, blue eyes.

2006 2 SUMMER close up