Today I am broadening my horizons, putting myself out there in the blogging world and participating in something called TIME WARP TUESDAY, hosted by http://bereavedandblessed.com/category/time-warp-tuesdays/ . This is when we are given a topic. We then look through our “archives” and find something we had written that reflects this topic and where we are in our journey since it was written. The topic this month is LEFT BEHIND.
I started writing my blog about six months after Madeline died. As the title reflects, my initial intention was to write “humerous” antecdotes based on the wit and wisdom of my now 11 year old son, Johnny and his Big Brother and Little Brother. Although The Brothers were giving me plenty of material, I was feeling more and more compelled to write about Madeline and how sad and broken I was. The writing about her seemed to be my only “outlet”. Outside of talking to a Counselor, I became increasingly angry and frustrated with everyone’s good intentions to help me “heal” and possibly, “move on.” A popular suggestion at the time were books on heaven and to picture my Precious Baby Girl there. To me, the problem was still the same, Madeline is there, in Heaven, and I……………am not.
For my TIME WARP TUESDAY post I chose one I wrote, entitled Not There Yet, https://lifeaccordingtojohn.wordpress.com/2011/09/18/not-there-yet/ . Please read and return to see where I am on my journey.
When I wrote this post the book, Heaven is for Real, was causing a great deal of buzz. I was told by many, many well meaning folks that I should read it. That perhaps I would find comfort in learning more about where my own Precious Angel, Madeline, was charming the wings off of God. I tried to read it once ………but could not make it past the claim that the boy was told it wasn’t his time, people were storming the heaven with prayers, and he was to return to this life. It made everything seem too simple. Someone is sick or in danger and you pray to God, God is good, and your prayers are answered. I felt so ripped off, and still do, but perhaps it is now not so raw. I wanted to scream at everybody. DON’T YOU THINK I PRAYED????!!! DON’T YOU THINK I ASKED EVERYONE TO PRAY??!! We wanted our Madeline anyway God saw fit, Down Syndrome, and all. But in our case, things weren’t so black and white…….. more gray. God seemed to see fit for Madeline to be with him and so as we were screaming for her to COME BACK , he was yelling, COME HOME TO ME. It was just too much, all too much and left me stuck in a contstant angry WHY ME???!!! WHY US? WHY HER?? I just could not cope with any stories of prayers answered. Not that I wanted ANYONE to experience this horrific pain and grief but what seemed worse was to hear of some else’s happy ending or answered prayer.
Ironically, I also could not read others stories on loss and their grief either. I balked at all recommendations of groups, blogs or books. Reading and hearing about “how” the other children died caused me sooo much anxiety and the stories of how the families were dealing with their grief left me with not much hope. I basically viewed it as proof that nothing was EVER going to be okay again, threw all the books aside and picked up my running shoes, in search of what to do with this anger, pain and loss. People would ask how I could run 13 miles. I would think I have enough anger and pain to fuel a lot more miles than that.
That was last September, almost a year ago. I still cannot read the books on Heaven, though I am a believer and I know my Madeline in all of her Beauty and Sweetness is there. So, I guess the feeling of being “LEFT BEHIND” is still strong. I am working through prayer to comprehend why God chose NOT to answer our prayers on that November morning. I am running now more than ever, but find myself spending that time thinking of her and trying to feel her touch and smell her sweetness, as that can fuel many miles as well and gives me some peace.
Finally, I have very, very recently begun to reach out to others who know this pain that never goes away. Instead of their stories putting me in the depths of sadness I can find some comfort in their understanding. This, I think, might be my ticket to finding some peace. That and faith.
Although, I am still not there……that is, my desire to be with Madeline is still stronger than the comfort of knowing she is in Heaven, can’t say if I EVER will but a year later I am working on getting there.