This question would throw some people for a loop. What do I mean? What would I grieve right now? Well, in every situation that contains a tragedy, we grieve something. It’s a loss. Something we imagined we had, we had hope for, or was part of real life. Its the genesis of pain. Loss. Perceived loss of a dream….that’s a hard one. we have so many hopes for our every day. I wished John John to play softball with his dad. It was a dream I knew really struck his dad’s heart deep. I hoped for that dream. But, this is a deeper issue. really.
What do we hope for in a child when their born. Each one is different. John John was going to be a ball player. His dad dreamed of coaching his children’s team. I grieve the loss of his ability to run and control the right side of his body. It pains me to see his father falter and not know how to compensate for that dream. John was going to be a boys boy to me. A rough and tumble, cuddly, well-rounded little boy. Who grew into a man who cared deeply for his family and children. Loved the Lord with all his heart and really understood compassion. All things I set out to impart on his young brain. My hopes for him were nothing less that perfection that every mother of a baby has. We pray into their lives the best of intentions, hopes, and dreams. We look at what they are strong at and augment it with all our might. It is a perpetual state of parenting. Our hopes for our children dictate our actions in so many circumstances. Dear God, I grieve the loss of all of those hopes and dreams.
In just a brief moment, all my hopes and dreams were struck down. I felt the pain of loss of an entire lifetime of hope. It fell hard at my feet. It hurt in the deepest places. How can a mother look upon a 3-year-old boy and see nothing? When everything was so contingent on life? Of course there is no answer to that question. A mother can not look upon a child and see nothing.
I saw change. I hoped he would now make it through surgery. I hoped he would wake up. I then hoped he would move his right side again. I then hoped he would sit up again. I then hoped he might walk again. I then hoped he would come home. I now and again hope he doesn’t die as a child stricken with cancer. I hope he can overcome brain damage. I hope he can live a normal life. I hope he can identify with his peers. I hope he has the opportunity to struggle with all of these things.
It is a different kind of mindset. I hope for each gift from God. Each grace bestowed upon Him and I plan to struggle right beside him. We bear each others burdens. He is not my burden as a mother, but as a human. I choose to struggle to each next hurdle with the hope that the next one will be right there waiting for us.
But, grief….Its a funny monster. You see, I grieve the loss of my child playing freely in the back yard. I spent a summer building a backyard that every child should have. A giant sand box, a playhouse with a slide and swings, a garden that they could learn to cultivate in, green green grass to run and kick a ball in, roll in, and be children as all children should be.
You see, John John isn’t allowed to go in the backyard anymore. It is a dangerous place for him. Trip hazards, swings that could further damage his brain, uneven surfaces that will trip him and potentially cause head injury, a garden with a cobblestone surface that he trips on, and a slide he can not ever climb to. This is grief. I cry, I sob, I feel a distinct loss. I dreamed and hoped for summers of childhood bliss there. The sound of laughter and fun coming into the windows of my kitchen. I grieve the loss of my sons freedom. My God, it hurts. My God, it is incredibly painful and it strikes a chord that resonates through my whole being. Normalcy has been thrown away. That realization is horrific and tragic for a 3-year-old. It is the whole of life when your small. Freedom to explore.
So, I’ll cut this short a bit. Grief comes in many deep forms. It does not always mean death being imminent. Most of the time it means simple loss of hope and expectation. Who would have known that this would happen? What was there that I could have done to prepare?
Live with no regrets, Faith