I took the children to church yesterday, and it went well, for the most part. I find myself often seated close by where a couple comes in late with a new baby boy, who is probably 8 weeks old. He's beautiful. And so immensely sweet. He reminds me of my own boys at that age. I wish I could scoop him up and cry over all that I lost with my Isaac, but instead I find myself squirming in my seat, and wishing I could run out of church. Because really, I know in my mind that is unacceptable behavior, but my heart just still cannot help it.
And then there was the second speaker yesterday. A young man in his mid thirties, he has 4 children, with one on the way. His wife has never miscarried or ever had a pregnancy or infant loss of any sort. I appreciated the spirit in which his message was delivered, but I would have liked to have argued my point. He started his talk off about prayer and faith. He talked about not being prideful, and he spoke about service. He ended his talk with a story about a woman with children, who was fleeing her native land. Through her journey, each and everyone of her children died. Each grave was dug with a spoon, which was all the woman had in her possession. Her last child that died, was a baby. The woman had lost her spoon, and had to dig her last baby's grave with her fingers, in the frozen ground. The story ended with the woman finding strength in Christ when she knew she had lost all that she had. God bore her up. I get the story, and the point. But the thing that bothered me was when the speaker said that no matter how large our trials are, there is always someone who has it worse. That someone suffers more, that it can get worse. But what comfort does that give to a grieving parent, who feels like it CANNOT get worse? That they truly have been pushed to the breaking point? That they feel like they gave the ultimate sacrifice, in accepting God's will for the deceased child? I have suffered many things. I suffered not having enough to eat as a child, we stole food to eat. We didn't have beds, or enough clothing. My mother turned tricks in Alaska when my father left us. We were not safe. We were molested. When my father had another chance to raise us, he bailed on us, giving us to his best friend, who turned out to be a child molester. My mother had another chance, too, she ran away in the middle of the night. We were adopted by parents who failed. By a man whose life was run by an abusive and dominant woman. She beat us up. They gave us no freedom. We had no toys, no tv, no phone, we could not have friends or play outside. We were told we were trash on a regular basis, and that she hated us. I have struggled my entire adult life to rise above the start I had in life. I have very few family relationships. I'm screwed up. I have been so fortunate to be married, but my husband also has a chronic disease. WE KNOW SUFFERING. For us, it really can't get much worse. We'd have to lose a grown child, or Andrew and I would have to lose each other. So while other people HAVE worse trials, and we have so MUCH to be thankful for, I've had a shitload of trials to get through during my life time, too. Preaching to someone that it can get worse. NO SHIT. I fear that the most, when I have already suffered more than most people understand.
And the thing that made me the saddest? When we were leaving my son turned to me and said: "Mama, who tells stories like that in front of a family that has a dead brother?? It made me really sad." And I told him, while trying NOT to cry, that the man really didn't understand. That if he knew it would hurt us, he would not have told the story. And that's really the truth of the matter. People don't know what it's like. They don't know what it's like to have a body go limp in your arms, and feel the chilling sting of a dead body. They don't understand the trauma and the places your mind goes to. They didn't know while telling that story that my children and I were thrown back to that moment when we lived that, too.
I wish people weren't so mindless, or perhaps even had just a little bit bigger of a heart.
One Sunday down, so many more to go.