Thursday, February 12, 2009

when something terrible happens

sorry i've been such a wet blanket these past few days.
i read that
"February arrives cold, wet and gray, her gifts disguised
for only the most discerning spirits to see..."
so i guess that means i have not been "discerning" enough
to find her gifts.
but i thank God for the gift of HIS grace
and for the gift of children.
because i cannot imagine my life without either of them.
and without their help, one might never find
the gifts which are in every day!
yesterday as i was mulling over all the things i had written,
wishing perhaps i hadn't said so much, but i felt so
grateful for all of the generous hearts who took the time
out of their busy days to respond.
and though i didn't answer any of the comments
i went over each one carefully and i came to the conclusion
that you are all so great!!

death is such a hard thing to talk about for adults, but especially with children.
when my two cousins were murdered, it was not at all like dealing with natural death.
it was so hard to even find the right words to tell them what had happened, much
less talk about it in the days, weeks and months that followed.
murder has a way of striking fear into the hearts of even the most trusting and faithful person.
probably one of the most difficult things, aside from losing people that we dearly loved,
was that the girls were killed 7 months apart and so there was still such an open,
gaping wound in our hearts, which for me, as an adult to try and comprehend was difficult enough.
but the children, had been so sheltered.
i had kept them away from the world all these years yet there it was right on my doorstep, demanding to be let in, bringing all its' ugliness with it.
i know not everything in the world is bad, but tragedy has a way of making it seem so.
tragedy tries to steal from us that sweet, gentle peace, which, as Christians, should always be present in our lives, no matter what.
at times, wallowing in my own grief, i was blinded to my childrens' needs and the day it hit me the hardest was while unpacking my daughters' things to put in her new room-we moved here over the summer of '08-when i came across a small hello kitty notepad.
and knowing that she uses these for her diary-being only 9 she has not yet discovered how to "lock" away her deepest, darkest thoughts as girls so often do-i opened it.
and as i flipped through the notepad much to my surprise she had pages upon pages of names of all the people in our family who had died and little drawings surrounding each name representing things she knew from me which each person liked to do or memories she had shared with them at a particular time during their earthly life. this little girl had already seen so much death in her short life and i didn't even realize how it was affecting her.
i am her mother, her teacher, yet i had missed all this?
how could i have been so neglectful.
it seemed so easy to shush her all those times she cried and force her along the path to healing.
when i wasn't even healed.
tears don't come easy for me, so why should they for her either.
how wrong i was.
in retrospect i realize how vital it is for children to realize that those whom we have loved and lost in this life have not been annihilated.
they still live on in eternity and they need our prayers and sacrifices,
for their purification and sometimes even ours.
this is not a professional opinion by any means.
these are just the thoughts of a mother who has hurt and who has seen her children and her family hurting.
my heart will always ache for my aunt, especially, who lost all 3 of her children.
all of them tragically taken from her.
her mother's heart forever broken as she struggles to sift through those broken pieces, to lift herself up out of the wreckage of her life and raise her two grandchildren.
how could anyone ever comprehend that?
i certainly don't have all of the answers.
yet the question remains, how do we, as loving parents, teach not only ourselves, but our children to cope with death?
it is simple: we don't.
Mother Angelica writes:" We don't have the power over life and death, but we do have the power to choose good instead of evil and to do the will of God."
the Holy Scriptures remind us that "it is a good and holy thing to pray for the dead" so that they may be loosed from their sins.
and so what have i learned from all of this?
well, i am more careful now.
i don't just shush the tears away.
i am careful to watch, not only for more notes, but for signs that something is wrong.
but most importantly i will try my hardest to teach her and the boys that there is power in our suffering here on this earth.
power made perfect in the sufferings of Jesus Christ.
and that we are made strong in HIM.
and that our life goal is to find HIS will in all things.
and together we can send fear on his way
even when something terrible happens......................