The great injustice of death is if its survivors cease to continue living for fear of it.
Half of my family is in Heaven. In 2011, my daughter Faith Elizabeth died in the womb unexpectedly and without scientific explanation. She would be three and a half now. After losing her, I distanced myself from marital intimacy in fear of another pregnancy. I didn’t think I could handle another miscarriage, so better to steer clear of the whole business.
In 2012, my husband Brian was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. We were married five years. Within weeks of his death I had declared for myself a future of singlehood. Whoever said, “better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all” is an idiot. Never again would I give my heart to someone who might take it with them to an early grave.
Thankfully, my heart has healed some in these passing years. I would welcome another child with open arms, and if God has a husband in mind for my future, then I trust his matchmaking skills. But as I tucked my children into bed tonight – my preciously held darlings that remain on this earthly plain with me – I was reminded that some cling to seasons of grief and fear longer than others.
My daughter proclaimed she doesn’t want a husband. For a five year old that could be dreaming about taffeta and Cinderella coaches, that’s a rather brash statement. After some prodding, her smooth brow furrowed and she quietly confided, “Mama, if I have a husband, he might die in a car crash and I would be alone. I don’t want that.”
I asked her if she still planned on having children, for which a husband is ideally necessary. That’s when my son piped up, “I’m not having children. Sometimes they die inside you like baby Faith, and that would make me too sad.”
There is a tiny animal in my soul that lays in a dark corner and silently licks its wounds as I navigate these journeys of grief and loss. This animal howled pitifully at the proclamations of my once-innocent darlings. I found myself saying the things I know others have had to hear before.
“My loves, you can’t live your whole life afraid of people dying. Many, many babies are born healthy and alive and happy.
Many, many husbands and wives live until they are old and wrinkly and have had a lifetime together. You must believe that God has plans for you and that He will give you healthy babies and long marriages. Don’t be afraid of what might happen, or you’ll miss out on all kinds of wonderful things.”
I laid my hands on their tiny blonde heads and pleaded to our Father for healing and mercy. That He would grant them great blessings, good spouses, joyful families, and take away these splinters of fear.
We are not the first survivors to stare death in the face and make the conscious choice to keep on going. We certainly won’t be the last. This might be a battle we face many times through the years, but we must trust the road ahead and that there might be bricks of gold beyond the potholes.