Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Parent (11/16/06)
TITLE: A Time to Mourn
By Sharlyn Guthrie
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The doctor closes the door behind him, leaving my son and me in a small room. The air goes with him. I can hardly breathe. Maybe I am just afraid to, certain that I will break the silence when this heaviness inside me bursts. I need to be strong, for him.
His eyes are red and puffy. He sniffs. It’s the only sound in the room.
Several minutes elapse before he speaks, “I should have three children by now.”
“You do,” I answer. “You just haven’t had the chance to meet two of them yet.” The silence is broken, and we embrace. I let the tears flow freely now.
The journey to the recovery room seems long, and as soon as the curtain is drawn, we are met by sobs; a mother’s pangs for the child that is no longer part of her. Well into her second trimester of pregnancy, she had been assured that all was well. But something went wrong, and the baby’s heart stopped beating.
Watching my son embrace his grieving wife, I fight against seething feelings of anger, bitterness, jealousy, and all the other forms of darkness that try to fill the space around us. I try to recall bits of Scripture, and many come to mind –verses about God’s purpose and good will, even in suffering. They are truth, but still a little hard to take right now. Drawing in my ragged breath, I ask simply to feel His presence.
A nurse enters, compassion and tenderness speaking through her every word and movement. How many times a day must she deal with sorrow and pain? Whether she knows it or not, God Himself is revealed through her kindness. He is the light that helps us see beyond today, beyond this place and time. He is the air that fills our lungs, easing the heaving sobs, steadying our breathing.
I want more than anything to protect my children, to shield them from the pain that will hang about their necks for weeks and months to come, but it is not within my power. So I will share in their sorrow, experience their pain for myself. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, …a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:2,4 NIV)
It is the blessing and the curse of being a parent.
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