Life Just Sucks Sometimes

I don’t care who you are, life just sucks sometimes. My uncle lost his battle with liver cancer today, and my emotions are all over the place.

I’m angry because I’m so sick of cancer.

I’m heartbroken for my dear aunt who lost the love of her life. They didn’t have nearly enough time together.

I’m sad for my cousins who lost their father. They’re all in their 20s and 30s. That’s way too young to be without your dad.

I hurt for my cousins’ children, some of whom are not old enough that they’ll remember their grandpa when they’re grown. He adored his grandchildren and I know my cousins won’t let his memory fade away.

I’m feeling an almost-panic that it could very easily have been my dad. It was only 3 1/2 years ago that Daddy was diagnosed with colon cancer, then after a year-long fight and treatments, he got the all-clear. Then later that same week, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and had to undergo treatment for that. He’s cancer-free now, but the fear never goes away completely.

 

Book Review: Signs of Life: A Memoir by Natalie Taylor

Amazon summary
Twenty-four-year-old Natalie Taylor was leading a charmed life. At the age of twenty four, she had a fulfilling job as a high school English teacher, a wonderful husband, a new house and a baby on the way. Then, while visiting her sister, she gets the news that Josh has died in a freak accident. Four months before the birth of her son, Natalie is leveled by loss. Continue reading

A Child’s Death is NOT “God’s Will”

Friday evening, I was cruising along, writing the long-overdue Review Policy for this blog. I finished it and hopped into my Gmail account to pull up my Google Documents to get the Book Submission Form I had set up when the blog was still on Blogger. I saw an email with the subject line, “A Homeschool* family needs our prayers.” Honestly, I didn’t think much of it. Our homeschool group is pretty large, and while not frequent, such emails aren’t unusual. Most often, it’s the death of the parent or grandparent of one of my friends. That’s what I assumed it was this time. Had I taken a few more seconds to think about it before I opened the email, I would probably also have thought about an illness or accident in the family. Nothing could have prepared me for what I actually did read.

A precious six-year-old girl left us Friday to be with Jesus. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Even the link to the news story didn’t alleviate the shock. I just sat here staring at the computer screen with my hand over my mouth. I was suddenly so very glad that the boys hadn’t gone to their dad’s this weekend, and were sitting an arm’s length away from me, playing on NickJr on the laptop. I needed them near me at that moment, and all weekend, really.

Our families weren’t close because our kids had different interests. So we hadn’t spent a lot of time together, but I’ve known this family for several years, so I’ve known this darling girl most of her life. I remember at our gingerbread-house decorating party in December, that I was impressed at how meticulous she was with her decorating. My boys, after all, had pretty much slapped their houses together, then tore them apart and ate them. I thought about taking a picture of her house, but I had forgotten my camera, and I didn’t feel like messing with the camera on my phone. Now I’m kicking myself because I would love to be able to give that picture to her mother and tell her that I thought her daughter did such an awesome job that day that I had to take a picture. Even if it was taken on my phone.

Later, I got to thinking about a recent conversation on another homeschooling list. We were talking about the thoughtless things people say to grieving parents, usually after a miscarriage, but it applies to the death of any child. I never know what to say in these situations. I’ve never lost a child; I can’t even comprehend the gut-wrenching loss parents must feel. How can I say something even remotely appropriate? So I don’t say anything more than, “I’m sorry.” The moms who have lost babies had whole lists of crazy things people have said to them.  The most disgusting one to me, and the most common one Christians like to use is, “It was God’s will.” I think that is rude, insensitive, and completely untrue. I don’t think death at all is in God’s will, and the death of a precious child can’t possibly be part of God’s plan. We live in an imperfect world, and horrible things happen. Don’t try to brush off a grieving parent’s sorrow by claiming the loss of their child is “God’s will”.

Our whole homeschool community, and the community in general, I’m sure, has rallied around this family. Nothing we can say or do can take away the pain and devastation they are experiencing. I’m pretty good with words. I can talk up a storm and I can write all day long, but when it’s something this important, I just don’t have any words. I don’t know what to say to my friend except, “I’m so sorry.” I’m praying that others will only have words of love and encouragement for the family and no one will say anything insensitive like “It was God’s will.”

*The name of the family was used, but I’m not posting it here in order to protect their privacy.