Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I could be her

I sat across the conference room table as she described the horror of being raped, of miscarrying her very much wanted baby, of losing herself in the "justice" system, of her lifetime of sadness and resulting mental illness. She has obviously carried it around within her heart for decades...it shows on the lines in her face and in I could hear it in the hard edge of her voice. The fear, the sadness, the grief, the anger...all the things she couldn't let go of brought her to this place. Her husband, long since divorced, sat beside her and tried his best to reassure her...to be her strength. But I could see the helplessness on his face...the powerlessness to bring her out of the darkness that she cloaked herself in so many years ago.

As I talked to her openly about her miscarriage and the resulting chaos it created in her life, I silently prayed, "God, don't let this happen to me. And if it does happen to me...please take care of my family."

Yep, I prayed.

I realize this may not be earth-shattering to many who have long ago established their own relationship with God and the universe (whether it be an unshakeable faith or no faith whatsoever). But for me I'm left wondering...Is there still something there...or is it just that old habits die hard?

Then I read this article about the funerals for the Amish children in Pennsylvania.

"You think about them, you cry about them, you pray for them," said Lizzy Fisher, an Amish grandmother who is close to several great-grandparents of the slain girls. "And then you have to let go of things you can't explain."

Because if you don't let it go, you can end up like that woman I sat across from today. And while I'm sure the original grief was debilitating...spending the rest of your life wrapped up in that one/two moment(s) is so much more sad. A lifetime lost...just wasted.

I want my boys to be remembered, but not like that. Not in self-pity, sadness, and anger. I want something better. Something beautiful like they were.

So I search within myself. I have to let go (as best I can) of the things I can't explain. I need to find a path opposite the one I saw today. I want to embrace something...the legacy of two boys who are very much missed and will always be loved.


Holley said...


I have confidence that you will create the sort of legacy you want for Travis and Alex.

Treggles said...

I quite agree with he Amish lady you quoted. Letting go is an important process, and it doesn't mean forgetting.

Sherry (Hallesmom) said...

I have read the articles on how the Amish are handling the murders of their children, and am in disbelief. I don't 'get' it. I don't have that strong faith in the higher up, any higher up. A friend lost her 3 mo daughter to what I believe will be called SIDS, and the funeral was today. They had a Celebration of her life afterwards. Their faith is so strong, and it confuses me honestly. I'm not sure what words of encouragement to send to someone, or what words at all, to someone who believes so wholely. I hope to learn something from them both, the Amish, and the parents of the little girl who just died.

I agree with treggles, and holley. *hugs*

MB said...

I'm feeling so hurt and sad for this woman and for you. It makes me wonder what brought the two of you together?


Jill said...

I guess that's what you'd call passing it along. That woman gave you this amazing moment of clarity and you have just passed it on to hundreds, if not thousands who come to see what you have to say about life every day.

Here's to you and Alex and Travis and to the legacy you three have created - that lightbulb in a pit of darkness - that keep people waking up day after day. Hugs.

miraclebaby said...

wow. how sad for her, but a wonderful place for you to get to...

Laura said...

Jill said just what I wanted to. Thank you so much for that, Catherine.

Erin said...

well said. Well said indeed.

Trish said...

This is a beautiful and meaningful post.
I want this too.
I want to make the horror of the reality into something as beautiful as my children.
The heartbreak this past week in that Amish community has become something that's moving so many people. That they attended their offenders funeral and that they offer their forgiveness without a second thought.
What an amazing way to make beautiful the tragedy of losing their children.
Thank you for writing this.