Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Bug

I haven't been sick in over a year, since we spent so much time in nearly germ-free environments, and used hand-sanitizer like obsessive-compulsives ("gel in, gel out" as the hospital signs posted everywhere reminded us). But I caught a bug this weekend, and I am at home in my bathrobe, feeling pretty icky.

I recieved a lovely column via email from one of my friends/neighbors. It was written by a priest who has taught at a local university. I want to offer it to you. Check the archive if it is past this week's date; I think he writes a new one each week. The title is "Coping with Tragedy." Here is a link: http://www.ronrolheiser.com/

These words speak a deep truth to me, one that I know now in my body. There are days when I feel okay, and days when the grieving is a physical drain on my body. It has felt that way these past days, a kind of aching hole, and there is an anger, a rebellion again, against having a painful void in my heart where my daughter should be. I do believe this is one of the worst pains there is; not that I have experienced the full spectrum of the pain of this world, but I can tell you that it hurts beyond what I had ever imagined it could.

I am a woman who has been given many gifts and opportunities in this life, and I had a full, good life before becoming a mother. I was given an education; I have worked, traveled, and have been privileged to be able to donate my time and talents to others. I have had the joys of good relationships and the pain of betrayals, mistakes and many disappointments in life; experiences of grief for loved ones who have died and for lost love; the pain of childbirth and surgery...yet I have always had a positive attitude that carried me through. I believe that attitude was rooted in my hope and faith in Love itself; love as a verb, and Love as a noun. I haven't lost that hope and faith, but I can't find words to tell you how tired I am as a result of this particular pain. It is a real weight on my heart.

To all of you parents and family members living with this weight, I am here beside you. You are not alone. Perhaps, together we can hold hands and wait, as Fr. Rolheiser suggests.


Meril said...

I sat in the pediatrician's office this afternoon - crying over how powerless, incompetent, bewildered, and overwhelmed I feel as a parent these days. It's a special kind of lonely to parent a child (or 2 or 3) with complex medical needs. I don't even know how I feel half the time, lately.
But I, too, believe in Love in all of it's spiritual and grammatical permutations. And I can't say that my trials are anything compared to yours, or many others out there, but it is no small thing to have a concept and reality of Love - no matter how dark it gets.
I don't figure it's any guarantee of a "happy ending", but it's what will ultimately carry us all through and last longer than we're here.

Comfort and Love, Love, Love to you,

molmagoo said...

Karen, Greg & David,
My love and prayers to you all.

We received your BEAUTIFUL Christmas card today and I've been in tears all afternoon and evening. I was shocked at the passing of Katie and don't even know how to feel you pain.

Please know that your family and Katie are in our prayers.

What a beautiful Angel she is. The pictures are GORGEOUS and I love the one of Karen and Katie with their eyes closed...it says so much and sends so much energy.

I didn't realize the heartache until I read the back of your card.

Karen, I'm so sorry you had to go through so much. I do have pictures of Katie with my babies when they were brand new (almost 8 years ago). A sweet picture and if you want a copy of your dear angel, please let me know.

You may already have it, but I am more than happy to send it just in case you don't.

Merry Christmas, and know that your Angel is with you everyday. How beautiuful she is.

Much love to you and your family Karen. I want to say I feel your pain....but I can't...I haven't been in your shoes.

I can only try to imagine it and it is more painful than where I want to go. How you survived it, is unimaginable.

God bless you and the family,
Merry Christmas,
Pat & Dawn McCarthy (O'Connor)
& Family