Thursday, March 6, 2014

"How Are You Doing?"

I don't want our blog to be a place to dwell on the challenges of life but a place to document and share our experiences as a family. A place to bear testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ and witness our own growth. We invite anyone along that would like to share with us. Right now we are surrounded by the passing of Gideon so it is much of what we think about, hence, what we write about. Hopefully, we can be honest and at some point help others to recognize their experiences and pain are normal and OK. These challenges in life are about perfecting us and drawing us all closer to God. No matter the road and what bumps and bruises we receive, we all have much the same emotional struggles and growth. Never sell yourself short and think that what you go through is any less difficult than someone else because if it really is less difficult just know you will be there one day. With this challenge of loss Doug and I have discovered that the death of a pure innocent child is in some ways easier to cope with than some other challenges life brings.

A few days we got some sad news. It was actually very difficult news for me to hear. A week after we brought Gideon home there was another little boy that was brought to the same Healing Home Gideon had been in. I had an immediate connection with this little boy and  wondered if there was a way we could possibly do one more child. I put those thoughts on hold because we weren't sure what our life would be like with Gideon's heart issues. Not too long later we raced to bring Scott home. At that point I decided to just follow the progress of the little boy they call Bran and let all things be in God's hands. When Gideon died we decided to donate money to a child at Love Without Boundaries in hopes of saving their life instead of buying flowers that fade away and die. We were going to make the donation for Bran knowing that he needed surgery immediately. (Bran had just gotten fully funded so we then donated to another precious little boy.) Bran was admitted to the hospital and was able to have his heart catheterization done. Word came back that the doctors thought Bran was inoperable. I felt like I was doing good emotionally that day but once the news came back that another pure little one was suffering the way our Gideon did and may not live a long life the grief set in as heavy as it ever had.

I was talking through it with Doug with a picture of Bran on the computer screen. Hyrum (6), Bria and Scott all heard and were interested in Bran and our conversation. Hyrum especially wanted some questions answered. So while I was still on the phone I helped Hyrum through this. Hyrum's last question came out a little more like an anxiety filled statement.

"He's gonna die by himself?!?!" With that my tears turned into a controlled sob and Doug choked up. No child should die alone. Bran deserves to be surrounded by his family. People that love him. A father to hold him for hours and a mother to rub his feet while he passes on to the next life. There are people working on options for surgery in other countries besides China but it is all up to the Lord. Many prayers are being said by us and others for this little boy.

I woke up the next day feeling much better but aware that the tide could turn at any moment. Hyrum and Bria were playing with a toy that was Gideon's. In a split second my thoughts came full circle. I wondered if I should take the toy away so my heart wouldn't hurt. Immediately, the thought came "Gideon was filled with joy and he wanted the children to be happy too. Let them play with his toys. It will make Gideon happy." All was well. I then walked into my closet and Gideon's white church shirt was hanging in front of me. I picked it up thinking of the times I had become sad with the thought that he would not be with me at church any more. This time, I didn't feel that. The thought spilled into my mind that I will have great joy raising Gideon when the Lord comes. I knew Gideon was with me. He was imparting of his peace to me. He wanted me to feel as he did, filled with happiness and anticipation for when we meet again in the flesh.

I had to go to Costco this morning. Last time was hard so I worried a little. Yes, it was still difficult but I didn't realize that until a little thing happened that put me in tears. The tears were not for what happened but for my Gideon. The grief is always there just waiting to get out. Sometimes I push it down so I can be a mother to the other kids, but over time I reach my emotional capacity. Signs come that tell me I have to grieve but I can't seem to let it out. I have to have something trigger the sorrow so I can cleanse my spirit. I decided to put on Pandora radio when I got home to help calm my soul. Not that I was doing too bad but I wanted to feel peace. The first song was "Be Still My Soul". We sang that at the funeral, great trigger Lord. After a while I noticed the play list was a little curious because it kept causing tears. Here is the list of songs; "Life and Death", "I Love To See theTemple", which we sang at the funeral, "God Be With You Till We Meet Again", "To Where You Are", about someone that is missing another that died. And the "Funeral Hymn". I guess Heavenly Father wanted me to purge. It worked. :)

Kind loving people ask how we are doing. That is really a hard question to answer. The grief is not as overwhelming as I expected but it's still painful and hard. We all have happy moments and feel peace no matter how sad we are. I don't seem to fake it as often as last week or the week before but I do have to pull myself up by the bootstraps and keep moving sometimes. I don't accomplish as much as I would like but that's ok. This too shall pass. I have allowed myself to slow down and feel the emotions. I just hope that when we navigate through this and get farther from the pain that none of us will ever draw farther away from God. Death is hard but the sweet moments of love, joy, peace, and knowledge are an immediate gift reminding us that we are loved and our Father in Heaven is never far.

I have a much stronger desire to be close to my Father in Heaven and serve with all my heart. I never want to lose that, but sadly, we are human and at some point the intensity will fade and we will once again have to fight our human nature to stay where we are spiritually. I guess that's why challenges are necessary for our growth.

The day after Gideon died no one really knew how to act.
We were all overcome with grief.
I walked into the kitchen mid day and Hannah (13) was drawing a picture.
Olivia (12) and Malia (7) took her lead and drew similar pictures.
I was just amazed that on such a sad day they could still see the sunshine.
I love Malia's picture on the right. She made a sun minion.
I had watched Despicable Me II with Gideon just a couple days
before but she didn't know it.

We had a friend bring balloons for the family for valentines day.
Hyrum can find joy in all things!!

Two different friends brought these statues.
The larger statue is titled
Child of my Heart
The saying on the box goes:
Child of the world,
Into my heart you came-
Bringing sun into my life,
Making family our name.
It still makes me teary to read.
We are going to make a stand with the mother and child in front
 and the angel in back.  A reminder of our gifts from God.

My sister and 4 of her children came to help us
just days after Gideon passed.
This is Chloe, my niece, Pierce (15) and Hannah (13)
 making lunch for the brood.
We don't make a sandwich for each
child because often they don't eat a whole
sandwich if it's peanut butter and jelly. So this was
not even a sandwich per person home.
This is an 8' counter filled almost end to end.
I was even amazed!


1 comment:

  1. Wow, someway I didn't read this one and I don't know how that happened. Just like we talked today. This is such an awesome blog. The feelings you shared are so inspiring and heartfelt. Grieving at times can be hard work. The tears shed are good tears and need to be let out. You both have such compassionate hearts. This is true loving caring and sharing. I know many can be touched by your thoughts. I am certainly touched.
    I loved the sweet pictures.
    Blessings to you for this one; I loved it. Sending lots of prayers and hugs for you all~