I can’t sleep. Third night in a row. The tragic death of my friend’s 18- month-old daughter is haunting me. I keep trying to imagine how it would feel to learn my only child had suddenly passed away. Then trying NOT to imagine how it would feel to learn my only child had suddenly passed away. I am often surrounded by people who have miscarriages or the babies die quite young, but 18 months is a different story. It’s old enough to laugh, walk, run, and talk. Old enough that you can know her real personality. Old enough that life without her feels empty and meaningless.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. He recues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18
She died Saturday and I learned of it Sunday night. It took until Monday morning to decide to fly to Michigan for the funeral. Sarah, the mother, is my “old best friend”. I think everyone has a few of those. I hadn’t spoken to her in years but we reconnected around my cancer diagnosis. I suppose this new tragedy offers a way for me to redeem myself after years of being a bad friend. Unfortunately I’m pretty sure there were other ways. This isn’t the redemption I was praying for, Lord! I wanted you to grow back my eyelashes and smooth away my new wrinkles!
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” Psalm 18:30
I feel like I’m suffocating. There’s a weight on my chest that is heavier at night. Cancer has taught me how important it is to be there for people and I do it (or try to) without the strings or questions. But I’m worthless to her now, the baby has already died! I wouldn’t have come for the funeral if it was before everything I’ve been through, but because of it I felt compelled. It made more sense to come later, after everyone but Sarah and her family went back to their old lives. But, God said now is the time I should go, so I did. He lined up everything so it wasn’t even a big hardship. But, um, what now? What is the point? I have no wisdom, no power, no strength to offer.
She says she has a great support system and I know she’ll be surrounded by loved ones, so I will just hug her and hang out. Maybe my silent prayers will help her in the future. Maybe. God is in this. So why I am?