Death of Child

When There Are No Words

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          I came to the morning, to the news of two deaths – a colleague’s young husband, and baby Charlie Gard of the UK. One was expected, the other not, but both hurt.  And the passings hurt for different reasons.

          Yet, my sadness is nothing compared to the pain of the young Muslim widow who lost her husband and her best friend whom she thought was on his way to recovery after a stroke and surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain. There is nothing I am feeling that can compare to the sorrow of baby Charlie’s parents who fought so hard to try to heal their baby and keep him alive. I can only stand useless by the door of grief as they henceforth carry their beloveds in their hearts and begin a painful, twisting journey far removed from the lit highway so many of us stand on.

          This is the night when prayers sit only a wee while on my heart and lips like rainpearls before they slip off the tree boughs. I cannot hold on to a single prayer rope tonight when I want so much to offer prayers for those left to mourn departed loves that had once snuggled deep in hearts. This is the night when the words to comfort a widow of 30 sound tinny and forced and empty because although I too have known the searing bitterness of loss, I have not known my colleague’s grief. I cannot even tell her I love her as one who wants to carry her Cross with her, because there are no words that recognize such a love in her faith and in the language she speaks.

          This is the night when words fail me, when nothing is worthy enough to staunch the bleeding of wounds that go far deeper than most understand, and which will soon go unseen as grief transitions from visible to hidden, yet raw.

          So, I press grief and the grieving into a heart that once knew a depth of pain beyond words, beyond anything we have ever known. In the absence of words, I press pain and love and memories into the maternal heart that saw Her only Son give up His life to a death that led to Life eternal, so that through suffering, God’s Love might live on.

          The past, the present and the future have its place in the heart the world knows as the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And it is here, in the Heart of Mary, that grief will be purified and sanctified.

          Till it is free of earthly shadows.

 

 

 

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LENT 28 ~ Unfasten the Moorings

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          When God unties binds that hold us to loves, our tears birth seas never seen that our souls may traverse. When God takes away loves we hold close, and when we mourn the loss, we see another world through mourning- one we wouldn’t have seen, any other way.

          We will see the little joys we missed that should have been treasured. We will see that the questions we asked God that seemed so important then, matter little now. We will see that the mountains we raged against were mere bumps of sand on life’s footpath. 

          We will see the seas of grace we were immersed in when all seemed wet and gray.

          We will see glory in the mundane of every day.

          One day, perhaps years from that birth of our weep, we will see that we were loved, because through the tempest of grief, God lit His Light in our souls, and gently launched us out into the sea of His Will, to travel life’s lanes to understand the love we are called to.

          The day will come when we will see that true love means unfastening the moorings of our loves, and releasing them to journey untethered, praying them all the way into the harbor of God’s Heart.

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Remembering Ryan Cruz Saldana

This family has been gifted to see

Their guardian angel making steps on earth;

The grace of Heavenly Sight for the road ahead

The years of decisions and challenges yet to come.

A light for them he will be

No doubt, no darkness

Can lay siege upon this family

For the child has gone ahead

To light the path of Truth As only he can

Wee angel Ryan named for a king.

Commonplace Grace

Don't Lose Heart

On May 2, 2014 Jacqui and Dan Saldana lost their three-year-old son, Ryan. Although I never met him, a piece of my heart broke off when he died. I learned about Ryan, while he still graced the planet, from my niece Molly. For a time, she worked with his mother at the Madewell store in Santa Monica, California. I began reading Jacqui’s blog, Baby Boy Bakery and following her on Instagram where she shared recipes and the adventures of being Ryan’s mom. His adorableness, wrapped in red curls, was irresistible.

Last May, Ryan was struck and killed by a truck while playing outside of his cousin’s home in Alta Loma. An unfathomable loss that no parent should ever have to face. Ryan’s death sparked a social media outpouring of love and support for his family. The well wishes were posted with the hashtag #RedBalloonsForRyan, which was begun by family friends…

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The First Bloom

I am deep in work when my daughter rushes in to tell me that the first zinnia of the year has finally bloomed. Oh, what an up and down we’ve had with zinnias this year. They are our family flowers, along with jasmines and my husband’s roses. Our zinnias have a mind of their own. They seldom bloom where we sow their seeds in the flower beds. In months past, they’ve taken to blooming just outside my double panel windows, by the clothes line, and the ultimate – right in the drain by the kitchen, watered by rain and everything that traverses our drains.

The zinnias are a poignant reminder of a time we took for granted a little. A time when we thought happiness and children born were here to stay and to see us off one day when we were old.

Today, when they bloom, and I watch them sway stiffly in the warm birdsong breezes, these colorful pretties remind me of a Life Book closed on earth here but now blooming across the sandbar. There is sadness. But there is hope too. Hope that comes from the life lost to us that now thrives in a world beyond us yet close by. The hope

that is now a Lamp to our feet.

We’ve sowed the zinnias in his resting place, amidst the wild grasses, jungle flowers and other sleeping souls. With the deluge of the past week, I hope the zinnias have birthed, so that from now on, purple pink orange yellow white magenta pretties will cuddle him and all the others all year through, till the end of time.