Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 28

Day 28: A picture of something you're afraid of

As much as I'd like to say otherwise, I am afraid of death. I am afraid of losing a loved one.

This picture was taken by a photographer who works with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, an organization that "introduces remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with a free gift of professional portraiture."

Two weeks into Jack's life, we were given the worst news that any parent could get. Jack's kidneys were shutting down and not producing urine. His bodily fluids were all out of wack and our Dr. gave him 12 hours to live. She told us that if he did not pee, he would die. They were pumping him full of the strongest diuretics, in hopes that maybe, he would pee. And they called in a the photographer. They were letting us hold him because he was going to die. Under normal circumstances, we never would have gotten to hold him in such a frail, tiny state. But an exception was made because it might be our first and last time to hold our precious boy.

I've tried to explain before how it felt to hold Jack for the first time. It was surreal. I knew the whole time why they were letting me hold him. It was both the best and worst moment of my life. I remember my parents were quietly sitting just outside Jack's private little room. Jon and I were in there, with all the equipment. I kept on thinking "this is all I need... this is all I need"... I only wanted to hold him and cradle my precious boy for every second they would give me.

When I got the news from Jon that morning - that I needed to hurry up and head over to the hospital - I went into a panic. That Jack was in critical condition and that the Dr. needed to talk to us, well, I will never forget that feeling. The feeling of death. The thought that I could not go on. Crazy thoughts about what I would do once I got back to Helena, without my baby. Thoughts about planning a funeral. Thoughts that no one ever wants to have.

But the truth is, right now, many are planning this very thing. They are planning the funeral of a loved one. Of their baby. It is my greatest fear. The past few weeks have been filled with a lot of death and maybe that's why I've been spending so much time thinking about it.

I know, rationally, we all eventually die. And I know what I believe about death. I was reading a Don Miller post the other day regarding death. It was just what I needed to read. It was a small comfort. But still, the fear is there. Maybe because we were so close to it. I still remember exactly how I felt. I still have nightmares about it.

The good news is pretty obvious. Our boy lived. The update from that week in the NICU is still one of the highest rated posts on my blog. I'm pretty sure thousands and thousands have read it.

I think Don said it best... it's all about control. We don't have control over death, only God does.

Jesus gives a great deal of comfort to Martha saying “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” and Martha said to him “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
Jesus is asking Martha, and all the rest of us, to trust Him with our lives and even our deaths. But that’s a tough thing, isn’t it? To trust Jesus with our lives and our deaths, we have to give up all control. Then Jesus shows them, and those of us who believe, the power He has over death. He goes to the tomb and has them roll the stone away. He yells for Lazarus to come out, and Lazarus, still bound in funeral linens, stumbles out, the linens wrapped around his hands and feet and even his face. People rush to him and unwrap the linens so he can breathe.
So the question to us is pretty clear. Do we trust Jesus with our deaths? Do we trust Him with our lives? Some will, some won’t. I do. I find Him trustworthy. Perhaps because he weeps when we are devastated. Whatever He’s got going on on the other side of the door is where I want to be. As long as He’s there.
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Julie said...


As always, your heart shows through in your posts about Jack and its beautiful. I'm so grateful for the miracle of Jack and also for the promise we have as believers of life after death.

Brandi said...

That picture is heartbreaking and beautiful. It never seizes to amaze me how incredible Jack's journey was and continues to be.

Babs said...

Beautiful post. I'm sure that your writing lately has helped so many in similar situations. Letting them know that they are not alone.