Tag Archives: Heaven

Broken Hearts and Huge Responsibility

Friday marked five months since we left Sacred Heart without our daughter. But when I woke up in the morning I was almost immediately occupied with other thoughts.

A monster in Connecticut took the lives of 20 children and six adults. There are no words.

Over the last few days my heart has been filled with these children, these brave teachers, but mostly, with the parents of the children lost.

That shooter didn’t just murder innocent children. He murdered their parents. Life will never be the same for them. They’ll never again rest easy in the confidence that they can protect their babies. Their Christmas gifts will go ungiven, their New Years Eve will be spent numb, or worse yet, on fire with anger and pain.

How can this kind of evil live?

I watched President Obama’s speech on Sunday evening and I choked up when he read the names of the six teachers who died on Friday. I cried bitter tears when he read the names of the children, turned to my husband and said, “There are just too many kids’ names.” I nodded in agreement when he said that our most important responsibility is to our children, and that if we are honest with ourselves, we have failed at this responsibility. On this one point I actually agree with a politician (or at least, with his speech writer).

I have a new “At least I’m not…
because I cannot imagine living my life after losing my child in such horrific, violent, terrifying, unspeakable circumstances. After Friday, I quite frankly find it hard to imagine having to raise a child in this world at all.

A friend wrote me a message after this awful event and it touched my heart. She said that she imagined Hudson was welcoming these children to her special place in Heaven, and it made me cry and smile all at once. My beliefs on the “afterlife” are all up in the air after losing our daughter (basically, I go with “whatever makes me feel better” these days), and there is something very comforting in imagining our lost children in a place where no pain can find them, where hurt is gone, where terror and fear are replaced with safety and comfort and joy. I imagine Hudson, who has had five months to explore the place, welcoming these “Big Kids” with smiles and hugs, showing them her favorite activities, talking about how soon they all will be reunited with their parents and what a wonderful day they have to look forward to but in the meantime who wants to ride that giraffe or slide down that rainbow? I can think of no better ambassador to Heaven’s gates than our own precious and gone-too-soon red headed dynamo.

My heart breaks again and again for these children, for their parents, for that community. How can we ever believe in beauty and goodness again? How can we make beauty and goodness in a world that is covered in a film of ugly evil?

But we simply have to.

We cannot be complacent. We cannot make this somebody else’s problem to deal with. It is our own.

Never pass up an opportunity to make a positive impact, however small. Hug your children tighter, listen to them, discipline them, motivate them, teach them and give them a strong moral compass. Volunteer. Contribute. Smile.

It wouldn’t be such a bad thing if the world as we know it were to end as the Mayan calendar predicts this Friday. And if I get to go to Heaven, I’ll be the first one in line for that rainbow ride with Hudson. But if we must stumble through this world for more than the next five days, perhaps we should make it our business to make it a world we would want our children to live in.



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Lost Baby

“We lost our baby.”

Another way of saying, “Our baby died,” “Hudson is dead.”

Takes the ownership of the whole business back on the parents. Baby’s not at fault here.

It’s a weird thing to say.

Like maybe we could call together a search party, and maybe our baby would be found. We could plaster every telephone pole and light post with pictures of beautiful baby Hudson, “Lost Baby, if found call 555-1212”.

It’s softer than “Our baby died” or “Hudson died”. It feels less permanent. “We lost our baby,” like misplaced car keys or wallets, not a real live human baby that we made. My wallet can be replaced. My car keys, I can live without. My baby, I often find it hard to live without.

I don’t like saying it – “We lost our baby.” Because I don’t like the reality behind it, first of all. But also because it seems like there should be a better way to say it. I long for prettier, more profound words to describe the worst thing that’s ever happened.

There are things that you lose that bum you out. I had a Roxy sundress that I LOVED when I was in highschool. Somewhere in the move from a highschool dorm to a college dorm to my sister’s apartment to my apartment, I lost it. I see pictures of me in that sundress and I miss it. I looked good in that sundress… but there will be other sundresses.

There are things that you lose that make you panic. Our dog, Diesel, fell out of the back of the Hubs’ truck one night. We looked for him for hours, the Hubs on foot, me driving up and down the route we’d traveled in the Dragon (what the Hubs’ refers to his truck as). Trying to find a black dog in the middle of the night is nearly impossible. And so we  had to go to bed without finding our puppy, and it was nearly impossible to sleep. The Hubs and I both dreamed we’d found him, woke up early to start hunting again, got the call from dispatch that he’d been found. I’ve never been so happy to find something.

There are things that you lose that make you sick to your stomach. My mother-in-law lost the diamond in her wedding ring many  years ago. She was working on the farm and the diamond fell out of its setting. That’s something that can’t be replaced, absolutely. But it hasn’t completely altered the course of her life.

And then, there are things that you lose that can wreck you. You lose a baby, and that’s it. There’s no replacement baby. There’s no reincarnation of Hudson, that beautiful ball of potential awesomeness (only a fraction of her awesomeness was realized in the three days that were her life). She is the one-and-only Hudson and she is lost to us in this life.

I see pictures of Hudson, and I miss her.

The Hubs and I go to sleep without her, dream that we find her, only to wake up and face a world without her.

She can’t be replaced, certainly. Losing her has completely altered the course of my life.

But I can’t let losing her wreck me. I may never find more “pretty, profound” words to describe the death of our child, but I won’t stop trying.

And in another lifetime, maybe I’ll find our one-and-only Hudson. Being with our daughter again will be Heaven.

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