Thursday, June 11, 2009

Love v. Fear

Monumental Cemetery, Milan: Children.Image by anadah via Flickr

There is no fear in love, ...perfect love expels fear ~Henri Nouwen

I have been a volunteer for The MISS Foundation for 11 years now.

When I meet someone and they ask what I do and I explain that I work as a volunteer with families after the death of a child, no matter their age or the cause of death, a question always arises: "How can you do that every day?"

Honestly, I do what I do, first and foremost, to honor the memory of those three babies of mine that died before their time.

Second of all, I do it because I am honored to be allowed to walk with these wonderful people through their grief journey and to meet their children through their loving eyes.

I am always in awe to see, to hear and to read so much love, even through the most horrible, inexplicable and raw pain they are in.

They have had to bury their precious children, they have faced the most horrible tragedy a human being should experience: the death of a child.

Still their love shines through.

Once in a while the question comes: "would you change a thing in your life if you already knew the outcome?"

"No!" That is the answer they'll give.

Would you rather not knowing your child if you knew he/she would die? No.

It is worth the pain of loosing a child to death, just to be able to feel that undying, maternal love. It is worth the pain of burying one's child, just to have seen the look in his/her eyes.

And all the rawness of that terrible grief is worth, just to have gotten into one's child's embrace and hearing "I love you mom"

Because love is stronger than death.

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1 comment:

  1. I was just talking with my neighbor's about this, kind of. We were talking about how we are glad we didn't know what life held for us, we might not have chosen to have the lives we have. One of my neighbors has a son with Down's and the other has been caring for her mother who is confined to bed and has little control over her body, though her mind is still there, until death. Both of them agreed that being given the choice before hand, it would have been hard to choose these things (given that they had to happen but could happen to someone else). But now they, like me, would not live a different life, one that did not include these wonderful people who have changed us so profoundly and asked from us what we didn't think we had to give.

    As always dear Carla, I so wish we could have met on a parenting board, comparing birth stories and trading good recipes for baby food, but given that we had to live this life, I'm so glad I know you and all your kiddos.