Sunday, another week gone and a new one just beginning. It is a day for relaxing, enjoying family and having a second helping of what ever. A day for family and friends. Today is definitely following most of these norms.
The family, got that covered, we had a mini sleep over if you will, I had my niece, nephew and my grandson. So early this morning, we already had a full house. I love it and would not have it any other way, but of course it is Sunday, so getting ready to go to Mass, can be fun with 3 children to prepare. But we did it and off we went. I am director of our Sunday School and I generally busy until noon time. Today was not an exception.
The parents bustled their children into the classrooms, as the rest of us made sure everything was in order. As we served coffee to the parents, a parent started asking me some questions. One they were impressed that my 18 year old son was helping out. I shared their sentiment, but I told them he volunteered on his own. He had not been attending Mass with us on Sundays for a while and they wondered if it had anything to do with Rachel's death. I felt it was more teenage rebellion, but it could have been a factor, who really knows.
We kept talking about all that had taken place since Rachel had died, and how my son did have questions. He wondered why God had allowed his sister to die, why He hadn't been there, etc.? He was trying at the age of 14 to figure it all out. Something adults have been trying to do for years, but unlike my son, they maybe had a few more years before they were dealing with such a loss. I shared further that I responded as best as I could, simply saying that God really could not have prevented it, Rachel was driving way too fast. She was also tired and rather than pulling off to the side of the road, she fell asleep at the wheel.
I also told him that God had not abandoned us, He was with us the entire time, crying with us. God knew our pain, He knows our pain, He also had to watch his Son die. This seemed to satisfy my son's questioning at least for the time being. We continued to talk and they shared how they had had a difficult time trying to understand what was happening in their lives, and how they felt they had been abandoned. Stating further that they had even tried to bargain with God, in the hopes of getting a just and fair outcome.
We spoke further about the anger that is sometimes felt after a tragedy or a hardship in a family. How they could not understand why my husband and I were not angry at God, angry at the world, etc. I simply explained as I had done so with my son, 'who could I really blame?' No one had caused my daughter's accident, she was by herself. The police and rescue workers responded quickly, the hospital did all they could for my daughter; even the other driver, who Rachel had bumped into, got out of his car, searched for Rachel on the road, and began resuscitation until the paramedics could arrive.
We were actually grateful, knowing that from the moment of her accident, until her death, she was never alone. She had someone with her the entire time.
Death is one of those inevitabilities of life that we all wish we could be spared of, but it is a fact of life. We are born, so too we will die, hopefully at a ripe old age. This fact, however, does not make it easier to bear, I struggle with my daughter's death, every so often, I miss her, and think of her often, ever day actually. But this is normal, after all I am a parent, and what parent does not think of or worry about their children, even their adult children. So I continue moving forward, taking a detour once in a while to think of yesterday, to remember, to smile, to cry or to do whatever I feel like doing. After all this is all new to me.
But all this made me stop and think, made me wonder. How many people, after a death or tragedy, allow the anger and hurt to consume them. How many refuse to let go of something that they had or have no control over, something that cannot be changed. I have watched as friends have allowed it to eat them up, so that all they see is the pain, the hurt and the anger.
Yes, we have the right to feel angry, to feel as if we have been dealt a raw deal, but we need to let it go eventually. We need to allow ourselves to move beyond it. Trust me, I was angry, I felt cheated, I asked 'why me.' I went through those days of questioning, and second guessing myself, allowing doubts to flood my mind. But thankfully, I was able to move beyond this, to the recognition, that I really could not have done anything to change the outcome, to change what has happened to our family.
I understand that there is some anger that may be necessary, especially if the death was as a result of a homicide, but even those bereaved eventually find a way through their anger. Some have been moved to action, setting up laws and such to maybe prevent other families from going through the same thing. Still others have been moved to forgiving the person who robbed them of their loved one. They moved beyond the anger to find healing, and in their journey a way to help others.
There is always a way out , there is always a helping hand, and there is always someone who has been there, done that. Let go, and let hope, light and love in.
Blessings! and until we meet again.