Life is so hard, isn't it? Some roads seem to hold more heartache than others, but no one has a life free of struggle and pain. Today is May 24th, and I anticipate death arriving in 3 days. I can feel the cloud this week. I have a knot in my throat, a pit in my stomach, and tears on the edge at all times. This Saturday it will be four years since the birth and death of Koen. This is a week filled with much guilt for me. I felt weird all week, had noticed things, felt kicks less frequently. Why wasn't I more adamant? Why did I push through? What if I had noticed? What if he was taken out before death? Why did my body fail and cause the death of my own son? Why didn't God protect him, why didn't he push me to ask more questions? How long was he dead inside my body? The only question I think I can answer, is the last one. I wasn't aware at the time. But I could tell you the moment even that Koen died. My eyes closed as I rode in the car with Kevin and Hackett on our way to dinner on May 25th. I was overcome in that moment, felt awful, and couldn't shake the weird emotional and physical feeling. I think I felt his spirit leave his body and mine. We went to Loon's Baseball game after, and I didn't speak or move the entire game. It's haunting.
Hackett has been struggling at school, life is hard, and relationships aren't easy. He seems settled in our new home and life, but then things occur that make his heartache, and he pines for what was. It is so hard to watch. We want to save our kids heartache and pain, but life doesn't allow us that luxury. I debated sharing this image of Hackett from our Mother's Day with Koen. But he is not shy about his feelings with us, and I know so many of you that follow my story have experienced loss too. So I share to help you see how profoundly impacted our (mine and your) kids are. The loss of Koen devastated Hackett. He is not impacted daily, but when he is reminded of what he lost - not what Kevin and I lost - but what he lost. His brother, his playmate, his hopes and dreams for a sibling - it hurts his heart. I know he flashes back too. He was old enough to remember the turmoil and pain. Old enough to remember his dad carrying his brothers casket to his grave. Old enough to recall his mom being in a fog of grief. It pains me to see. Hurts me to know that his road at young age already has bumps and sharp turns. He made me this book on Mother's Day all on his own. Moving is his narrative in life, but so is feeling supported and loved. It both broke my heart and made it explode with gratitude at the same time.
Life's road is so hard, but when we feel loved and supported by those who walk alongside us it makes it so much easier to bear. I listened to a sermon that had a profound impact on me around Easter, and plan to listen and study more, and share soon. It centers around the scriptures in Luke 24 on the road to Emmaus. Jesus had been crucified, and had just been resurrected. I mean, what a huge moment for Jesus, right? But do you know what he did? He found a sad couple, who were experiencing heartache at the death of Jesus himself, and were walking from Jerusalem down the road to Emmaus back to their home. Jesus showed up on their sad road. He saw sadness on their faces and he walked with them all the way home. This couple saw Jesus as a man during this walk and did not recognize him until he revealed himself to them at the end of the road. Jesus showed up on my road to Emmaus too. Sometimes I don't understand, and don't see him on the walk, but he is there walking right with me during my sadness. And when his preseence is revealed to me I often have a moment where I fall to my knees in gratitude. He was there all along. He is with Hackett walking along side him too. How I wish I could spare Hackett the heartache, but the ability to show him at age 10, that he is never alone on his road, especially when it is filled with sadness, is the best give I could ever give him. You are alone on your road either, my friends. Jesus is walking right alongside you in your sadness too, even if you can't recognize him.
I am Jackie.