I got a call early Friday morning that has made it difficult for me to post as I had planned. A good friend’s niece died suddenly and unexpectedly, she was only 8 months old. I knew her parents through my friend, but had not yet got to meet the new baby and now she is gone. This juxtaposed weirdly against the baby shower I helped host yesterday for another friend. It’s been difficult for me to wrap my brain around the birth of so many new babies lately and then this sudden death.
I guess I’ve grown accustomed over the last 2 years to celebrating life, with upwards of 10 babies being born to our friends and family, in addition to the 4-5 more that will be born this year. The death is just so incongruous and sad. It’s easy for me to say that I still trust in the Lord because this was not my child. Obviously, I can’t even understand what they are feeling because I’ve never even had a child at all. Today is the visitation and we are getting ready to go. Please pray or send positive thoughts toward everyone if you think of it.
I don’t think it has helped that I have been reading Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff. I’ve read a lot of stories about addicts and recovery, and heard a lot of my friends’ personal stories in Celebrate Recovery, and even stories from parents of addicts in the past. What I never realized was how all the stories I’ve heard included God. At the very least, the 12 steps require a Higher Power. I’ve been blessed to have seen God in all the stories I’ve heard so far, so that even when there is relapse, there is always a hope and a peace. That is how this one was different, and why reading it has also been very hard for me. The author doesn’t believe in God, and you can really see and feel it in the way he reacts to tragedy and heartbreak. He is terribly, utterly alone in his mind and his emotions. He is full of fear and panic. There is none of the “peace within the storm” that I see in families of addicts, addicts, or even people going through horrible trials that I have seen in the Watermark family. It was hard for me to read this book, knowing that without some kind of outside help, this man and his son were truly, truly alone. Even in the end of the book, no real peace, just a resignation to chaos. It was a painful book to me.
When I told another friend about the book and the death, she said “I am sorry, this is all very heavy”. I think that is a good description. I feel heaviness.