The Aftermath

If you missed the previous post click The End

There are nights when I still hear the constant beeping of machines.

Sometimes I turn over in my bed and expect to be able to look down and see Keven next to me.

If there is a noise outside my window, I often instinctively want to jump out of bed and check on Keven and make sure he is okay. It takes me a moment to calm down and remind myself that he is not here. 

Occasionally when I hear something beep my heart rate rises and it takes a moment for me to realize I do not have to jump into action. I have to calm down and tell myself that this noise is not my responsibility. 

If beeping alarms go off and they don’t get turned off right away I can’t focus on anything other than that. It’s a constant internal struggle between the feeling of needing to do something and telling myself that everything is fine, nothing needs to be done. 

I have developed an ear for the feeding pump. I can hear it’s beeping from a distance before anyone near me even notices it. 

One night in January I heard the beeping noises from the oxygen pump and monitor while I was laying in bed. A child who was not in my care was sleeping with the nurses, who’s window shared a wall with my room. Before I even registered what the noise was my heart started racing and my breathing got labored. I had to talk myself down and remember that this was not my responsibility and that everything was okay. The beeping was intermittent so I’d have to calm myself down after each time it started again until I prayed myself to sleep. 

There are nights when the tears are so present. Nights when I just want to hold Keven one more time. Nights where I need reassurance that he felt loved and that I did everything I could do.

I worry that I’m forgetting what he looked like or how it felt when his arms fell onto my shoulders, almost like he was giving me an actual hug.

I worry that his huge smile that lit up his whole face is fading from my memory. Or that the sound of his joyful laughter, that he only learned to do in the last year of his life will be forgotten. 

It’s frustrating. What was the purpose of giving so much to Keven just for him to die? I wouldn't not give him everything I did even if I knew the outcome, it’s just frustrating. 

You know, I loved the time I had with Keven but why did it take him eight months to die? It would have been so much easier if he died at the beginning of his sickness. I mean, he was worth every moment I spent with him. He was worth the severe sleep deprivation, the tears, the constant worry, the endless questions, and everything those months entailed, but why did he have to struggle so much?  A person deserves to feel loved and valued. It’s just what a mama does. I am honored and blessed that I got to do that for Keven in his last year of life.

Somedays I can trust that God’s plan is better than anything I can imagine. That God knew and loved Keven way more than I ever could (and still does). Other days it isn’t so easy. I question the purpose of his life. I wonder if it would have been easier if I had never met him, if he had never made it to COTP. That is so selfish of me to think. His last days were honored. I hope he felt loved. I don’t know if he would have felt the same love if he didn’t come here. 

It just sucks. No matter what way you look at it. I’m supposed to try to see the beauty in it, but that is hard. I wanted so badly another outcome. I wish Keven was still with us today. I’m so glad  that we will get to see each other again one day in Heaven. 

I know God is love. I can’t deny that. I’ve felt his love, I’ve seen his love, I’ve learned and read about his love. I know it is there and exists. I’m struggling a bit with understanding this though. I can’t imagine that God chose for Keven to die. I can’t think of any good reason why a child had to suffer so much. He didn’t do anything wrong. If it was to change my life—couldn’t God have come up with a better way than a child having to suffer? I don’t understand this. I’ve heard all your ways are good and all your ways are perfect and if that is so I don’t know that I can believe that it was His perfect plan for Keven to go through so much pain and suffering just to die. I believe He was in it. I believe He held Keven through it all. But, I just don’t know how it all fits together. 

For the last couple of weeks I have been reading a book/devotional called “I Am: A 60-Day Journey to Know Who You Are because of Who He Is” by Michelle Cushatt. The following excerpt gave me a lot of comfort. 

“But in this season of suffering, I also needed Jesus’ grief and death. I needed to know a God who suffered, because I suffered. I needed to know a God who felt pain, because then He knew something of my pain. 

In the Golgotha of my agony, I finally understand the comfort of the cross. At the broken body of Jesus, I finally feel known and understood. It is there, where both Jesus and I weep for all that’s been lost, that I am safe enough to say, “I’m not okay.” I’m no longer shamed into silence or looked at with confusion. Instead, Jesus’ eyes meet mine, and somehow I know that He knows. 

God does not expect me to dance at His empty tomb without weeping at His cross. I don’t have to hide my grief or pretend I’m stronger than I am. Instead, I am blessed to have a Savior who steps into my story, who understands me more than any mother, father, husband, or friend ever can.”

I think I needed that to know I have permission to grieve, I don’t have to pretend to be strong, and I can say “I’m not okay.” But, I also need that to say I can celebrate. I can still honor Keven’s life and celebrate who he is without staying where I have been. Keven will always be a part of my life and even if his memory starts to fade, I will have pictures, my journals, and these blogs to remember him. 

I can’t claim to have it all together because it’s clear that I don’t. I’m learning the truth of that last paragraph, I’m learning to let God (and others) love me through this time, and I’m learning that it is okay to live with grief and joy at the same time. Will you join me in soaking up this truth if you need to hear it as well? Will you please pray for me as I daily remind myself of these things? 

*Children of the Promise has given explicit permission for the posting of photos on this site. Photos taken of children in the care of Children of the Promise are not to be posted publicly without explicit permission given by Children of the Promise.  


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