Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Show down

A long time ago, a life time ago, I wrote a post on a forum about letting go. It was about 6 months after Maya died. I found it today

I am wondering if some of you would be happy to share how you came/are coming to a point of "letting go" of your precious son or daughter. Not of forgetting them or stopping loving them, but of saying goodbye in your heart, and of making a choice to live in the present. A choice to face the present and the future, which means, effectively, turning away from the past. A choice for life over death, a choice for what is, over what has been.I can feel this point approaching and it seems unbelievably unfair that this choice is before me. It is almost as hard as facing little Maya's death. I have been immobolised by rage at the thought of having to make this choice.... but I feel that it is something I have to do. Engage with now. Take stock of this painful, muddled exsistence, of my empty arms, of relationship complexities, of uncertainty about the future and (at the moment) my stupid job - and own it. Recognise that this is it. This is life, at least, this is my life (not what i imagined or planned I assure you!). It's the real thing, not something I have to sit through while I wait for the real thing to begin. These are the things that I need to begin to face, and I can't do it while all of my heart and mind and strength is with my precious girl. I have to gently say goodbye. And it splits me in two to do it.Where do you find the kind of courage that is needed for this? How have you "marked" this decision (ie, what did you do/say/write/draw/what ritual did you engage in/ was it witnessed by the people you love)?

The reason I have been thinking about this post is that I feel another such battle on its way. This time, it is about my future, not my past. It's a battle over hope, or at least a particular kind of hope, or hope in a particular kind of outcome.

I'm in the ring with God. I obviously won't win but I plan on giving it a red hot go. I demand to know why he is making me give over not only my past, but my future to Him. I want to know how He can be so cruel. Why He demands so much. And why He demands it from me. And why others don't have to give anything up, not even their illusions. Fundamentally, I do not want to give over, accept, let go, trust my future to Him because well fankly, He has proved himself to be untrustworthy. He does not hold my heart gently, but rather beats it again and again and again. He offers no protection, no sanctuary. He does not honour my love, for Maya and for all those little potential lives we have created together. He does not see it as worthy. He takes everything. He takes them all, those precious lives, big and tiny, and gives nothing in return. except inescapable beauty.

And like Jacob, I will not stop fighting until He blesses me. I will not hand over my tiny precious hope. I will not just give it up. Give me something God, something.

I did eventually give Maya into God's keeping. We had a little ceremony at her grave in which Jake and I said those words "We give her to Your keeping" . I did it, and wondered if possibly I was the worst parent in the world for doing so, but I knew that there was nothing else I could do for her while she was in the next world and I was in this one, so I gave her to God. I felt free after that. Strong and free, even though deciding to do it hurt so much. I still question that action sometimes, I wonder what it says about me as a parent. But I did it in love. I did it in love.

I wonder too, what sort of parent I am when I trust my daughter to Him and yet, do not, can not, will not trust Him with my own life.


Anonymous said...

You are a loving and wonderful parent, what you have given Him is your love and dreams, in so many ways. I can understand how it must be so difficult to trust. I dont understand why many of us are beaten down continually, ripped of every hope and dream, but what is miraculous, is that we stand up and brush ourselves off, hollow inside, battered and broken, and accept reality, a tattered and sad reality, and we learn to try keep living this way until we can finally trust again.
Thinking of you always.

Michele said...

Just because we trust Him doesnt mean we agree with His decisions or understand. God knows, I dont understand and we have it out in discussions every now and then. I dont know why we were chosen for this. I try to remember the other people who have suffered greatly. Why was Mary given such a gift only to have her son brutally tortured and murdered? Honestly, I can't say that I would be okay with "for the good and salvation of mankind". I would have told God how that was too high a price to pay for my baby boy.

The only thing that sometimes gets me through (and I say sometimes because most times, I'm angry and b!tchy, and tearful, and just want to scream "WHY!!! WHY!!!") is the thought that my husband told me a minister shared with him some years back. "What if each sorrow and suffering was Christ on the cross saying "will you take just this burden from me and carry the load with me?""

The reality is that our children have died before us. That they have gone to a place away from us yet with us still. That we cant mother them in the way that other women mother their babies. That they hold us in the breath of the wind and the kisses of the rain while our arms remain empty. And it isnt freaking fair. It's horrible and mean and it makes me angry. But, even then, I know that God is there. I know that God mourns with me. I know that Mary mourns with me. And I know that my children celebrate each day in heaven, in the presence of God face to face, and that that is what we are walking to acheive one day. God knows I wish that I was there with them, but for whatever reason, that isn't part of my journey yet. But it's the only thing that keeps me going: the knowledge that one day, I will see them face to face.

And I know you'll see Maya again and be able to hold her in your arms for all eternity. Don't give up on that. Commending her spirit to God wasn't you being a bad parent, it was you being joyous for her heavenly presence and letting her know that, one day, you'll be there with her.

Thinking of you, so much.

Coming2Terms said...

Oh, B, this post strikes deep -- so many powerful emotions here. The rage, the sadness, the unanswerable questions.

I wish I had some good advice here but I'm still trying to reconcile my relationship...wishing you peace and strength.

Lori said...

I cannot tell you how many times I listened to "Gethsemane" during this part in my own healing.


I completely understand your predicament. It's not so much the sadness that I had to get through, it was the anger.

Sitting with you, B.

Mrs. Spit said...

I think, like the other comments, I don't have anything to give you.

I have struggled, and I'm beginning to think I always will. There are no good answers this side of heaven, for any of the tragedies that befall us and our world.

mrsmuelly said...

You are an amazing parent to give Maya over to Him. And I agree with Michele - Just because we trust, doesn't mean we must agree. Only He can see the "big" picture...and honestly, even that doesn't give me much solace. Maybe one day we will know why...maybe. The thing that does keep me going is knowing that I will see the boys one day - and that you will see Maya one day. I know that is part of His plan, and a part that I can agree with.

Kami said...

Such a beautiful post and I am rooting for you to win your battle against God.

As you know, I took a different path and decided that there is no God of any kind. I truly believe that, for better and worse. I am not saying you are wrong, we all find the truth that works for us. But I am probably of no help to you on this part of the journey.

FWIW, I think it shows the depth of your feeling and willingness to embrace the life that you have by giving Maya over to a realm you cannot live in.

Go B!

S said...

I cannot imagine you and Jake being anything but the best parents you could be, regardless of God's 'involvement'. (If that's what passiveness is called).

God and I have a funny relationship. We don't talk much. Not anymore.

My god doesn't have a denomination, s/he isn't Hindu (although I used to pray to Ganesh, so much for good luck before a journey) and s/he isn't Christian, Hebrew, whatever.

I prayed a lot, that's what I was taught from a young age and in high school. I try my damnedest to be spiritual, not holy, but spiritual. I never used to pray for much. Always thankful. Never asked for anything substantial, until I started this seemingly hopeless IVF ride and asked that my first ever BFP on the first ever IVF cycle (how lovely, right? Of course I thanked this God for this) would stay safe and come home with us safe in 8+ months. Little did I know that I would be spiralled into a cruel, miserable pattern of so many dead babies. Little did I know that my favorite Nietzsche quote would become a motto for my life ("Hell is repetition").

I remember miscarrying my first baby and praying desperately, arguing, raging, trying to "make a deal" - nothing. Silence. When Janaki died, my third cycle, I lost my faith. I now believe s/he exists. But is powerless. Useless. And a sadist.

To date, I haven't had one answered prayer. Its always that unfathomable silence.

Now...I don't bother anymore. I'm not noble, cannot sing his/her praises as all my babies get taken from me. I just can't keep up my end of the bargain when s/he does nothing to help me or protect my babies from death. That's all I ever wanted. Maybe s/he's protecting my babies in the afterlife, who knows.

I've therefore learned to let go of Janaki very bitterly, fighting to the last moment, but miserable acceptance that this is my life now. The road I walk, I walk alone. Faithless in a higher power that seems to hold me sway, while doing everything to betray me over and over.

Your ceremony was beautiful, so symbolic. It sucks having to let go, especially to such an absentee God. But I have to believe that Maya and Janaki and all our babies are in good hands. If they can't have their mothers (and dads) - surely they must have the best babysitter in the world. Surely.

luna said...

beautiful post, B. I hope you win the face off. battling with your faith must be such an internal struggle.

wishing you peace and strength.

Phoebe said...

My heart goes out to you. I've given up trying to understand God's motives. I don't think that I could really possibly understand otherwise the cruelty.

The present is really all we have. Past and future are just illusions. Sometimes, I think we have to let go of the illusion that we have some kind of control over our destiny. If we can do that, other doors may open that were once closed. At least, I can hope so.

Michele said...

I have a question for you... Can you email me? michele dot haytko at gmail dot com.

S said...

Just popping in to see how you were doing, hoping the pain in your heart has eased to a dull, bearable throb. Thinking of you and Jake.