Unfortunately, none of us are strangers to this, myself included. No matter the shiny, happy faces we as prideful people put on. The past few months have been very difficult for me on a personal level, for reasons I haven’t disclosed. Solo grief brings a dreadful weary.
Today, after my baby-is-down-for-a-nap-so-I'm-going-to-do-a-quick-blog-check, grief found me again. But, today, for this particular situation, I am grieving publicly.
I have an emotional vulnerability of sorts, Pain, suffering of any kind, by people I do not even know, I tend to carry with me. I shy away from watching the news and reading the paper because of it.
So to jump into a country like Haiti is especially tough for me. The pain, the suffering, seem insurmountable. Jumping into Haiti is sending Grief an engraved invitation to reside on the doorstep of your soul.
Grief unearths beauty. Beauty like the incredible American family who open their home and hearts to little children from Haiti with debilitating medical conditions—the most fragile of the fragile. Beauty like the family that took in two unrelated baby girls, each with their own major medical concerns.
This family advocated for these girls. They took them to countless doctors, appointments. They waited with that sick anxious feeling while the girls were in surgeries. They endured sleepless nights, weary heads, aching hearts. They smiled, snuggled, LOVED these girls.
The girls became healthy, whole. And in just a few months, they were returned to their parents in Haiti. Healthy, whole. Shining, these girls represented Hope and Opportunity in a country where so little of both exist
Tragically, yesterday, one of those little girls died. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. In a hospital without adequate supplies. Had she been here, had she been any one of our children, she would have likely lived.
Through this family’s blog, I spent the past months watching her development, saying little prayers as I read about her medical concerns. I cried at the beauty that there are people so kind, so good, that they would love a child, nurse a child to health, and selflessly return them to their parents. I cried because this baby’s parents loved her SO much that they put their faith and trust in complete strangers to take their baby far away to another country. And now this baby girl is gone. And I feel grief. Even though I am a Christian, and I know that this baby girl is in her eternal home with our King of Kings, there is undeniable grief.
With this grief, comes an awareness, a thankfulness, for what we have here. If my children fall and are injured, chances are they will go to a hospital and be cured. I trust that the hospital will have the supplies and staff to help. I realize that this, sadly, this is not always the case, but it certainly is the norm.
After my return from Haiti, I struggled with the amount of excess in this country. In my own home. For months, I carried an internal dialogue about why we have so MUCH, and others have so little. I have prayed on this. For myself, I feel that the answer is that we are not given so much so that we can live in the lap of obscene luxury (and while I’m not a Trump, compared to Haiti, obscene luxury is exactly what I live in), but that we are given so much so that we, in turn, can give so much, and do so much.
Our potential for the good we can do is incredible—just look at our resources alone! When, along this road, did it become okay for this excess? For us to turn our backs on those in need? For us to feel that every want is a need, and for us to feel terrible injustice if we are not able to have every material whim.
The injustice is that there are loving parents who, despite their best efforts, cannot get the most basic of care for their children. The injustice is that so very few care. The injustice is that so many more will care only when it happens to them in our own country.
With grief, comes blessing. The blessing of being thankful for what we have. The blessing of being thankful for what is to come. In my grief for this baby girl and the two families who loved her so very much, I am praying for the blessing of realizing the changes I need to make and the good that I can do with the enormity of what I have been given.