Thursday, February 4, 2016

Five years...

Five years ago tonight, I crawled into bed next to my very pregnant wife. She was more than ready to have a baby, even if the thought of actually giving birth to a baby terrified her.

I’ve spent five years wondering what I would have done different if I had known that I would never crawl into bed next to her again. Would it change anything if I knew she would be gone in a few short hours and our daughter would be on life support systems in the NICU at CS Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor?

Five years and I don’t have answers to those questions…I don’t have answers to the most of the questions that still roll around in my head.

I don’t expect I ever will.

Five years and so much is different and so much is still the same.

In the eyes of the world, I know I’m “moving on” well; I’m “getting over” the loss, as it were.

I’m remarried. I have a family. Life is good.

And…

…life is good. I have reasons to smile every day. I have children to play with and hug. I have a beautiful wife…and I love crawling into bed next to her every single night. Some people have even used the word “restoration” and congratulated me on where I’m at now...I prefer to think of it all as my new normal.

But…

…the ache of loss is still there.

Every time my son reaches a new milestone, there’s a reminder, from somewhere deep in the back of my head, that I won’t get to see Miranda grow up. I often wonder if a day will come when he will do something new and I won’t hear that low voice.

I still have people tell me they don’t think they could endure what I’ve been through. I don’t think I’ve ever responded to that out loud, usually keeping my thoughts to myself. I think about how they would either lean into their faith, their family, and their friends, where they would find strength they never knew they had, or they would shrivel into a pitiful reflection of their former selves, with eyes that never look to a brighter future. I don’t know what drives people down the path they choose, but I will never be ungrateful that my path was/is the first.

Five years later and there are still days when it feels like it all just happened yesterday.
Five years later and there are days when it feels like something I saw in a movie once, something that happened to someone else.
Five years later and I choose to find strength in my brokenness, joy in my family, and victory in my Savior. Because, five years later, I truly believe God can help us find beauty in the ashes.

4 comments:

  1. Chad, it is such a blessing to hear an update! A few months ago I was thinking about you, and wondering how you were doing. I suppose I could have commented on an old post and asked you. My heart smiled to read of your new wife and family. Chad, I am so happy for you, and that God would turn your ashes into beauty. He is always faithful like that! Thank you Jesus for Your love, hope, mercy, peace, and SO much more! Chad, you are human, and God knows that you have many questions and what-ifs. And that is okay. It's okay to hurt over your great loss. I cannot imagine you ever "getting over it." In my grief, I've labeled it "manageable." We manage, with only the Lord's help, to navigate on through life and to create new memories. We never forget. No way. But we press on because He gives us the strength. Sending hugs to you and your family from Northern Japan. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've thought of and prayed for you and your family (past and future) since I heard the news. A strangers, feeling your loss and lifting you up to God. I'll never forget you and can never stop rejoicing in the demonstration of your faith and God's love for all of you. Much love to your family and your heart that will always validly feel what you do. Prayers from Fishers, In. - Cait

    ReplyDelete
  3. Chad, I followed your story 5 years ago when you were going through the loss of Sarah and Miranda. We had a newborn baby boy and we're devastated to think of the great loss it is to lose a child and wife. I posted the link on our blog at that time, because I was so heartbroken for your loss and wanted others to be praying for you and Miranda. I just happened to be looking through our past blog posts today and saw your newest update. I think you said it perfectly. Finding beauty in the ashes. We continue to pray for you. Thank you for sharing where you're at now. Bless you and your family. Please continue to update as you feel led. We'll keep praying for you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was thinking about you today... It's good to read you again. To know you're out there, to know your heart has healed a little. A loss like that can not be forgotten, we don't really move on (although at the same time we do) and a part of us will always stay there. Time heals, love evolves. Hugs!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading my blog. Comments must be approved before they are posted. I try to approve comments several times throughout the day.

Thanks,
Chad