Sunday, April 19, 2009

Losing Sight But Regaining Clarity

I'm usually fairly light hearted in my blog, but I needed to tackle something that's been swirling around the mommy-sphere for the past couple weeks. Someone losing a child always makes me step back and pause. Those moments when our heads swirl, the fears become overwhelming ... it's almost too much to process.

I heard the news about Maddie Spohr right as it happened, and while I never knew Maddie, or her parents, my heart was ripped to pieces for them. The loss of a child is so profound, so heart wrenching that I sometimes can't even cope. I read their beautiful memories of their amazing little girl, I watched their memorial video and just cried. Once I get past the passing of that beautiful girl I'm left worrying about the parents. How do you go on from something like that?

Then I think of one of my dearest and bestest friends Kat ... Kat and her husband, John, lost their little Kylie to SIDS when she was only 3 and a half months old. Of all the details I know about how the loss affected them the one that brings me clarity is one she only recently shared with me.

Over dinner one night she described sitting in the car after leaving the hospital without their little Kylie and how she and John looked at the empty car seat in the back. Somewhere in the despair of the event they turned to each other and declared that they wouldn't lose each other. As she uttered the words with tears in her eyes, my skin erupted in tingles.

I always think of the effect a loss can have on one person and the isolation and depression that can come with it. And I've always wondered if my own relationship could survive those deepest darknesses. But Kat's words gave me the inspiration to go home and hug my husband tighter. We always think to hug our children tighter when we hear stories about the loss of a child, but I promised myself to hug my husband tighter, too.

I know for a fact that what got my friends through those dark times was their love for each other. And their strength in their love for each other inspires me every day. I love my child with unfaltering depth, as we all do. But it's my husband, who I love with all that I am. I would do anything to protect and shield my child from anything that might cause her harm. But it's my husband who I will face those harms with. He is my partner, the person I chose to share my life with, and together (as a team) I know there is nothing we can't do.

I hope that the Spohrs lean on each other as they weather this rocky road ahead and learn from the strength of their own love. To my friends Kat and John, know that I draw constant inspiration from, and am always in admiration of, the love that you two share.

Hand in hand is how you do it,