28 January, 2010

when we find ourselves asking, "why?"

Tonight I read,

"[He] shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to hear, and curing all manner of diseases"

and for the first time,
and completely despite myself,
I heard my heart whisper,
"why?"

"why not him?
why not my son?"

The answer came as quickly as the fleeting questions.

"And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish. . . . and lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men."

and I realized.

He also could have spared himself.

but he didn't.

He didn't spare himself.

. . . because he loves me.

He wanted to feel what he knew I would have to feel,
every ounce of it,
so he would know how to comfort me.

And then He willingly died
so He could break the bands of death. . .

that my son might do the same.

That he might one day,
be by my side. . .

forever.

. . . it is through my suffering,
though comparatively insignificant it may be,
that I will come to know Him.

That I may one day,
be by His side. . .

forever.

and guess what?
he loves you in the same, perfect way.

You see?

God is good.
All the time.

71 comments:

wewantedtheirwings said...

You are beautiful, amazing, incredible, brave, strong, real, funny, sensitive, intelligent & a million other words (I have to stop with them though because it's bed time in Sydney, Australia...)

I ALSO wanted to say thank you. For this entry. It's like...Mmm. Something just really clicked. Like, REALLY clicked. Thank you. God is good. All the time. You are right.

Lots of love,
Katie xx

Stefanie said...

I truly think you are an amazingly brave woman - a woman that all should strive to be. Your strength through tragedy is inspiring, and the way that you write about your faith and personal journey with Christ is... well, I just don't have a word for it. Thank you for reminding me to be as forward and brave with my faith as well. Though my blog isn't nearly as well-read as yours, I haven't broached the subject yet - and tonight will be the night. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Caro said...

Hi Natalie,
I admire your strength of faith and I send you my prayers, as good as I can.
With lots of love, thinking of you,
Caroline

Brandi said...

Well said.

dailythread said...

He is strong in our weakness, holds us up when we can't do it on our own. He's keeping both of your Gavins with Him until you get there! I don't know how anyone deals with this kind of sorrow without the Lord to help them. Still praying for you and your family.

dailythread said...

He is strong in our weakness, holds us up when we can't do it on our own. He's keeping both of your Gavins with Him until you get there! I don't know how anyone deals with this kind of sorrow without the Lord to help them. Still praying for you and your family.

Olivia said...

WOW.. i really have to stop reading your posts while I am at work. My co-workers are going to wonder why I continue to spontaniously burst into tears.

Thank you so much for this. I really needed to be reminded of that. I know and believe in it, but I think far to often I take it for granted. Thank you for being the amazing woman you are and being my heaven sent teacher. I love you!

Marci said...

It's amazing how you can describe things...things I have heard, and read, and learned my whole life...put into your context and written so beautifully just hit me all over again.

Tauni said...

Nat,
He is SO good. I've been reading Jesus The Christ this year, and the night little Gavin passed away I started on Chapter 3 "THE NEED OF A REDEEMER" I was really heartbroken and praying for further understanding of the trial of death. All of chapter 3 taught me more than I could have expected. I read it over 4 times that night and was so overcome by the Spirit and knowledge I gained.
These are some great words from ch. 3.
"What other man has lived with power to withstand death, over whom death could not prevail except through his own submission?"
"Death has come to be the universal heritage; it may claim its victim in infancy or youth, in the period of life's prime, or it summons may be deferred until the snows of age have gathered upon the hoary head; it may befall as the result of accident or disease, by violence, or as we say through natural causes; but come it must and Satan well knows; and in this knowledge is his present though but temporary triumph. But the purposes of God, as they ever have been and ever shall be, are infinitely superior to the deepest designs of men or devils; and the Satanic machinations to make death inevitable, perpetual and supreme were provided against even before the first man had been created in the flesh. The atonement to be wrought by Jesus the Christ was ordained to overcome death and to provide a means of ransom from the power of Satan."
He chose to give his life for these great purposes and for the greatest purpose of the Father, "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."
Thanks for sharing
Love you!
T

Luxurious Texas Real Estate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
My dreams are bursting at the seams said...

Thank you Natalie.
God Bless you and your family.

Bonnie and Kent and sons said...

I occasionally check in even tho we are not "friends", just a friend from Hauula 3rd ward. Me, an old Mommy whose kids are grown, me who also knows without even the slightest doubt that our Father knows us, hears our pleas and answers us. My morning tears are shed for you, your family and the pain you have suffered. I experienced that pain once with the temporary loss of my precious son ( in a non-custodial abduction).
I begged the Lord to answer me, to give me something to hang onto, to teach me how to accept his will if the outcome did not result in my baby's return. When he answered me, I was shocked and forever after, I promised him that I would share my tetimony of his infinite love and presence. If it was an angel or the Lord himself, I do not know but the peace that came over me was profound. "Bonnie, do not be afraid, your son will be returned to you today." I'll spare you the unpleasant details but most important is that I too know He is there for us. I know that you know that too. I still ask WHY? often and my husband also reminds me that the Lord helps us in so many unique ways. Why me? to hear out loud such a definite verbal communication? Me, who is not more special than anyone else? I'm still not sure, but know that it was part of our Father's plan that I should raise our son and know that the Lord and his angels will come to us when they know we need Him to sustain us. My testimony of this is difficult to share with others, other than in generalities. I've gotten a few "deer in the headlight" stares and I wonder if some think I am having delusions of grandeur. I know you are one who can relate to being in close touch with our Father in heaven. Your son will be returned to you someday. I know you know this. The separation is very difficult, mine was just for four days of "Hell" and nothing like what our brother, Jesus bore for us. Our little taste nearly killed us. How he must Love us!!!! I know your heart is healing and your burden is being made lighter as time goes by. Thank you for sharing yourself on the blog and FB. I can always find thoughts of hope and peace etc. I'm getting older and slower and fatter and loving Hawaii more and more each day after 20 years here. Bless you and your family to find more peace and joy in your lives and think of the joyous reunion with Gavin waiting for you on the next go round.

Hollie said...

I have been following your blog long before this tragedy. I truly love your words. You have inspired me in so many ways. Thanks for reminding me what is truly important in life. I too am grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ and all that he does and has done for me. Thank you for being the person you are! You have touched so many people.

Kjrsten said...

beautiful.
tears.
thank you for this.

ashley said...

So true. :)

OurLittleFamily said...

I check in with your blog every couple of months but find myself visiting every couple of days now because I am so impressed by your strength and faith. I keep a "quote wall" right next to my desk and my computer. When I find inspiring statements and scriptures I add them to my wall. I want to share one with you. Neal A Maxwell once said, "There are times when the straight and narrow can only be followed on one's knees." A man who understood how hard this life could get. My other favorite that seems to need to be shared is found in Romans 8:19 "Hope is an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast."

Kelly said...

Our pastor talked about this very thing on Sunday. When bad things (he referred to Haiti for his sermon) happen and non-believers will say, "Where is your God now?" That same exact reason you mentioned is what he built his whole sermon around. That Christ didn't spare his OWN suffering, He suffered, too. Jesus went through turmoil and suffering just as He knew we would. And He is there...always there every time we need Him. God is good...all the time. Amen.

Praying for you, Natalie.

Anonymous said...

You really do have such strength and I greatly admire you for that. Maybe this is not an appropriate question, but did your sweet baby have a cough as a main symptom? I am only asking because I was wondering how you knew he was so sick? I am afraid that I would not take my baby to the hospital because I do not know the symptoms.If this question is too foward, I appologize and do not feel the need to answer it at all.

Kendall said...

Natalie,
I am just continuously in awe of your strength and belief in the Lord. I don't feel like I have a great understanding of Him, and your posts really do help me to learn more about Him. I've started to have a better understanding and realization that God is good, always, even when bringing one of his children home. He IS. Thank you for teaching me, especially as you heal from the loss of your son...
He was and is an angel baby. As a new mom myself to our 3 month old Addison Renee, I find myself just struck with grief for your loss. Then I'll come back to read your blog and see you holding the rest of us up. You're incredible Natalie...
Thank you

Skye and Aaron said...

You are inspiring.

Cordie said...

What a beautiful thought! Thank you!!

Dana said...

Thank you for your thoughts!

Natalie. said...

anon,

Not too forward AT.ALL.

Gavin coughed only a couple of times actually before we took him in. The main symptom I noticed was trouble breathing. So I took him to a pediatrician (Dr. Johnson in SLC, she is amazing). She told me he had the beginning stages of RSV and gave me a list of things to watch for:

elevated heart rate (over 60 bpm), sucking in of the abdomen when breathing, flaring of nostrils when breathing, sucking sound when breathing (almost like a grunt), and not eating (not having wet diapers).

When we started to see a couple of these symptoms, we took him in. The night before we went to the hospital, I stayed up with him all night. I made a tent out of sheets in my parent's living room and put a humidifier inside. I stayed in there with him counting heart beats and watching his chest etc. I nearly took him in a few times but now I'm glad I waited until the next day. Had I taken him in the middle of the night, I'd have gone to another, more proximal hospital. I'm really glad I went to Primary Children's because you just can't get better care.

Hope that helps.

When in doubt, take him in. No matter what. Even if the doctor rolls their eyes and laughs in your face, you trust you instinct. PERIOD.

Love,
Nat

Camille said...

Well put! Thank you for the sweet reminder. Again - you put things into perfect perspective for me! hugs...

Ams said...

God is good.
All the time.
Amen.
You're amazingly strong...

Robbie said...

Thanks for sharing your personal, spiritual insights, Natalie. May you continue to feel God's love and inspiration as you read the Scriptures and pray.
xoxo
robin mikolyski

Damaris said...

i really needed to be reminded of this today. i really honestly did

stef j. said...

oh nat...

somehow, i don't really know how, my eyes have been dry since the day of the funeral. seeing you there so resilient and strong seemed to assuage all my fears and grief on your behalf. i thought, "she can do this. they can do this."

but today they're back for whatever reason, not because i doubt your strength anymore, or think you're little family will be be any less ok... but because it's true. what you said is true...

HE REALLY DOES LOVE US THAT MUCH.

i suppose the sacrifice Christ made for us is so much more real once one experiences loss... death. and Heavenly Father's sacrifice, something i can't even grasp by the hairs of my chinny chin chin, i guess in some small way, parents who have lost their children are more attune to God's love and grief. YOU are more attune to God's love and grief.

i love you, woman.

(note: i don't actually have chin hairs. and if i'd did, i'd pluck, so you'd never know...)

Dorinda Peyton said...

Beautiful truth...

Ally said...

Dear Natalie,
The craziest thing in my own recovery was when I could finally say "Why NOT me?".
Man, it took some time for me to get that in my head.
I think the sweetest mercy was knowing that the Lord prepared me..almost everyday from the start of my pregnacy.
I am still praying for you! I hope that these next few months will bring you peace, and that blogging will be a huge comfort to you, and an outlet for your immense grief.
I think sometimes people forget that just because we are LDS in faith, we don't grieve as deeply because of those beliefs.
The best part is we get to raise our babies someday, the bad part is we have to wait! :)

Natalie. said...

Ally,

Thanks for commenting!

I love your thoughts. This confused me though: "I think sometimes people forget that just because we are LDS in faith, we don't grieve as deeply because of those beliefs."

What do you mean?

My brain's a little soft. :)

N

shanda said...

this is a funny thing. I heard of your story from Lacy Lawerence just shortly after you guys had gone home to Hawaii. I had read your current struggle that your family is going through. Know that I am so sorry. Just today I told a bit about my current struggle and some random girl left a comment on my blog and left me your. I thought that was intresting. You do offer so much insight from the words that you wright. I have not been able to have kids. My husband and I have now lost 9 pregancys. we are still working through all of it. But thanks for your insight and strength. Hope peace comes your way your family is in my thoughts and prayers

kelly said...

i have been looking at wedding blogs for my daughter and read about your son. i live on oahu and know of you. i am so sorry about your son. i have several friends who have lost babies and know the pain they went through, it is unbearable for a time but they are your little angel living in the celestial kingdom until you are with him again. my sympathy to you.

our family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
our family said...

thank you for sharing your thoughts and story! you and your family are strong and have inspired me! i will hold my little ones alittle tighter and longer from reading your blog. i admire you and your faith! you are strong! your in my prayers along with your family and loved ones at this time.

Shay said...

Natalie,
I appreciate your thoughts and your strength. In October, we lost our little baby Isabella. I can relate to your pain. Without faith, I think it would be impossible to go on. Thank you for your words...They mean so much.
A Mom in Arizona

Lindsay Ercanbrack said...

I won't even bother to tell you how I found your blog...but I wanted to thank you for sharing your story and the hope you've found from it. Every mother who gets into the daily grind of caring for small children needs to hear your story to appreciate those special gifts from heaven just a bit more. I'll say a prayer for your family tonight that you will find comfort...

Lindsay Ercanbrack, Utah

Aubrey said...

Beautiful. God loves you. God loves Gavin. Both Gavins. My prayers and love are with you and your family of boys.

Deanna said...

I think I see what Ally means. My friend Megan is a devout Christian whose 6 month old daughter is recovering from a liver transplant right now, and my other friend voiced a similar thought about her. He thought that because her desire to praise God in all things and faith in his plan for her daughter are so strong, that she must not be suffering as she watches her little girl recover. I explained that to him that faith and belief doesn't *quite* work that way. :) How does the Natalie Grant song go? "The promise was that when everything fell, we'd be held."

Natalie. said...

Deanna,

Oh oh oh! Thank you so much. This comment was so touching to me. I was just feeling so . . . just so . . . so something or other that I just can't explain.

It helps me so much when people recognize that that being strong and being sad can co-exist. :)

My family is strong. And we are devastated. At the same time.

Your comment really meant to world to my broken heart tonight. THANK YOU.

And Ally, if that's what you meant too. . . well thank you too. . . so much.

SO much love to you both.

Natalie

Bridget said...

Hi Natalie,

I think I know what Ally means....many people (who have not suffered the loss of a child) assume that just because you believe in life after death that the losing a child isn't that bad.

Several have "consoled" me by telling me that they are so sorry my son died, but isn't it so great that we can see our loved ones again.

That type of "comfort" is a terrible way to comfort a grieving person. And I'm truly grateful that they don't know any better than to make such short sighted comments.

Your mom made a comment to me about how Jesus mourned with those who mourned. "He wept with Lazarus' family--even when He knew He was on His way to raise him! Notice that He didn't say, C'mon cheer up everybody! Where's your gratitude? Where's your faith? No, He 'groaned' and He wept."

And really, that is all you need when grieving...someone to cry with you. Someone to remember with you. Remember the details. Those precious details that slip by. Someone to make sure you're eating. Make sure you are getting lots of water and getting to bed at night.

So Ally, if I've got it wrong, speak up! Natalie wants to know.

Bridget

Bridget said...

I just saw Deanna's comments. Yes, I like that. Faith and Devastation are so entirely intertwined together in the loss of a child.

Natalie. said...

Bridget,

Oh you are another answer to my prayers. Another complete and total mercy from the God of Heaven and Earth. Another example of the LITERAL FACT that God is aware of us.

I want to make it very clear that I'm not needing to be coddled by any means. . . it just feels SO good to be understood.

so.good.to.be.understood.

a million thank yous and a zillion loves.

nat

Natalie. said...

oh and PS. I don't want anyone to EVER be concerned about what they say or don't say to me. I KNOW the feeling of not knowing what to say. I have yet to be offended by even the most absurd of comments. . . like today for example. . . when someone told me that she knows how I feel . . . because her DOG DIED. True story. I just smiled and realized that she was reaching out in the only way she knew how.

. . . but I have to say, that must have been SOME DOG!

Bridget said...

Ha ha ha...I bet she loved that dog. So so so much.

I also smile when absurd things are said. My favorite that I've heard from a few young people (mid to late teens and early 20 somethings) fairly soon after my son died, "I hope you get over it soon." And really, they mean that they just don't want to see me hurting forever...not realizing that actually, yes, I'm going to be hurting for a long long time.

One thing I'm discovering more and more along this path is how many others death has affected. It seems like there are at least 10-12 families in my ward who have either lost a child or a sibling when they were young. This is a blessing for me because so many understand grief. And so many reach out to each other. I love being a part of it.

Arden said...

Dear Natalie, You are amazing and thank you for teaching me. Love, Arden

Annie Link said...

'That must have been SOME DOG' Bwahahahahhaha!!!
Oh thanks, Natty. I haven't had that good a laugh since . . . well, in too long a time.

Dad laughed out loud too and says, "Go Nat!"

Bridget-I love that my words to you came full circle back to bless Natalie. Thank you, sweetheart. I'm thinking this is just exactly how angels seem to work. I knew I liked you.

shelly said...

SOME DOG for SURE! Wow! Sounds like it should be added to Charlotte's (as in Charlotte's Web) sayings:) Hahaha! You and your mom just crack me up.

shelly said...

It makes me think cringingly back to the time, before having children, that I said in a lesson, something like, "you just don't allow your children to fight!" Bwahahaha! I must say those women were saints to not laugh me out of the room! Seriously. They knew I'd cringe some day, all on my own.

Andee said...

You have had both my husband and I in tears. But in a good way...we are learning from you. We are feeling the spirit testify through you in such a beautiful and sweet way.

Thank You

Rebecca said...

You are truly an inspiration...
Words aren't enough to describe to you how you've touched the depths of my heart & made me think, re-think, question, wonder, & of course hug my girls a little tighter.
Your faith is nothing short of miraculous and you've given me much to think about and reflect upon with regard to my own faith.
It's a natural inclination to ask God "why?" when things are bad and it's so hard (for me that is in the past) to remember that God is good and loving always and has a reason for what he does. You are a living example of a woman of real faith and your faith has in turn helped me rediscover my own.

I am so sorry for your loss once again and am so sorry that it took this tragedy for me to find you and learn all that I have from you.

Best,
Rebecca

Ally said...

Natalie,
So sorry about the confusing comment. I would explain but honestly Deanna and Bridget explained it perfectly.
Bridget wrote my exact thoughts. (thank you I loved them I copied and pasted below).
"Your mom made a comment to me about how Jesus mourned with those who mourned. "He wept with Lazarus' family--even when He knew He was on His way to raise him! Notice that He didn't say, C'mon cheer up everybody! Where's your gratitude? Where's your faith? No, He 'groaned' and He wept."

And really, that is all you need when grieving...someone to cry with you. Someone to remember with you. Remember the details. Those precious details that slip by. Someone to make sure you're eating. Make sure you are getting lots of water and getting to bed at night. " (much thanks to Bridget)

The day she died I was supposed to teach a lesson on Easter Sunday called "Understanding Death and the Resurrection". I mean, come on, really? Talk about having your own personal messsage sent. :)

I can say for sure, that time in my life was the very darkest. But I look back and KNOW that I did not survive without a higher power carrying me. I do not know how I finally made the decision to have them take her away, and I don't know how I left the hospital without her...because it wasn't me at all. I know that I had angels around me, just like you.
I had a great friend tell me something that sorta changed me, and I repeated this every single night...she said "Picture yourself holding Kate to you, and loving her. Picture yourself physically handing her over to Jesus. Jesus Christ will keep her safe and loved, until the time that he can physically hand her back to you".

You are so right when you say I can be strong and still grieve.

And apparently, I need to buy a dog. Who knew?

Natalie. said...

Ally,

I assumed that's what you meant, but I just wanted to be sure. :)

Ally, Bridget, Rebecca and etc, :)

It is so silly and hypersensitive, but it hurts my soul when people say things to me about how I mustn't be sad because of my faith. I try SO HARD to be understanding and remember that they're doing the best they can to comfort me. . . my husband had a REALLY good point yesterday. I was feeling really hurt by something insensitive someone said. Richie said, "Nat, what do you think her intention was?" And I realized, he was right. She had intended to compliment me, but her lack of experience with a situation like this led her to assume (or at least SAY) the wrong thing.

I have made a commitment NOT to be offended by what people say because heaven knows I understand how hard it is to choose your words in situations like these! I'm sure I've unintentionally said a thing or two in my day that was insensitive and waaaaay off base.

My new mantra is "What was their intention?" It really helps a lot!

So much love all ya'll.

N

Bridget said...

Thanks Natalie,

I like thinking about the intention behind the comments...that's a good thought and can also be applied to those who are silent. I think I've been more hurt by those that said nothing when they should have said something.

Some of my husband's cousins and aunts/uncles have said nothing...even 16 months later. They live a 2-3 hour drive away but none came to the funeral. We had other family members driving 12 hours and close friends fly in with just a day's notice. So for family to not come and not even send a card is odd.

My husband told me that his boss still hasn't said anything. I didn't know that. He was the one getting the phone call from the ER nurse saying that my husband wouldn't be coming in that morning.

The one that hurts me most is the "friend" who was out of town when my son died. I birthed my daughter 6 days later. This lady left me a message (I wasn't answering the phone anymore) congratulating me for the birth of my daughter. She wanted to bring over some birthday cake. When I finally talked to her, I had to ask her if she knew that Evan died. She did. Her comment? She just wanted to keep things positive for me and focus on my little girl. I know that she did not intend to discount that a life really had existed. And that life had actually been playing at her home a couple of months prior. But it rubbed me wrong.

So, a couple of weeks later she came over to my house, sat on my couch and proceeded to quiz me on everything surrounding the death. I guess she was ready to talk about it then??? Only, I'd already questioned her intentions. It seemed like she just wanted an inside scoop...the latest gossip. Well, even though I'm usually pretty much an open book, I closed down and she left without any extra information.

And who's hurting now? I'm obviously harboring ill will and it's only holding me back. This lady doesn't know how offensive her comments/actions were to me. Now she's moved away. And I just need to forgive. And part of me just wants to hold on to it. Like it validates the importance of my Evan.

Ally, that's funny in a not so funny way that you were supposed to teach that terrible morning. Heavenly Father definitely has a sense of humor....or great ways of preparing you with bits of knowledge. Ease the heart's pain? No, not at all. Just eases the mind. A little. I really like the imagery of handing your child to Jesus.

How/when did your daughter die? I scanned your blog for details, but didn't see anything right off.

Richard said...

Of course it is not just that Christ suffered and therefore we cannot expect to be spared suffering ourselves. When we suffer, when your son suffered, he took part in the suffering of Christ, sharing that which the Saviour bore. Painful for us all, but no greater gift to give to the Saviour:

"Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind [lacketh] of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh..." Col 1:24.

Christ suffered fully and completely, we we are called to join Him in that suffering "...for His body's sahke, which is the church..." Col 1:24.


Mother Teresa said: ".. [we] are asked to see suffering as being personnally kissed and embraced by the Crucified Lord. He holds us so close and so tight, we can feel the nail and thorns in our own body".

God Bless.

Natalie. said...

Bridget,

I'm so sorry.

The only thing I can think to say is something someone told me long ago. It made me think of you because it sounds like it's exactly what you're trying to do.

"forgive, even as you seek forgiveness from the Lord, that you may never be poisoned by feelings of hate or revenge."

Not that you're having THOSE specific feelings, but sometimes our frustration and anger towards something like that really do poison us, don't you think? Good for you for trying to let it go and forgive. I'm sure it's a difficult challenge. I know the feeling of wanting to validate your son. Oh boy do I know that feeling. I was talking about it with my husband just last night.

One of my dearest friends has been completely mia since the death. It's interesting because today I stopped by her place and she said to me, "all I know to do is give you space." I realized that in doing so she really thinks she's doing the best thing she possibly can for me. It's all about intent, huh? I love her so much and hearing that really helped me to realize that she loves me in the same wonderful way. She is just trying to give me what she THINKS she would want in the same circumstances.

Ooooh it's just all so difficult. . .for everyone involved. The griever, the "comforter". . . everyone.

Deanna said...

Gosh, I'm so glad I said something, especially if you found it helpful! Between your story and my friend with the liver transplant baby, you're redefining how I look at faith.

It is so hard to know what to say and how to say it, and to know if you're overstepping or not. Example: I was totally astonished that at the service you asked after my daughter in the receiving line. If our places had switched I don't know if I could have been so gracious. I think I said "Toothy" and then thought "What the heck? Why did I say that?" But laughing a little at my own awkwardness made me relax and give you proper condolences. :) I think most of your readers/friends figure if you didn't want to work through it and talk about it and have an open dialogue of support and prayer, you wouldn't be putting it on your blog. As long as you keep writing, we're still here to listen.

Although, the dog? I hope that dog was Lassie-like!

Bridget said...

Thanks Natalie. That's a tough situation with your friend. I hope she will be more present now that the "ice" has been broken.

A thought about the "that must be some dog" girl...at one time in my life a favored pet died and I cried and cried and cried. It was my first experience with death. My sister and I had a funeral and burial in our back yard. We were REALLY sad.

Since then we've had more pets die. And an uncle and all of our grandparents. And I've shed tears for all of them. But I don't anymore. Not after the first week or so.

What so many don't realize is how often the tears come for your dead children. My husband and I were talking specifically about the dog girl and he mentioned that he thought he was done "grieving" for our son. Then he started thinking and remembered he'd just cried about losing our Evan last Thursday - yes two days ago. It's been 16 months and we still cry. I'm sure we will be crying for years to come. The pain doesn't go away, but does lessen with time.

Jody said...

Nate,
As an L&D nurse who welcomes life Into the world; and out of it too; I have to say that people are Just so uncomfortable with death. They don't know what to say. I think it makes them think about their own mortality and they don't like that one bit.
But I have been finding this. And it's very strange. As I care of mothers with stillborn infants still inside of them; then help them deliver..well I find they comfort ME! Their strength is amazing. It restores my heart.

Thats what you are doing to me too..restoring my heart. And faith in people.

You're good people Natalie =)
Just keep talking xxx

Jody

Ally said...

Ladies,
I think you are all amazing. Your thoughts and words will be helpful to so many, now and in the future for those who lose a child.
I know that there is a special spot reserved for mothers in heaven who have to go through this kind of loss.
xoxo

Brook said...

FABULOUS! I am thankful for your post. God is good...all the time.

For His glory,
Brook

Kathy, AKA "His Pilgrim" said...

I stumbled upoon your site through DPS and want a blessing. I thought I was just checking out another photgraphy site.

Thank you for sharing your story, your strength and your love with us.

May the Lord of all comfort richly bless you as you spread His story.

God bless.

-Kathy-

Carlotta said...

Today in Sunday school we read the Scripture where it says, "I will fight your battles for you ". This struck a chord in my heart and tears streamed down my face. This post blends so well with that Scripture. Because of the Atonement, the sting of our refining experiences is softened, the pain isn't taken away because he loves us so much that He allows us our agency to grow and hopefully reach our potential one day. He doesn't step in and win the battles for us, but if the desires of our hearts our righteous, he will give us the ammunition to fight the battles we are confronted with, it is up to us what we do with that ammunition. He is our teammate if we allow him to be. Through our heartaches we are able to understand the Atonement and how our Savior can succor us in our times of need. How sweet it is to know that someone as mighty as He, we can connect with on such a personal, intimate level and pour our hearts out to Him.
What a glorious and beautifully orchestrated plan

Leslie Houx said...

Thank you for that post Natalie!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy - Author Unknown

Natalie, your strength is absolutely amazing. As is your talent. God Bless <3

Anonymous said...

Natalie-
I hope my comment didn't come out the wrong way when I told you that your faith inspired and awed me. I didn't mean at all that you must hurt less or that it is easier b/c of your faith... What I meant was that in spite of the desperate hurt and sadness and pain that I can't even fathom that you are experiencing, it is amazing that you remain so steadfast in your faith and knowledge that God is good. I wasn't sure if that came across as I intended and wanted to clarify...

Thanks for sharing your blog with all of us,

Rebecca

Natalie. said...

Oh Rebecca! NOT IN THE LEAST BIT AT ALL!!!

I was so worried that the "angel mommy chat" in the comments would make people worry!

NO ONE has offended me in the least. NOT for a single second!

I'm sorry you had an ounce of concern.

A million kisses,

N

Ally said...

Hi Natalie--(seriously, I need to get off you blog right?) :)
I sometimes read the blog www.adailyscoop.blogspot.com
I find her words so great and well-written about grief. The other day she posted this comment and I thought it was just perfect.
Justin Young wrote, "The refining fire of the Lord is not a pleasant place to be and it takes faith, courage and trust in the Lord that he is shaping you into the person he knows, wants and needs you to be. I consider myself a man of great faith in God and his plan, but I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that the greatest faith cannot rescue one from the pangs of grief.

"But I have found that in those moments of deepest sorrow, when my very heart seems to be tearing itself in two, the moments that take me to my knees begging for understanding, peace, love, light, relief ... it is in those moments of humility, left with nothing but a broken heart and contrite spirit, that the greatest lessons of life have been taught and the mysteries of his kingdom are unfolded to view.

"Lessons and teachings that cannot all be shared openly, but cherished privately, and treasured up unto ourselves giving us not the wisdom of man, but the wisdom born of God."

That wisdom, he said, "is forged from the flames of experience and this experience has opened my eyes beyond my own ability to see. And because of this, I believe we should be grateful for the trials we have today because they'll make us who we'll be tomorrow."

Natalie. said...

Ally,

wow that is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing!!!!

xo!

N

Adventures of Matt and Rae said...

Thank YOU! I needed to be reminded of that <3

Mindy said...

I have just discovered you and I'm so grateful. Thank you for your writings and sharing your experiences.