Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Blessings

In times of greatest trial and tribulation, it is only necessary to open your heart and submit, and God reveals himself most openly.

I am in North Carolina right now; the Knights of Colombus at the Air Force Academy paid for N, T, and me to fly out here on 03/16 to be at the funeral of my baby sister, who was stillborn at 8 1/2 months of gestation. Hearts in my family break for the loss of DMN, who we were excited to meet and welcome fully into our lives. Grandma M went in on Th, 03/11 after noticing a lack of movement, and was told that she experienced something called placenta abruptio in which the placenta implodes, sometimes resulting in the death of the unborn child. Unfortunately, DMN was below the placenta and when the blood from the implosion pooled, my mom didn't know because the baby blocked the blood from escaping.

We buried DMN on Wed, 03/17. The funeral was beautiful but heartbreaking. Her casket was tiny. The attendance was much greater than expected, and many friends and family members sent condolences and flowers. My sisters NN, 18, and EN, 14, were the pallbearers. NN is in the Air Force Academy and she wore her dress blues for the funeral.

The cemetary was far from the church, and as we followed the hearse, we discussed how surreal it all felt.... Grandma M put it very eloquently, "I feel numb, and then I want to say, 'Give me back that pain! I want that pain!'" The grave was tiny, and didn't seem terribly deep. It was hard to see. Grandpa D began covering her casket, and we then took turns covering her up... N helped Mommy when it was her turn.

Then the church invited the guests to a small reception which was very tastefully done. Tablecloths, flowers, small sandwiches, and a buffet of other general reception foods.

We've received gifts of many varieties, from homemade and purchased foods to flowers to financial gifts to donations made in honor of DMN... We have been shown great love by many many people. DMN was allowed into a cemetary that's all but impossible to get into, on the graces of the Abbot. NN's Academy friends rallied and gifted a sum of money that will be used for DMN's headstone. My Uncle R, Aunt K and cousin L sent a beautiful nightlight of the Blessed Mother holding the baby Jesus.

As Father Buettner pointed out, there are two primary realities in motherhood: the reality of bringing life into the world and caring for that life, and the reality of surrendering and trusting that life to God. Just...most mothers don't experience the second in the sense of their son's or daughter's life in this world being extinguished. I hurt for my mother, but I know that her strength and her faith in God will pull her through this, though it will never be entirely gone.

So now I am here until the 31st. We didn't want to waste the time and money spent on getting N,T, and me to the funeral, so we are staying to spend some quality time with the family. D couldn't get the time off of work, and we're sorry that he couldn't, but sometimes that is how things happen.

Hopefully I'll be able to blog while I'm here, but I am focusing on family right now.

Lord, please grant my family healing in our time of need. Be with us and continue to reveal yourself to your servants. Please give us peace and humility. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. DMN, pray for us.

One response to “Blessings”

Lauren said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family.

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