Sunday, March 9, 2014

An Open Letter to God

Dear Lord,
  That familiar salutation I greet you with every night, for every prayer. How are you today? Well, let me be honest with you for a moment, and you probably know this anyway, but I'm a little... dare I be bold enough to admit this to you?... mad. 
Is a better word "abandoned" or "confused"? I'm not sure because I hardly feel those things, but I do know mad when I see it.  
 I asked you every single night for the health, safety and longevity of my family. I've been doing so for years, even before I had kids. 
  Back then, I prayed a lot for my mom. She was my best friend. I called her no less than five times a day. But you know that. You know her. If there was ever a You, she's with You. So, I still pray for her. 
(My mom, with 7 month old Lila, 2 weeks before she unexpectedly and suddenly passed in 2012)

  Then I had these beautiful children of my own and I added them to my prayers. I prayed for them and for my family.
  While I was rocking little Harper, and Lila before her, in her dimly lit room, back and forth in the wobbly glider, I would lay my head back and close my eyes. Sporadically, I would breathe in the baby scent from her little head, taking peeks at her eyelids flickering rapidly in her dreamy state, and then I would pray. I asked for forgiveness for my sins. I asked for greater understanding of the things I doubted. I would always thank you for my abundant blessings and I always asked ONE specific thing of you. To keep watch over my parents, my daughters, my husband, my brother and myself. To keep our bodies well, our hearts strong. To keep us together, to enjoy each other. To keep us safe from harm. Why do I feel like I've been talking to myself now? 

  When my mom needed to return home to you, great Lord, I was devastated to lose her. I was heartbroken that my daughters had won the grandmother lottery, only to be denied collection. I was lonely without my mom. But I finally accepted that she must have had a purpose beyond me and my daughters. I accepted that parents die. I tried to look at silver linings, if you could call it that. I felt like she was still present for a lot of my grief and felt like I would get "signs" from her, even though I'm pretty sure The Good Book says the dead cannot communicate with the living. I put a small part of my heart away for her to hopefully unlock again in a new life beyond. A piece just for her. You could say a part of me died with her and I guess that would be true. But I preferred to think of it as saving that part for her to have later. And I put the rest of my heart into my life with Jason. He did a great job taking over. 

  So please tell me why, less than two years later, as I'm finally feeling more normal again, the person who I put all of myself into literally dies right in front of me?! My strong, fierce protector slipped away. With no warning, with no answers. Gone in the night. One long, horrible night. Didn't you see me, God?! I laid on top of his body, blood from his lungs splattered on his face, speckling the beard he was so proud of. I lay there shocked and crying while a chaplain who doesn't know me tried to offer awkward comforts when there are none. I had to come home with Jason's clothes, wallet, phone, everything we brought to the ER... except Jason. All in one little bag. Why did you let that happen? I had to be at our home that we built and wait for Lila to wake up. I had to pretend things were normal. And I had to wait. I waited and then it happened. Lila asked for him. And my heart broke into a million shards, puncturing my lungs, making it impossible to breathe. Why did you allow me and Lila to feel that way? She will keep asking for him and it will break my heart a little more every time. And then, one day, she will stop asking. 

And my heart will break all over again. 

  I won't lie to you, mostly because I can't, not because I wouldn't. I felt like the universe was playing horrible games at my expense. And I feel my faith being tested. I mean, TRULY TESTED; created only from a dark, dark place. Not every Christian can say they have been. 
 You could have saved him. Am I really so unimportant that you let my husband leave his children? Don't you remember they're just babies? I've been feeling this way for weeks now. 

That's why I haven't been returning your calls. 

  BUT! I think maybe I haven't been totally fair to you, Lord. A dear friend told me that God has prepared me for this. Those words have sat heavy on my heart since.

"God has prepared you for this."

 I've repeated those words over and over and tried to see the ways. And I have seen. I have seen good people come forward. I have seen the crop from the seeds that Jason planted for us, unknowingly. I have seen the helpers. I have seen people in my life who truly care about me, Jason, and our daughters. I have even seen a little bit of what I'm REALLY made of. The good and the bad. 

 There is so much uncharted territory here for me to see. So I'm not sure where I stand or where I will eventually land. But I wanted to tell you I'm ready. I'm ready to pay attention at least... To see if maybe, possibly, you did prepare me for this.


  1. In the book of Matthew it says "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." I wish someone had words that could make it better. Take solace that like the piece of you that you left for your mother, Jason left 2 pieces of himself in Lila and Harper. Watch them grow and see that piece of him come out in the little things, and take joy knowing he will always be with you. You are loved.

  2. Claire, what to say. I am so sorry for your loss. Your way with words reminds me so much of your Mom. She also had a way with words. I still have some of her poems. Please know that there are a multitude of people that care about you and your precious daughters. I know both Trish and Jason are watching over you and your daughters from above. Gloria Griffith

  3. Claire I am so sorry you are hurting. I wish there was something I could say that would give you assurance that this pain will subside. The best thing I know to say is God knows you are hurting and He is hurting with you. In John the 11th chapter, Jesus' friend Lazarus has died and Jesus goes to where Lazarus and his family was. In verse 35, Jesus wept. The son of God, the savior of the world wept. He came to this earth to not only save us but to understand what the world is like for us. Know that I am praying for you and your girls.

  4. wow.Tears are streaming from my eyes and I haven't got the right words other than to say that you are a beautiful, strong , faithful woman. so much beauty in your words. I am praying for all of you. That the Lord continues to heal your broken heart. Your courage to even write these blogs is just truly beautiful. Love to you and those sweet girls.

  5. Joshua stood in front of the Red Sea, taking over the place Moses had to give up as leader. God said to Joshua, "Pay attention, you have not been this way before". As a widow I see myself as a Joshua, and my husband waiting for me. I have been given this leadership role to pick up for Barry, who God had other purposes for. You said this in regards to your Mother...the same is true for our husbands. Most likely it will take time to reconcile this with God. It has taken me 5 years....but God will help, strengthen, carry you through. Your sharing is honest and that is all any of us can be required to do.....keep writing!

  6. It's totally normal to be mad at God. He knows every emotion and through, so feel free to take it all to him. I have been posting about grief on my blog... when you are ready and interested you should check it out. It has really helped me as we grieve the loss of my 2.5 year old nephew (I didn't know how to grieve until listening to the sermons I posted about)