My Life in Japan

The Ins and outs of my time here in Japan.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

When Joy Turns into Heartbreak

What should've been one of the most memorable times of their lives has turned into a tragedy for one couple in Samoa. (You can read up on it on Ninny's blog. ) Death is a natural part of life, it comes to us all but it hits the hardest and felt the most when the life of a child is taken away. How much more painful is it then, when that child is but a newborn baby? The so called "gift" the very miracle of life personified.
Hosted by SparkleTags.comWhat kind of comfort can one give a mother who has just been thru nine months of hoping and praying for a healthy baby only to be told by the doctor that it didn't make it.

Who can soothe the heart that used to skip a beat each time she felt her baby kick?

Who can satisfy the answer to the question that she has spent many a day and night pondering who her baby would look like now that the child is gone?

What words of wisdom can you impart to a shattered soul who has to endure the sound of crying in the ward, knowing that none of those voices belongs to her child as her baby is silent forever?

What kind of assurance can you give a mother who will leave the hospital empty handed when just a few days before the world held so much promise and life?

We can only imagine the many things she may have wanted to say.. to do.. to teach this child..expectations n hopes for the future only to have death rob her of that chance.
Hosted by SparkleTags.comWe only need to close our eyes to picture her initial reaction, the joy of discovering she is with imagine her n husband choosing and debating over a name, picking out clothes, baby proofing the house etc etc...
I can feel my emotions well up in my throat as my eyes begin to tear up..its heartbreaking..its unbearable and I can only pray that the Lord will spare me from such pain.

Questions mount... only to be answered by more questions?
Were doctors not able to detect any irregularities during her check ups?
Do we have ample facilities that can pick up such abnormalities?
Do our hospitals have the necessary capability to handle such situations?
Do we have grief counselors on hand to cater to the needs of the families?
Are there pastors/priests on call?

In times such as these... pain is mixed with anger leading to people point fingers making assumptions about what could have been done to prevent such a tragedy but despite all good intentions/suggestions no one can fully explain to this poor mother....

Why her child is not nursing at her breast while resting comfortably in the crook of arm..

Why the baby clothes and supplies will have to be put away.

Why people will now tread softly around her doing their best not to bring up the subject of her deceased child.

Why her tears come unbidden at the sight of other mothers with their children.
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Then we have the grandmother who accidentally suffocated her grandchild by sleeping on the 5th month old baby.

How horrible her grief must be knowing that she is responsible for the death of her own flesh and blood.

How can one explain aways ones guilt covered in remorse.
How they must wish they could re live that day and change the outcome.

Death is harsh, it is cruel and painful especially when the circumstances are unfortunate.

We all shed tears and feel deep sorrow when we lose dear ones but when they die from old age or a prolonged illness though there is no easy way to endure the pain, we take some comfort in the knowledge that they had their shot at life, and that we were able to say our good byes and store for ourselves enough memories to last a lifetime.. but when they are suddenly taken away through tragic circumstances we feel cheated of our time with them.

We feel angry but don't really know who to direct it at.
We are frustrated but are unsure of how to release it.
We are heartbroken but don't know if we will fully recover.
All we are sure of is that life will never again be the same.

There is always a lesson to be learned in such tragic circumstances: It is a wake up call for us to appreciate every moment we have with our children and loved ones as they can be taken from us or us from them. So let us love as if today is our last and be thankful for the time given to spend with the people who give meaning to our lives.

I don't claim to have a formula to ease one's pain but I believe that a heartfelt prayer goes a long long way. So I am sending out one to all who have lost a loved one especially a child.
Hosted by SparkleTags.comThe Bible has many comforting insights into death but for those whose pain is too raw to absorb it I hope that the following quotes can bring you some measure of peace.

"Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief."
Marcus Tullius Cicero quotes

Surviving the loss of a loved one is its own kind of test.
To tell our story is a way of affirming the life of the loved one we have lost--
the experiences we had together,
The favorite family stories.
To tell the story is a way of moving the grief along,
and so contributes to our own healing

Martha Whitmore Hickman


"Death of a loved one is the most severe test that you will ever face, and if you can rise above your grief and if you will trust in God, then you will be able to surmount any other difficulty with which you may be faced."Harold B. Lee

People in mourning have to come to grips
with death before they can live again.
Mourning can go on for years and years.
It doesn't end after a year: That's a false
fantasy. It usually ends when people
realize that they can live again, that they
can concentrate their energies on their
lives as a whole, and not on their hurt,
and guilt, and pain

by: Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, On Death and Dying


Grief has a quality of healing in it that is very deep because we are forced to a depth of emotion that is usually below the threshold of our awareness
by: Stephen Levine

After I sign off I will give my daughter a great big hug, hold her close till I can hear her tiny heart beat in motion with mine. I will shower her with kisses and hold her for as long as I can.

May God in all his mercy and grace grant you peace, love and happiness.
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