Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kaden's "Angel" Day

Sunrise: Septemper 12, 2003
Sunset: January 4, 2004

It's been eight years ago today since my baby boy died. Whenever this day comes, I feel like I should say commemorate him...preserve his memory...continue his legacy. But the reality is, I don't know what to say. No words are worthy-enough.  So some years I don't say anything. Honestly, I don't know what good it will do or why it even has to 'do' any 'good'.   I don't want to be melodramatic, I don't want pity, I shrivel at that kind of attention. Fact is, I celebrate Kaden every year on his Birthday. (He is 8yrs, 3mo and 3wks old now, btw.) That is always a happy day for me. 

There is nothing to celebrate today. After all, this day is not really not about Kaden. It's a glaring stamp in time that more represents me, my family, and what we're missing.  A child we'll never get to love on, make memories with, or watch grow into a man. I struggle with this day because it shouldn't be about me. This is his anniversary, it's Kaden's 'Angel Day'.  In my mind, this day is monumental. So, if  I'm going to 'go there' and mention my son, I expect the world to stand down and take notice of him.  If  I say anything, I only want my words to give more purpose to his short little life...but then again, it's not my job to define it. Kaden already has purpose, it doesn't matter whether you or I will ever understand what that is, exactly.

So, despite my conflicted head, I've decided he still deserves some words, what few or hundred I can put together today.  I just don't want to mess them up or get it wrong or over-share. I don't want to spiritualize his passing either. It is what it is. Death is part of life. My head understands that. My spirit 'gets' that he's in a better place, that I will see him again, that Jesus/God himself is raising my son. I also understand other people don't want to read blogs about babies dying of SIDS, I mean, there's no way to get around how depressing that is. So I realize most of my tens of followers will avoid reading this post and it wont get all the comments I think it deserves. But my heart wants what it wants and in the end, I'll probably still get my feelings hurt when the world doesn't stop for him, again.  My in-laws don't even mention his name. I feel like they've forgotten him, or maybe they think we should be over it? I can't say, I don't bother to ask them why. Sometimes I think I am 'over it'. Sometimes I wonder if I've forgotten him, too. 

The truth is, I believe part of me just tries to forget what happened eight years ago. I usually overlook the "4th" of January and go on like its a normal day. Honestly, I don't ever watch Kaden's video and rarely give his photo album a glance. Out of sight, out of mind. It's totally selfish and a defense mechanism, I know.  Realistically, there just never seems to be a good time for a cry-fest, so I delay and I put-off and I ignore. And I just cringe at ceremonially imposed 'days' Im supposed to 'feel' stuff or express my emotions.  It's more convenient to keep my feelings and my tears private. But the sneaker waves come, like they did last night, and I do give-in, sometimes. Rest-assurance to those who worry 'I'm holding it all in', feelings and tears are there, and God sees and  he counts each one. That's what matters.

I suspect those who don't know me very well probably think I look 'strong'.  As if God 'allowed' this to happen to me because he knew 'I could handle it'. Well, I didn't handle it very good. I'm no 'stronger' than anyone else. I handled it just as I'd ever imagined I would, I lost my ever-freaking mind. My heart busted in a million pieces and it took ten-bajillion more tears just to glue it back together. It is still tender, even eight years later-- regardless of how much avoidance therapy I give it. It'll never be the same as it was and neither will I.  For better or worse, I don't know. I was hoping by now, I would have a glowing testimony prepared to share at church conferences and God encounters. But talking about Kaden still makes my voice shake. Thinking about him too long still makes me cry like it did eight years ago and no one is inviting me to speak at  woman's conferences.  In fact, I dont think I've even heard myself tell his story in all its detail other than very edited, emotionally diluted versions reserved for friends-only. Somewhere among my journals I've written it down, shared it in a letter with a few precious moms who've also lost their babies.  Sometimes I wonder if I'd actually be able to get through it out-loud. My only other version is a stripped down to-the-facts sterile monologue, prepared just for those awkward moments I get cornered into admitting how many children I really have-sometimes to strangers, most often clients, who (by the looks on their faces) wished they hadn't brought it up by the time I'm done.  Fortunately, I can tell that version with a straight face and move right on to telling them what house they should buy or what I'm making for dinner. 

Details aside, the bones of my 'story' is simply this: God designed us humans to be way more resilient then we think we are. You, too, could survive your child's death. Life does return to normal, albeit a new-normal after the death of a child (or any loved-one, for that matter). This, I know.  There is nothing special about me that makes this fact uniquely true. So please don't bother to write and tell me otherwise. There is only one way for you to know and I pray you never find out. I agree that this human, fleshy, weak body is not strong enough to live through something of deaths catastrophic aftermath. Our shoulders were not designed to bear the weight of it.  But our soul is, even more so when we allow God to meet us there and be present in-it. After all, he already is present... whether we choose to acknowledge Him or not. Not everyone will, or does. But I did, and he continues to sustain me. And every day I see Him doing it for those who don't even ask. For whatever good these words are worth, this is what I've learned, the only 'profound' piece of truth that has risen from the ashes of my son.  


Anonymous said...

I honor him today. And I honor your pain and the conflict it brings. I understand, trite but true. I love you -- and because I love you, I love little Kaden. *hugs*

Stephanie Rathgaber said...

Your words brought me to tears, maybe because I have a Kadon myself, or because I put myself in your shoes as you typed this out. He is and always will be yout Angel.
Love you Cousin,

Unknown said...

I will stop for Kaden. <3

MomtoLoveBugs said...

thinking of you, your family and your angel. thank you for being brave enough to share this wonderfully written and honest post.

chrl said...

That.Was.Profound. I love my grandson Kaden and I love you Lisa, my beautiful (wise beyond her years) daughter. I shed tears of love and compassion as I read your words. I thank God for the precious family He has allowed me to be a part of. For those who are still on assignment here on earth and for those who have gathered together in Heaven. i thank God for each one. I thank God for you.

Angela said...

I am so very sorry for all you have lost! I lost my dad on that very same day, and I remember him each and every Jan 4th as well. I mourn for his missed opportunity as much as for him (he was 56). He never saw any of his 3 children wed and never met our spouses, never met his grandson, or granddaughter on the way. He never got to experience retirement, etc. January 4th is a tough day, and death changes the living in ways no one can truly understand or predict. All you can do is go on each day without answers to questions you can't quite articulate, and hope to apply your "knowledge" to focus on the things that are important. I'm so very sorry for your loss today and every day. That has to be one of the worst losses to experience, and I hope tomorrow will be better.

Kitty McKay said...

Angels weave light into the fibers of our humanness, helping us remember who we really are, where we really came from...Today is 'Kaden's Angel Day' in honor of the actual day the magnitude of his presence became wrenchingly seared on your heart. Though every moment since his journey back behind the veil, has truly been his 'Angel Day' for all the healing he continues to evoke.

I lost a baby, followed by the sudden death of my husband 8 years ago...I think that it is the strongest of souls who choose to go early, and reach back to offer their love as a stairway back 'Home." Love, blessings and warm healing love to you as you continue to find reasons to laugh, despite the greatest loss of a lifetime.
Kitty. (Angels' Mom, Rob's Wife).

Rosilind Jukic said...

I am thinking of you today. I can't fathom what it must be like. I have two angel babies - but I never got to see their faces. While losing a baby, through miscarriage, SIDS, or any other way is hard, I imagine it must be so much harder after having held them in your arms - and then being forced to let them go.

You'll never forget Kaden for as long as you live. While the pain may ease, it will never go away. But it does make Heaven so much closer to our hearts when we know that someday soon we'll get to rock and sing to our wee ones. Until then, I am so glad that Jesus has a big lap to hold all our precious ones.

Doone said...

Today is the first I have read your blog. I found it through my friend Lauren's blog. I admire how honest and open you were able to be even if it is not "total" because you can't get it out. I cannot begin to understand your feelings and pain. My sister lost her first child because of a miscarriage fairly early in the pregnancy. However it was not before we were all excited and full of love for that new soul we were ready to meet and be with. I cannot imagine having, loving, holding little Kaden and then having to suddenly be without him. Please allow me to say I honor Kaden, you and your family. Thank you for sharing this and opening your heart and the wounds. Your words have been a strength and blessing to more than just me, I know.

sher said...

I'll never forget hearing of your loss 8 yrs ago from Sarah. I prayed for you often then. Not really knowing you as a friend, but wishing some way I could help you through. Now that we are friends, I see the amazing work of our Heavenly Father putting a broken spirit back together again. The faith of an amazing mother, father, and family that doesn't have to "know why",and has the courage to press on. And an amazing little boy who changed so many lives in such a short time here. I've heard it said, "Tragic events reveal true character." And it's proven in this blog. Beautiful writing, beautiful heart. <3 you! Sher

David Cho said...

What a beautiful entry, Lisa. It's very beautiful and very human. To me, those two are synonymous.

Michelle Lewis said...

Wow Lisa, I had no idea you had lost a baby. I can't imagine the pain...He is a little older than my Brandon. I admire your courage and faith in God and your ability to keep loving and being such a good mom to your other kiddos. Love you! Michelle

Anonymous said...

Hello Lisa!

Thank you ever so much for sharing your life's personal and most intimate moment of unexplainable loss and persistent grief and mourning. You are extremely courageous. If it weren't for the Lord's love and comfort, how could you ever overcome living day after day? I think it would be a great idea for you to write a devotional on . You would touch so many hearts throughout the world. You are a true woman of God, for you understand how He felt when He lost to death His Only Begotten Son. You explained it so beautifully when you wrote that the Father is raising your own lovely Boy. It is the Truth! Heaven's Truth! Please consider my encouragement, do write further about your life experience. You would be such a worthwhile guest on CBN as well. God bless you dear Sister. You are one of a kind, the right kind!