Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fleeting and Fragile

Most disturbing experience today.

I tried to rescue this beautiful bird who had been wounded tonight. It looked like a small duck and huddled against the white line. Okay, I'll be honest, when I first drove by it looked like a squirrel that was severely injured and so I looped around intending to *help* it out of its misery. I wouldn't have been able to sleep knowing I had left it to die a slow death in the road on a cold Halloween night. As I looped around, I saw it was actually a beautiful bird ... It was adorable and duck-like, so I decided to rescue it. I parked, climbed a small embankment and walked right up to the little guy when a truck veered and ran over its head. I saw the little life practically jump out of its body and it was just horrible. I couldn't believe that I was so close to helping it and now it was dead. I got back in the car and just trembled with grief and regret and anger. I was angry at the truck driver, I was angry at myself for failing, I was angry because I felt so sad over this little life and no one would understand. They'd say, "It was just a bird" or "that truck driver put it out of its misery" or "it probably would have died anyway."  They would have been missing the point!

I don't know how this triggered memories of my children, but I was reminded of my failure to rescue them, too,  and I just broke down. As I cried for the bird, I cried for my children. My son kept asking what was wrong, but I couldn't snap out of it ... I told him what happened to the bird and he just said, "I'll help you mommy. I'll give you a hug. You'll be okay because I'll help you mommy. When we get home, I'm going to hug you and be with you ..." I simply said, "okay".  And that's just what he did.

I took some life lessons out of this experience.

1. Life is fragile and fleeting. Sometimes even our best efforts won't restrain death when it's time for the spirit to leave the body. We can't take life back once its gone and maybe that's what hurts the most ... that it's so completely out of our hands. The flip side of that thought is we have to get to a place where we can admit that wielding the power of life and death is God's responsibility. It's too weighty a sword to bear. Even through the hurt we can be comforted because He knows the beginning and the end and if we hang with Him, we'll get answers AND a happy reunion with our little ones.

2. Hearing a word of encouragement from someone who loves us is indispensable. When we're sad and a loved one tries to throw us a rope, we can choose NOT to get offended because they want us to feel better. We need to reach out, grab that rope and hang on for dear life. Or else, drown in our sorrows.

3. I am all for being positive and looking forward, but that does not mean I ever mean to suggest we should not feel sad. Sadness is a part of life. But so is happiness. In life, if you're human, you'll experience both. It is better to have a happy life with spurts of sadness, than to have a sad life with spurts of happiness.

As always, share your thoughts!



Tiffany said...

What a heartbreaking post! It left me in tears. That poor bird. And yes I can totally relate on how one type of grief can rehash the grief of losing my baby. It awakens that pain that may have been dormant and it has reminded the heart of the grief that is always with us. I'm so sorry you had to witness that. An your thoughts are beautifully written.

Anonymous said...

Here from ICLW - great post. Its important we feel our feelings. But today I don't have to live in them like I used to. I can be sad or scared and not yell at people, slam doors or pout. It's ok for people ot know I'm struggling. I don't have to hide it, but I don't have to act out either. That's a true miracle today and I'm grateful.