“I come, God, I come
I return to the Lord
The one who’s broken
The one who’s torn me apart
You struck down to bind me up
You say you do it all in love
That I might know you in your suffering
Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship”
A friend recently sent me this song, as it had reminded him of where my husband and I are in our journey right now. I choose not to connect with many christian songs, but I made a decision to really listen to this one, and it obviously got me thinking.
I’m a year and a half out from the death of Logan. I would say that up until 6 months ago, this song would have been very accurate for my journey at the time. But for the last 6 months I have been on a spiral. Maybe down my rabbit hole? But it doesn’t look the same and yet it does. My emotions in those winding rabbit holes were so much more escalated. Today, they are calmer, but the scars from the ebbing thorns poking out from those holes are much deeper. I live everyday struggling to praise God even though he has ruined me. The acusing words in this song ring true to every fiber of my being. But I can’t find the connection with the positive joy and worship that follows.
I used to think that because I handled Logan’s life and death so much better than I ever imagined that I had processed. That life would go back to normal. Except that it didn’t and hasn’t. As his birthday approached my anxiety that I fought off months before began to ebb back in. I had spent so much time, energy and therapy buffing back those thorns only to have them grow back sharper and more painful. Something slowly began to fester. Instead of scarring after the thorn, it began to ache and ooze with infection.
I’ve always tried to remind myself this is a journey. But for some reason I continually think this journey is over. And just when the rabbit hole seems to be opening, I round the corner to another plethora of caverns. And I can’t seem to understand why. I always seem to think I have the answers and I understand this new phase of my journey. But who knows, what I think now may be enlightened 6 months from now on a new phase. Looking back on the first year after Logan died, I think I felt I had to be strong for Josh and Wyatt. They were struggling a lot and I couldn’t deal with the constant sadness and negativity. I began to focus on the positivity and a spewed it everywhere. We even had a saying; think of three things that you love about Logan. And we would repeat it everytime someone got sad. I became their beacon of hope through their darkness. And it was a persona I began to believe. I was tired of being sad, angry, mad, sick. I just wanted to be done with the whole situation. But in reality, I was no beacon of hope. It was part, played well.
I shut out all emotion, similar to my journey through my pregnancy. I acknowledged the fact that I was now a woman whose baby had died in a horrific way. I was different. Don’t get me wrong, I spoke openly about Logan, factually. But whenever emotion tried to join the conversation, I bolted. I didn’t want to go there. Instead of dealing with my own grief, I turned all emotion off. I feel nothing. I help other families who have lost their children prepare memorials and funerals. And while I look at their situation and think how awful it is, I don’t feel it. My wires have been unplugged and twisted so that they can’t be plugged back in. I find myself agitated by grief. I get annoyed when anyone wants to talk about it.
Looking back, I can admit I found a coping mechanism to deal with a situation that I was not equipped to handle. A coping mechanism that was meant to help my husband and my son through their grief, that turned into a crutch that refused to allow me to deal with my grief. For awhile now I have had a huge struggle with God. We quit speaking several months ago. And I slowly began this descent down my Godly mountain. I’ve always kind of thought that Logan and God were tied together. The further I pushed my grief away, the more distant I became with God. The less I allowed my sufferings in, the less I heard God. But I’ve tried so hard to maintain my beliefs. I walk this battlefield every minute of every day. Every thing in me feels as if I have no reason to pray to God, while every matter in my head tells me I do.
Over the last few weeks/months, who the heck knows on timing, I’ve begun to allow myself to see my grief. Currently I am doing many different things to try and kick start my relationship with God. I try to tell myself that my solace remains in the fact I believe God is real. I believe God can/could heal Logan. Which means, I still believe in God. Pray is hard. I was raised in the church and prayer was always something you did. If you prayed hard enough and long enough God would fulfill. And perhaps my upbringing on the reality of prayer was a little off. But there have been many things over the years I have prayed for and I have not seen the fruit of that labor. However, it was never enough to bump my off my path with God. I prayed for Logan so many times. I cried out in pure agony, begging, pleading, weeping. And what did I get? Logan still died. It’s God’s will right? That’s what every single one of you told me. So why do I need to pray? God will do what he wants to, correct? He has the big master plan. What I want can’t always fit into that plan of his, so why pray for something I may never get?
I started a different kind of counseling recently. It’s more geared to finding my voice with God. This man has made me cry both times I’ve met with him and I hate him for it (not really, but you know what I mean). All the emotion that’s been in my junk draw is coming out and I’ve tried hard to keep it there. Anyway, he mentioned something to me he’d heard from a friend. It had to do with the trust relationship between God and I. Basically it boiled down to this: When Logan died, God broke my trust. Wow. How dead on and I didn’t even know it. I had never given it a name. God broke my trust. It perfectly described everything I’ve been feeling. The question remains, how do you rebuild trust with God?
In recent conversations with my husband (usually after having a couple beers) I’ve allowed more grief to slip through. I don’t think I ever allowed myself to fully see the trauma that was caused by watching Logan die. To this day it still seems like a dream. I don’t remember much and can’t feel the weight of him anymore. But to physically watch my newborn child wither and die in my arms is the worst trauma I will ever face in my lifetime. I have to give credit to that. I have never faced anything remotely close to that kind of trauma. It has literally altered my entire life. Everything thought, every action, every word, every emotion pings off of that trauma. To be so helpless and alone. Helpless because it was out of my control. There was no right answer. There was no way to save his life. Our choice was death or death. Helpless because I couldn’t give him nourishment when his body was starving for it. Helpless because I couldn’t stop the seizures that cycled through our days. Helpless because I couldn’t make it okay. And alone because nobody knew. Alone because I had to be strong for Josh and Wyatt. Alone because I couldn’t grieve. Alone because I felt abandoned by God.
People say they can relate or understand what we went through. But I don’t think you can. I don’t think you can even have an idea of what we went through. This was not a miscarriage or a still birth. Aside from the sack on the base of his head, Logan was a full time baby. Josh said he cried and whimpered when he was born. He says he moved his arms and legs. (Side note: I don’t remember) Once we started the valium for his seizures he stopped. He became lifeless. He laid in the fetal position and slowly started losing body fat until he was bones with a thin layer of skin. We watched as he stopped breathing. And we watched as he gasped for air as if he was being suffocated. We watched as his eyes got huge as if he was scared. Trauma.
So tell me how do I build trust with God? Every single part of my life is directly effected by Logan’s death. And I blame God. He chose to let Logan die, for his plan. What’s next?