Saturday, March 05, 2005

How To Bury a Shooting Star

"Flaxen hair blowing in the breeze It is time for the geese to head south I have come with my mustard seed I cannot accept that she will be taken from me 'Do you know who I am' she said 'I'm the one who taps you on the shoulder when it's your time Don't be afraid I promise that she will awake Tomorrow Somewhere Tomorrow Somewhere'"

Tori Amos The Beekeeper

Yes, I'm a Tori fan. And a Christian. Imagine.

Yesterday it rained a bit. I had hoped that we would get Sarah's casket in time for her burial, but we didn't. The little box lovingly offered by another blogger will have to settle for being her memory box, holding everything she ever touched. It was muddy as we walked to the little table where we placed her tiny coffin. Such a big dream for a life, held in such a little box.

I found comfort in scripture, yesterday. I have found comfort in scripture frequently of late. I'm always working so hard to study the bible, that I found I was missing the sheer power of the words all by themselves. Words of comfort and hope. We read them to her at her grave.

Psalm 23

A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me; you restore my strength. You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name. Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and staff give me courage. You set a table before me as my enemies watch; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and love will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come.

Psalm 139 1-18

O LORD, you have probed me, you know me: you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar. My travels and my rest you mark; with all my ways you are familiar. Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD, you know it all. Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me. Such knowledge is beyond me, far too lofty for me to reach. Where can I hide from your spirit? From your presence, where can I flee? If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, you are there too. If I fly with the wings of dawn and alight beyond the sea, Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand hold me fast. If I say, "Surely darkness shall hide me, and night shall be my light" -- Darkness is not dark for you, and night shines as the day. Darkness and light are but one. You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! My very self you knew; my bones were not hidden from you, When I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth. Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be. How precious to me are your designs, O God; how vast the sum of them! Were I to count, they would outnumber the sands; to finish, I would need eternity.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, console one another with these words.

We prayed the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be. We even found this prayer:

Heavenly Father, your ways are hidden from our eyes, comfort, we pray you, the parents who grieve at the loss of their baby. Grant them grace to face the future with courage and gallantry. May they understand in faith that your love, as a Father, will not cause them a needless tear and that they will meet again in a fuller life those whose earthly body they prepared on earth. by, Michael Buckley

We took turns saying goodbye to her. Then we left. I didn't want to see her buried. But we drove by since I hadn't taken a picture, and it was too late. The earth was going in, covering her. I cried a lot yesterday, and I couldn't talk to anyone. I wallowed in my empty feelings. Dominic took care of me. He may be my greatest blessing.

I wanted to write about our journey with Sarah because I knew it would be hard. And I thought that I would know how to handle it with grace, and people would see that with God, even the most painful things are made bearable.

That hasn't been how it's worked out. I don't know that being a Christian has made any of this any easier. And I realized that God doesn't promise us that. He promises that He loves us, that He'll never leave us, and that we will have something better, one day. I am still not okay. I keep putting on the face, and functioning, but I know that there is something broken within me. A piece of my heart that Sarah took with her.

I am not angry with God. Though He didn't work the way I wanted Him to, He has brought me to a deeper dependence on Him. I've had to throw myself on His mercy, and trust in Him to a deeper degree. He can see the whole picture. He can see how we all fit together. Our lives are woven together in this amazing colorful tapestry, each action affecting someone else.

Perhaps He will use this not to show how "easy" it is, but to show that one can get through it with hope and faith intact. And if He uses it to show even one person that He loves them, then Sarah's death will not have been for nothing.

I don't have all of the answers, and so many of the answers I do have don't bring me satisfaction. But I know that He Is. And I know with every fiber of my being that there is reason, and this is not random. And so, though I'm not okay, I know I will be. I don't know when, but I know I will be.

And I dream of her playing, in the rain, like yesterday.

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