As a child I was fascinated with a life size statue of the Pieta. I used to stand in front of the statue looking intently at Mother Mary holding Jesus in her arms after He was taken down from the Cross. Perhaps I used to stand there staring because Jesus knew that one day I would be a mother, and that both my son and daughter would die in the course of one tragic week. I have been asked to write about my experience. I pray that anyone who reads or hears this story will be blessed. Amen.
It was April 2005 when my life was changed forever. It began with a dream so clear and so startling in its clarity. In my dream I was pregnant with my son. I looked at my naked, very pregnant belly, gestation completed, and from my protruding navel an umbilical cord coiled upward reaching to the sky. Suddenly the cord was abruptly severed and the part that remained connected to me just quivered. I awoke with a start in a brain foggy state when the telephone rang. My trembling hand tried to hold the receiver as the awful news was received. My son was in the hospital in critical condition. He had suffered a traumatic head injury and he would soon be in surgery.
I began to pray, pleading and begging God to please spare my firstborn and only son. Suddenly into that terrible place of anguish came a blindingly brilliant light. I felt as though I was floating on the sea of mercy enveloped in a peace that defies description.
I needed to be with my son, but with an ocean separating us I feared I would not get there in time. I slept 3 hours, the time it took for Jesus to give up His Spirit and to expire thus opening the floodgates of mercy for the whole world. My husband also slept just three hours but long enough to be able to function while the storm of grief raged. Family members were called and flight arrangements were made. The phone rang again. My son was dying. I spoke with him on the telephone. He was not able to speak with me, so I summoned up the courage God gave me in that moment and told him that he would now commence a new adventure with God and that he had my blessing. My son died before we left home to be with him.
We commenced a long journey to go and bury my son and my daughter came with us. Within six days of the death of our son, our beautiful daughter would go up to the top of the hotel where we were staying and let herself free fall to her death. How do I express to you the shock, the devastation, the grief we experienced? I cannot! We were stupefied! Our daughter had been pensive and was in shock from the sudden death of her brother, but we did not realize that she was suicidal. Things seemed surreal.
As I lay beside my husband, his breathing seemed too rapid and I took His pulse that was also much too fast. He was in what in medical terms is called a “thyroid storm” and was immediately rushed to emergency. He was stabilized and medicated. Back at the hotel during my shower, I remember curling up on the floor of the shower in the fetal position, while a great blackness threatened to overtake me. I heard a loud shout. It was my son’s voice. I could feel his presence there with me. “MOM! STAND UP! MOM get with the program!” I stood up and found myself afloat on the infinite ocean of God’s mercy, again enveloped in His peace with the full knowledge that I would survive.
Nine years have passed and it is April 2014. God knows I trust in Him, and accept our loss with faith. I rejoice in the promise of Christ that we will one day be reunited in Heaven.
To help us survive our loss, I believe that we were plunged in the ocean of Divine Mercy, thrown a lifeline and instructed to trust God and hang on tight. The lifeline was like an umbilical cord tied around my waist connecting me to God. As the waves of grief tossed me about and drowning seemed probable, I would safely bob on the surface because God sustained me. I wondered at times how such a crushed and broken heart could keep on beating even while I wished it to stop. I would stretch out my arms to Abba Father and be revived, floating safely on that great ocean of His Divine Mercy.
Our youngest daughter was a source of great strength to us even while suffering such unimaginable grief at the loss of her older brother and sister. She is now a mother and gives us constant joy and consolation. We delight in being grandparents. Her dear husband continues to shower her with his love and devotion. Every year at this tender time, our family is blessed with miracles too numerous to share. I am reminded that we are all in God’s hands and that He is a merciful God who longs for us to say with all our hearts “Jesus, I Trust in you!”