I didn’ t know what I was asking for

It’s been a little more than 26 months since Mason left us. Of all the blogs I’ve read and people I have spoken to, they all say that the second year is the hardest. After the shock wears off and reality starts so settle back in, that’s when you really get started. Well, we survived the second year.

Another thing I have heard from others is that there is no time table on grief. The Compassionate Friends consider you “newly” bereaved if it’s been less than 5 years. I’m still “newly” bereaved. Sometimes, I’m still in shock. Sometimes it’s not real. Sometimes, I think that my alarm clock will wake me up from a horrendously long nightmare.

Being “newly” bereaved, I am still very early on in my healing progress. The pain is still very deep. Obviously, I haven’t had the time to let it heal, but I expect at some point that the pain will be more like a soreness, a bad ache. Right now, the knife is still in my heart and it’s twisting around and around. The wound is not able to start healing just yet.

As if all this wasn’t bad enough, there is the guilt. All of this pain, all of the heartache, all of the tears, all of the sadness and all of the helplessness, I wished on someone else.

Early in April of 2002, we found out Mason needed a heart transplant. The current route of treatment wasn’t going to be good enough and time was of the essence. I prayed every day for a heart to become available for Mason. Six months later, my prayers were answered. At that point, someone else started their life without their child. I spent six months wishing this curse on someone else. I didn’t care who, I just wanted my child to live. I wanted Mason to have a chance. And I got it.

I spent six months praying for all this to happen to someone else. Now I’ll spend forever praying for God to forgive me for asking this. I didn’t know what I was asking for. I just wanted the best for Mason.

Now I’m on the other side. I find myself telling people all the time that I hope you never have to deal with the loss of a child. “I wouldn’t wish it on anyone”, I say. Yet, twelve years ago, that’s exactly what I was doing. Would I do it again, knowing what I know now? Yes. So I guess I’m lying when I say I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. If my child’s life is on the line, I would wish it on anyone.

So, what this boils down to is just another twist of the knife for me. On one hand, I don’t want anyone to experience this. I don’t want to have to ask God to take another one of his children so that my child could live. Yet, if it came down to it again, I’d make the same request. My child is more important than anyone else’s; just as your child is more important than mine.

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8 thoughts on “I didn’ t know what I was asking for

  1. I’m so sorry for your pain. I understand how guilt can be so debilitating as I felt it too, for a different reason, but with similar impact. I hope you’re able to let yourself believe that you did not wish this on anyone. You only wished for your child to be well, something every parent would do. Unfortunately, you do not have that kind of power to affect life’s journey. And none of us could have ever imagined the kind of pain our loss could cause. I couldn’t have imagined this 13 months ago. You didn’t wish this on anyone. Wishing you peaceful days.

    • Thank you.
      While I know in my mind what I was wanting, it’s what’s in my heart that has me troubled. I understand that I don’t have a direct role in ‘The Plan’, but it leaves me with a guilty feeling for even having those thoughts.

  2. Kevin – I honor the guilt you feel. Although we sincerely would not wish this pain on someone else, as you recognize, there is nothing we will not do for a child. In the months after my son died, I remember saying the words, “God took my son.” One day, my counselor challenged me. He plainly said, “Tim. God did not TAKE your son. Cancer did.” Now, I still struggle with the fact that He “allowed” cancer to take him, but that is for another discussion.

    In my view, the child who died resulting in Mason’s heart transplant was not “taken” so Mason would live. We live in a fallen world. Death happens (as we have learned so cruelly). The parents of that child mourned just as we have. But their loss DID give you Mason for the short time he was here. I am sure they are proud of the gift they gave your family. I would hope I could do the same in the midst of such pain.

    Glad you are writing again…

    • Thanks Tim. Good to hear from you again as well.

      After Mason died, we spent a good bit of time at the hospital with him. For some reason, I was in a hurry to get out of there, now I wish I had spent more time with him.

      When we left the hospital, we went back to my parents house which was literally just across the freeway from the hospital. It wasn’t long before I got the call from LifeGift about Mason. They wanted to know If I would be willing to donate any of Mason’s organs. Thank God they did their homework. They knew he was already an organ recipient. They knew what medications he had been on. They knew that is internal organs where pretty well shot, at least not good enough to consider for donation. The only thing they requested was his beautiful eyes and his knees. It was an incredibly morbid subject, but he lady onteh phone was incredibly polite and understanding. Still, I didn’t want to be on the phone talking about things like that at this time. But, did. Somebody else did it for Mason. If nobody did it, a lot of children would suffer even more.

  3. I may have killed to allow my child to live. My sanity was threatened throughout the last year of Nick’s life. A parent is only as happy as their least content child. God wired us to protect our children, or they wouldn’t have survived as infants. A baby’s cry is meant to get a response and our child’s tears are supposed to make us cry. Kevin, at two years you’re in the pit. It’s deep and dark and the sides are slippery. In a few years, after you’ve filled that pit with enough tears you’ll find you’re near enough to the top that you’ll be able reach a hand to the edge. That doesn’t mean you’ll be climbing out, just a handhold to rest against. That’s the price of loving your little boy as deeply as you do. You’re the best dad.

    • Sorry it took so long to respond. Thank you for your comment.

      Yes, I would have killed.

      About 2 months before we found out Mason needed a transplant, “John Q” came out at the theaters. My wife and I were dumb enough to go see it. Denzel did a pretty fair job of portraying the emotions that we were feeling. It’s a good movie if you haven’t seen it yet.

      • I loved that movie. It was for real. This month friends lost their oldest son in a car accident. He told me, “I was doing OK until I found (his son’s) this note and then I just fell apart.” I said, “Fall apart. There is no other way to get through this. You gotta go down.” We help each other, holding hands, going through this. Take good care, Kevin.

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