I apologize for the delay in posting. It's been an emotional few days and we really needed time to process. I'm a firm believer in PROCESSING. especially because I'm emotionally reactive Italian, so processing helps level me out to 'normal person' levels. Here's what I needed to process...
Some friends of ours have experienced intense heartbreak, the kind you don't want to think about and dread never happens to you....they lost their beloved newborn baby boy, Maverick Lazarus. Sweet Baby Mav did not make it through the often underestimated peril of delivery. He was born not breathing for 20 min, and though doctors successfully labored to recover a heartbeat, he showed no signs of brain function. His parents, Cristina and Steve, peacefully withdrew life support after several days of no brain activity. They are some of the most soulful, unimaginably kind, highly intelligent darlings we've ever met. Cristina's post was so powerful, I have been forever deeply affected. She has taught me so very much during this process.
Maverick's funeral was indescribably peaceful, so beautiful, so CALM. I was dreading going, terrified of the emotional turmoil it would unleash from within my gut, but, to my delicate surprise, that didn't happen. Like his parents, the entire event was easy going, in a formally appropriate, honorable fashion. We all wore black, and the stark contrast of the black procession of family and friends, marching in unison on the picturesque white beach at sunset was poetically beautiful, deeply poignant. Steve lit the timber on a small boat, and we all watched in silence as Sweet Baby Mav's ashes were sent to sea in a Viking Warrior Ceremony, with his uncles leading him home on the water. I was crying in Hubbs' warm, enveloping embrace, yet when I looked up and saw his face, he was almost smiling. He appreciated the deep poignancy of the moment, the legacy on display: this daddy, surrounded by his brothers-in-arms, sending his infant son off to a burial at sea, fit for a warrior king.
We love you Sweet Baby Maverick. June 7, 2017-June 10, 2017.
This is what Cristina wrote on Facebook. When I read it, I fell apart. She showed me once again the power of FAITH--if you let it, it will lift you above the ashes, free you from suffering, and let you experience pain without hopelessness, with meaning.
By Mommy Cristina: "Mav made more of an impact in this life without trying than some people do in a lifetime.
People have been telling Steve and me how impressive our faith is. I've come to realize: if we can't use our faith in the hardest of times when we need it most, what kind of faith is it? It took me years of painful struggling to see it this way, though. My infantile faith was more about me being god than about God being God. I thought if I worked hard and served as well as I could, things would always turn out in my favor, the way I wanted them too--I would achieve all my goals. There were Bible verses that I thought told me this was true. It turns out, that's not how life works!!! A series of life disappointments and rejections shook my faith almost to the core and made me question how I wanted to live. The questioning, uncertainty, and self-centeredness led me to isolation and depression.
When I moved to SD in 2009 is when God started to show me, through participation at Rock Church. through some books I read, and mostly through the people I met who exemplified what I was reading and learning, that there is freedom in trusting Him and His ways instead of throwing tantrums when He doesn't do what I expect. After all, He is the omniscient God, who am I to tell Him what to do? When I tell Him what to do, I'm putting myself on the throne--as if IIIIIIIIIIIIII have more more credentials than the Creator of Universe!
It's human nature to believe the lie that we are alone during hardship or that we are the only ones who have ever faced these circumstances. But that is rarely if ever the case. I've always been inspired by Amy Christine (yep, that's me) and Michelle and Chris [last name omitted]. When I realized the situation Steve and I were in, these other families came to mind and I tried to copy the strength I've seen in them--the strength and consequential freedom to love others and let God work through you in the midst of devastation, the strength and wisdom to accept support.
Other things I've learned the last few years that have been indispensable the last few days (and the few months before that that were also not easy): 1) there is freedom and power in worshiping Jesus, 2) healthy, RAW, genuine community is paramount and the reward in it way outweighs the risks. There often were ~20 people at Mary Birch for us at any given time and a core group of our friends were there from around 9am-11pm EVERY DAY. Steve and I can't imagine facing the last few days without that family around us. Have we always gotten along with and agreed with these same family members 24/7? Have these friends never disappointed us or been disappointed by us? Hell no--but we love each other anyway. ("By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” -John 13:35)"
Amen girl, AAAAAMMEN! We love you!
Someone told me I "am brave" for going to Mav's funeral. I am not brave. I went because this little child taught this suffering mommy more about faith, brought me closer to God, and connected me to his parents in a way that Hubbs and I truly needed.
Mav passed away peacefully, quietly, in his parent's loving arms. He never cried. He never opened his eyes. He never experienced the ugliness this world has to offer. He came into and left this world innocent, pure, perfect. This is the most a parent can ever ask for, in my opinion: A TRANQUIL PASSING. I begged God for a miracle for Amelie, but if he isn't going to bestow that upon her, I pray that he allow a similar moment for us with Amelie. and if he still doesn't, In the words of Cristina and Steve, "that's ok too." we TRUST. Cristina and Steve viewed her son's passing as "God's loving mercy." WHAT A GIFT!!! What gratitude! That, my friends, is nothing short of INCREDIBLE.