My Addie was playing in the laundry room while I loaded the dryer. She nurtured a butterfly Barbie, gave her new shoes and fed her.
I asked, “Is that your baby?”
“Yes. My baby died.” She said.
I smiled to her while a pit grew in my stomach.
Her baby died.
Mine did too darling. Mine did too.
Why does my 3 year-old think death is so normal? So causal? So part of every day life? Because for her it is. Because just 10 days before her 2nd birthday she watched her Mama’s baby die.
I hate the thought of that night for myself but I hate it more for my children. I hate it that my baby died. I hate it that his siblings watched it happen. I hate it that as she plays dolls, my child reenacts that night.
I despise that night.
I despise the pain that night haunts me with.
I despise death.
I am also realizing that as much as I hate it, I cannot hide from it, avoid it or minimize it. Death deals out pain, even for my Addie.
So if you feel like you can’t seem to shake grief, if your words of comfort don’t seem to comfort, if you think enough time has passed to be “normal “again remember this:
Death is the consequence of sin.
The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). Death gets its power to hurt from sin (1 Cor. 15:56 GNT).
Death is a horrible. It is bleak. It is what put Jesus on the cross. It is powerful.
John 11:35 is a famous for being the shortest verse in the bible. It has just two words. Jesus wept.
Jesus wept because of death. He wept knowing where Lazarus was. He wept knowing where Lazarus was going. He wept because even to God, death hurts.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin. 1 Cor. 15:55-56
That sting reverberates throughout life. It haunts us in the night. It visits uninvited. It crouches in the darkness and pounces during moments of unsuspecting joy. It stings and stings and stings.
It stings again when your 3 year-old plays “death” with her dolls.
I am learning I cannot cope with death until I understand one immutable truth. Death has a lifetime of irreversible consequences.
I am also learning that I cannot manage those consequences until I root myself in another immutable truth. This lifetime isn’t all there is.