…just like—that…

Well, maybe I have put this off long enough in wondering if I want to write about my emotions, the shock that is still with me (us) in losing Steven, and all the old buried emotions and memories of losing Jessica. Two deaths of two children 10 years apart in age, nearly 8 years apart in death. Steven and Jessica loved each other, not early on, but in the later years, the time just before her death. And how he cried for her, even lately, even he could not understand why she died and he lived.  Two children-one son, one daughter died very similar deaths, similar injuries, similar reasons with very similar birthdays, his February 9th and hers February 10th. And for all the facts I can put together there still is no reasoning why these two had to die. Stupid choices made by another in the heat of the moment, one is in jail, one is not. Head injuries – irreparable damage resulting in quick deaths. Only One could keep them alive, yet in His good reasoning chose not to.  I found a picture of them talking face to face at my grandmother’s funeral taken only a couple of weeks before Jessica died.  As I looked, the picture told me they had been conniving, together forming a plan to leave us then. We, as a family agreed it was so, it had to be that way.  It brought us peace to agree.

I put my mother on the plane this morning and wondered if I would see her again. We never know when will be our last conversation, our last hug, or even our last argument. Those we love are taken from us so quickly and without warning, more times than we think about. Yesterday I read the  news of a hiker who had fallen into the mouth of Mount St. Helens while posing for a photograph. The land beneath him gave away and he fell 1500 feet to his death. No warning. Not for him or for those who loved him. Just gone like— that, just that quickly.

And so it was for our son and our daughter. I was Steven’s step mother. I am not saying that to separate myself, but to give place to the respect of his mother as I believe that position is very important. Maybe more so in death than in life, but for reasons I cannot explain to you.  I heard his mother cry out in her grief in the loss of knowing she will never see her baby again and that is all she wanted, would give anything, go anywhere, do anything just for the chance to make this thing wrong death thing right, to again bring life back to her child. And that grief was mine – for a moment it made she and I one. And in his death, having already known first hand the loss of the death of a child that maybe only a mother can experience and the willingness to do anything, go anywhere to make this death thing right, but being granted only a black and stony silence in the response. It is dark, it is nothing short of hell as we know it this side of life. And there are no rose colored glasses to help paint a nicer picture. All that these two precious people were to us, their family and their friends, all that they could have become is forever lost. There will be no children borne through them to carry on their names, their smiles, their deep blue eyes or their laughter or hugs. All of it gone just like—that.

And so, as “deep cries out to deep” I can only trust in the love and peace my Father, our Father has to offer me (us) in the hope of a better day. A day when the pain will not be so intense, a day when my thoughts come back to me, a day when the memories of those loved and lost will no longer rip a hole in my spirit, but instead offer a giggle in my heart for their love, the laughter that we shared, and the peace that will come in the knowledge that they were only mine (ours) for a time.  I long for the day I see them again and there will be no more tears, no more loss, no more confusion or pain. But in that day, a brighter smile through clearer eyes. For what we see now in part we will know then face to face.

Thank you for all of your wonderful prayers and words of encouragement. They have meant more to us than words can express. We can feel them like a presence, like a warm comforter wrapped around an otherwise crazed world.  I cannot kick against this. For whatever reason, the Lord has allowed these deaths. It may sound very simple, maybe too simple, but I must say this here as I have said it aloud  – the Father knew they were going to die and He allowed it. So, the One who sees the beginning of all things to the very end, the One who knows all of the ins and outs and in-betweens has found reason for these two deaths to take place in our world, He has again allowed our lives to shatter.  So, I resign myself to His love and His ways as I again remind myself that His ways are not my own, but much higher and with greater purpose. As much as I can in this moment of life, I resolve in my spirit to live by His.

In loving memory of our precious children

Steven Gordon Kelly II and Jessica Nicole Brown