Four years ago today I sat next to my husband and daughter on a little couch in the PICU of Dallas Children’s Hospital and held my much wanted, much prayed over, rainbow baby boy as the clocked ticked past his 3 week birthday and Kaden took his last breath.
We left that hospital hours later empty handed, and I carried a feeling of absolute shock and dread. I dreaded the next moments, days, weeks, months. I dreaded the rest of my life. I’d lost twin boys a year before at 20 weeks, who lived only long enough for me to fall deeper in love with them. I had just started to see some light at the end of that tunnel of grief, the trauma, and heartache that came with watching two children of mine die in my hands.
And now I had to do it all over again.
There are very few times in my life I’ve wanted to die or considered suicide. Two times after Kaden died I seriously considered it. Moments were so painful and profoundly broken after that, I couldn’t imagine carrying them around for the rest of my life. The night after he died I thought of it. And two years after that – sitting in a car, heavily pregnant with my 5th baby, coming from a cardiologist appointment where everything seemed fine. I laid my head on my steering wheel and sobbed, cried so hard at times I couldn’t breathe and thought of how I simply couldn’t do this anymore.
I have a habit of minimizing all my emotions even in these moments, so the obvious thought of calling someone who loved me and would have listened seemed silly. But as I sank deeper into my grief, I picked up my phone and called the only number I could remember that wasn’t already on my phone. I called KLOVE radio and asked to speak with a pastor.
No idea what I said to that poor woman, I simply sobbed through my story, trying to explain what was going on with our life – my sons, my husband, my only living child, my extended family. Me. She listened and kept softly saying, “Oh my goodness honey, oh my.” I didn’t know what I wanted or why I called. Everything in me kept screaming to get off the phone, man up, and deal with it without bothering others.
But I couldn’t. I was so, so angry with God and how He’d let my children suffer and die despite all my prayers and pleadings, but in that moment of desperation, He was all I had. He was there through that pastor.
As she prayed over me, my tears changed from painful to releasing. I heard her pleads to God to give me comfort, hope, an assurance He was there with me in these dark moments.
After, I thanked her and she told me to please call back anytime and speak to them again, and that I’d be put on their KLOVE pastoral prayer list to pray over.
The song “I Will Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle had been released right before that, and as I slowly drove home, it came on. Her lyrics have always had an immense impact on me:
“When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust
I will trust in You”
I’ve had hard, terrible moments since then. But that moment was a turning point for a lot of my anger in how I felt left alone and isolated from the God I’d deeply trusted. As four years have passed, each one brings a different feeling on this day. This year, I sit down to write this at a new little cafe in my town and as I write this out, Lauren’s voice suddenly shines above me with that same song.
Angry. Hurt. Hopeful. Longing. Trusting. Even though He didn’t do as I thought, He’s still beside me as I walk alongside my earthly children one day closer to my heavenly ones.
Diana is owner and editor-in-chief of Still Standing Magazine and blogs her own life story at Diana Wrote. She and her military retired husband have two girls and three sons who passed away after birth; Preston and Julian, identical twin boys who were born at 20 weeks, and Kaden, who unexpectedly had cardiomyopathy due to a rare virus called ciHHV-6. He died in her arms at 3 weeks old.
In 2014 she traveled with World Vision to learn about maternal health and infant mortality in Zimbabwe, and later with them to Ecuador. She is working on a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. You can also find her work on Babble, Liberating Working Moms, She Reads Truth, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post.