Sunday, August 24, 2008

Signs from our children

Mothers have an uncanny way of knowing exactly about their child’s health, and in Susan’s case, it was gratifying to have the head of pediatrics realize it when he said to her “You knew all the time, didn’t you?” Susan did. He had no clue how she could have known that her daughter was dying because the doctors kept reiterating until the day the baby died that she would be fine.

Susan’s baby was born with multiple physical birth defects and was in and out of the hospital many times during the first 8 months of her life before she died. Doctors insisted that when she got a little older they could operate on her and she’d be fine. But little was known in those days about many of her defects and doctors assumed wrongly that she would be okay.

Susan spent as much time as possible with the baby. Things just got worse and Susan knew. She went to a spiritual counselor to talk about this feeling she had that her baby wouldn’t make it. The counselor went into a trance, told her the baby would not live long, described the physical disabilities, hitting everything right on. Susan believes this counselor felt everything the baby felt as she was dying. What the counselor said validated Susan’s feelings and helped her cope.

Susan says that her baby was her greatest teacher. She believes the baby was an old soul—all knowing. She explained that it was like the baby was looking into her soul and that there was a peace about the baby that Susan had never felt before.

The spiritual counselor said the baby wanted to learn one more thing before she died: how to accept love without being able to give it. She couldn’t physically put her arms out to be held and she couldn’t give anything back. She had a huge presence about her that Susan will never forget.

Susan remembers one incident in the hospital right before the baby died that confirmed her belief that people, on some level, know they’re leaving, even little ones. The baby put her arms up, crying like she wanted to be held, something she had never been able to do before. A nurse Susan had never seen before, sitting in the corner of the room, said to her, “Do you want to hold the baby?” She had never been able to hold her before because of all the complications and disabilities. She picked her up and could see in her baby’s eyes that she was trying to tell her something. Then the baby started gasping, and she had to put her down. The baby died later that night. To this day, Susan believes the nurse in the room was an angel. And the baby was telling her goodbye and that everything was okay. She believes it was an amazing experience, one she’ll never forget. Many have had unexplained experiences where children have sent parents signs with whispers of love.

The death of the baby ended her marriage, but Susan admits that she was in the marriage for all the wrong reasons. Susan found help with the Center for Living With Dying, Hospice and learning Reiki, an ancient Japanese hands-on healing modality meaning soul power and reminding us of our ability to heal ourselves.

Susan continues to this day to work in the grief field to help others and has come to understand the meaning of her life and her purpose here on earth. She believes it was because of a small baby who came into her life for a very short but meaningful time, a child who taught Susan about unconditional love.

(Portions of this story were condensed from Susan’s entire story that is one of the 25 in my book.)

1 comment:

  1. My story also has to do with an angel - an angel baby. Dante was born 10 weeks early, but surprisingly healthy. On day 10, he was diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis, and he passed away on August 13, 2008 at 13 1/2 days old.

    The part of this story which will forever touch my heart is what happened in the last 30 seconds of his precious life. Dante was disconnected from life support, and all the tubes, IV's, and wires were removed, save the IV for fentanyl and the monitor for the heart rate. Mom and dad were holding our boy for the last time, and when his heart rate was only 38 bpm, I leaned in real close, and whispered in his tiny ear, "You go get your angel wings. You go be with God and you watch over me." It was at that moment which Dante's heart stopped beating, and he left this Earth in physical form, but not in memory.

    It is still tough - dad relapsed and has had thoughts of suicide. We are working on it, though, and I am working to further research and awareness for NEC.

    Please, Dante, do not ever leave us; keep us close and comfort your family. We love you and will miss you forever.