Monday, August 27, 2012

I Will Not Be Silent

A silent suffering- that is where I am currently at. Strangers pass me in the street and have no idea the storm that is going on inside of me. That pain that is threatening to strangle me and builds, becoming toxic until it bubbles over, spilling out of me as if floodgates had just been opened. I HATE THIS. I hate that this is now part of our story. That suffering knocked on our door a month and a half ago and decided to move in for what seems to be permanently. How can this happen? How can I experience the best year of my life and the worst year of my life all in the same year? How can the direction life is going change so drastically? Because of this abrupt direction change, I'm so lost.

I long for the day when I am on the other side of this. The day when I can look back on this time and see how far I've come. Jerry Sittser writes:

               "The quickest way for anyone to reach the sun & light of day is not to run west, chasing after the              
                 setting sun, but to head east, plunging into the darkness until one comes to the sunrise."

I love this analogy because if I run from this suffering, this darkness that comes along with losing someone you love so dearly, I will maybe have fleeting moments of comfort, but the darkness will always catch up with me. So I've decided to run straight into the darkness- facing all those things that scare me: Quinn's nursery, pictures of her, talking about her and our memories, my fears of never having more children, letting go of MY plan of how life was going to be. Once I do that I am down to the most basic, primal parts of me. Even though it hurts so bad, I know it has to be done or else I'm just delaying the inevitable.

I don't know where we (including me) got the idea that life isn't supposed to be hard. That bad things happen to "other" people, but if we're "good" enough it won't happen to us. We (including me) have this sense of entitlement. I was reminded of this last night when reading Romans 8:15-17:
               "The Spirit we received does not make us slaves again to fear; it makes us children of God. With
                 that Spirit we cry out, "Father". And the Spirit himself joins with our spirits to say we are God's
                 children. If we are God's children, we will receive blessings from God together with Christ. But
                we must suffer as Christ suffered so that we will have glory as Christ has glory."

As I was reading that verse in my Bible I noticed I had  previously read this and had the entire verse underlined but stopped at the last sentence beginning with BUT.  See, I failed to underline the suffering part. We want a nice neat box to put Christianity in and throw in those fuzzy verses about love and conveniently leave out the suffering parts.  Brennan Manning writes:

              "Christianity doesn't deny the reality of suffering and evil... our hope... is not based on the idea that
               we are going to be free of pain and suffering. Rather, it is based on the conviction that we will
               triumph over suffering."

Just this week I realized something pretty simple that I can't believe I've missed all these years of growing up in the church... Those whom God loves dearly, the faithful, the righteous, they all have some of the deepest suffering. Moses was given away as a baby, kills someone and goes into exile. David was chased & sought to be killed by his mentor and then loses his baby boy. Mary has a son who is born in a barn, is persecuted most of his short life, then dies a criminal death for no crime. AWFUL! But we skip over those parts and go right to the triumph of Moses leading his people out of slavery and seeing the very face of God, David being the greatest king to ever live, and Mary being the mother of the Savior of the universe who rose again.

My cousins came last weekend to spend some time with me and asked me about this blog. They were surprised I was doing it because I'm normally more private with things of this matter. I waited a moment to answer them because I had not put into words why I was writing this. But the answer came quick. I had so many dreams and hopes for Quinn. I envisioned her being a character, charismatic, loving people hard, and changing every life who she came in contact with. Now my daughter is gone. And the only possible way that she can still change lives is if her story is told through Tim & I. Here is her story:

Once upon a time there lived a mommy and daddy who prayed and cried and prayed to have a baby. Finally the time came where God blessed them with that baby. When she was born their whole world rejoiced because a light was born and she grew into a round-faced, happy, beautiful, blue-eyed baby. Then, quicker than she came into the world she left the world and that flame went out. The mommy and daddy were heartbroken and thought they'd never see that kind of light again. But that's when others around them caught fire. Mommies and daddies held their kids longer, told their kids how much they loved them, and vowed to be better parents, friends and coworkers dropped their differences and showed each other more love and grace than ever before, and that world turned to the Light Of The World for their own struggles. Even though the one little light had gone out a wild fire had started and there was no putting that out.

So even though I am silently suffering in my day to day life- I will not be quiet about how my daughter changed me, how she moved me from a place of complacency to a place of fervency.


  1. Praying for you mama. I admire your strength, courage and your willingness to go on. Your daughter's legacy lives on in you and these writings. God bless. xo

    Kiyla Fenell

  2. Beautiful. And yet, I hate this too. We painted Mia's room today, not yet three months after she has been gone. I am plunging into the darkness too. I spoke with a mom who lost her baby 30 years ago and was forced to move on too quickly. I rejoice to see you honoring your beautiful daughter so well.

  3. Thank You for being an example of suffering for the glory of God. I am praying for you Allison and Tim. May others be brought to Jesus by your living example of the Gospel.

  4. Wow Ali - so beautiful and so much of your heart put out there! "For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows...Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us - as you help us by your prayers." 2 Cor. 1:5,9,10
    God is the One who will be your Helper and Deliverer - but we can help you through our prayers, so we continue to pray hard, and to cry with you, and to love you even deeper as we see the honest ache of your hearts exposed for us to grieve and cry with. Our lives will certainly never be the same as well - everything reminds us that this life is not all there is - that each breath could be our last - and that our faith will get us through - and He is enough. With much love, Aunt Nancy

  5. I'm on my knees for you today, Ali and Tim. I'm praying that you will remember today how much God loves each of you, His children. I'm praying that His Spirit is filling you with comfort. I'm praying that as He keeps pursuing you to transform you that you will also keep pursuing Him to go deeper in knowing Him. God is Good and He doesn't share His plan with us until we need to know. But as I stare at these beautiful photos of Quinn, I'm joyful knowing that He's holding her hand and loving her to the utmost. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and hurts. We are blessed because of your open heart!

  6. Ali ...I don't think you know me as I am a few years younger than your parents but I have lived my life in EG. I ,of course, heard of the tragedy that hit your family. As a parent of two adult children I can't think of a more difficult thing to face than losing your child. I have such empathy for what you are going thru and want you to know that many people who don't even know you are praying for you and your husband. Twenty five years ago my firstborn,after 3 years of infertility, arrived premature and critically ill. He was flown away to DSM within an hour of birth but not before an emergency baptism because it wasn't clear yet whether Mitch would survive.He spent the next month in the NICU in Blank's Children Hospital but, through the Grace of God did survive. Mitch was born with a very rare genetic disorder and as well as a life threatening lung disease. He survive the disease and learned to live with the disorder. He would face many ,many challenges as he grew including a profound speech disorder that required 13 years of speech therapy and learning disabilities that required special schooling starting at age 2.Raising a child with special needs was never in my plan for my life but in looking back I know that Mitch was the greatest blessing in my life.He taught Mark and I so much about ourselves,he made us question how we were going to parent this wonderful,special little boy, he made question and analyze nearly every aspect of our lives and he changed us for the better! I would never wish these kinds of "challenges" on anyone lives yet when Mitch became a part of our made us better people. We had to think about how we parented and would raise him. As a Child care Provider for 24 years I have tried to help "raise" a lot of children in this community the same way. All because this wonderful child entered our lives and would need more from us as parent and as people and we were not about to let him down. Just as I wish with all my heart you would not have lost your precious little girl...she is now your teacher.She has changed you forever and you will forever be grateful for the short yet most treasured time you had with Quinn. She has made better people and better parents for your future children. You WILL have more children whether in the traditional way or adoption because you are meant to be parents!You are clearly two very loving parents and will always be Quinn's Mom and Dad. Now you are using your blog to help others that may face the same tragedy you are or maybe just by hearing your story they will be better parents because you have made them think about how they parent the most precious gift they will ever be given.I want to end this post by telling you our son is now 25 yrs. old working at the EG Eagle and is thriving.He will always have his genetic disorder,Galactosemia, but his speech disorder is in the past.His learning disabilities for the most part are in the past and the parts that are still difficult for him he has learned how to deal with those areas and adapt.As I stated earlier....this was not the path I saw my life taking but it was the path I was chosen to walk.Now with the clarity that time has given me I know we were really given the most precious of gifts with more challenges than I would ever wanted my son to endure but I am so grateful we were chosen to be his Mom and Dad!!I am sure when have come out the other side of this terribly sad time in your will be sooo very very grateful that you were chosen to be Quinn's Mom and Dad but will for all of your life...wish it would have been for a lifetime.Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!!!

  7. Your daughter is so beautiful and it hurts my heart so much that you had to go through this. I really don't understand why God takes some people wayyyy to early but your sweet baby girl is sleeping in our saviors hands. I can't even begin to imagine what your going through that has to be the deepest hurt to lose a child. My family and I will be praying for you guys!!
    Hugs from Arkansas <3

  8. i understand exactly how you feel. though it has been almost 2 years since we lost Julius, i still feel this way in some respects. i think this is one reason that we have been doing so much in honor of our son, because we refuse to suffer in silence. we are desperate to tell the world about the little boy who forever changed us.

    Quinn is no doubt proud of her momma. but i'm so sorry that she is not in your arms where she belongs. thinking of you and your little girl always. i'm always here if you want to talk.

  9. I remember feeling very similar after losing Lily & that initially Nick and I went everywhere together. We were the only people who really understood the intense pain that we were experiencing and it just seemed so odd being out in the world and others not knowing that our daughter died and we were grieving.

    Thinking of you as you attempt to negotiate life after such a devastating loss.

  10. you are one of the strongest women i will ever know, i pray that great things may come your way. To any one who loses someone they love so much, who has become a part of them i gaze at your amazement to find life again. May god be with you and you will always be in my prayers.

  11. Continued prayers. When/if you are ready I would recommend the book "shattered dreams" by Larry Crabb it has taught me a lot on just the suffering subject you are thinking, struggling and talking about.

  12. You don't know me, but I am praying fervently for you to find peace within this tragedy. We don't know why God chooses for these things to happen to us, but we do know he promises to walk with us through our struggles. Your pain won't be suffered in vain. I for one promise to hold my children tighter and remember how fleeting life is. Thank you for sharing your story. Know that in your darkest hour, many many people are praying for you, especially when you can't find the words.

  13. Wow. . .you write so well. . .you are helping everyone around you

  14. I too lost my son 8 years ago but took a different path into dealing with our loss. My good friends packed away his nursery took down his photos and I lived my life or 2 years as if Charlie had never been. I self medicated with drugs and alcohol until ending up in the hospital due to an overdose.....because suicide was the answer. I was so mad @ God for years. Filled with so much hate. Couldn't stand walking into Fareway and hear an infant cry or see a mother breastfeeding. I told myself I would never have children again because I didn't want God to take them from me. And what happens.....I got pregnant. My daughter was born and I didn't let her see the light of day or many people for months. She's 5 now and sometimes my friends call me the Nazi mom because she has to year a helmet on her bike....sleep overs are a no no....soda is a big no no....bed time is a routine and flossing is a must. But it took me 5 years to open up all the old boxes and all the old memories. The funeral was a blur. I remember holding him at the end of the visitation thinking why isn't he wearing a diaper????? I forget to give the director a diaper??? I opened up new wounds in therapy....began to forgive God and doctors and the nurses and the hospital....and slowly began to realize the gift and miracle I had @ home....Maya. days get rough...Maya has hard days too. She doesn't understand why she can't play with her brother...sometimes she wants to go to heaven.....and sometimes we just cry together. But we're growing every tear that drops and I squeeze her even harder. You're so strong to tackle this head on. I choose the easy way out but now I feel I have grown. I hope the best for your family. I understand what you're feeling. They're no words to describe it. Keep your little light shining. Peace and love to your family.........stay strong

  15. Ali, thanks for sharing Quinn's story. I'm so encouraged by your faith walk through this unwelcomed journey and continue to pray hard for you and Tim. You can always call when you don't want to be silent. I'm here for you.

  16. When life turns upside-down, it can seem impossible that the pit in your stomach will ever ease. You, special Alison and Tim, are finding your way by writing and pouring out your sorrow. That, I pray, will give you strength to carry on, because life holds so many special moments and people.

    It may be difficult to understand "the why" of your loss, but God's reasons will be revealed to you when the time is right. Peace be with both of you!

  17. Alison,
    Hi, I am a friend through a friend. Your precious little blessing's story has so much more than pricked my heart. I just want you to know that my family is standing in the gap praying with and for you through this time. May our Father, the God of all comfort, sustain you..may you feel His arms of love wrap around you moment by the times of silence and stillness, in the times of weeping, in the times of questioning, in the times of utter anguish, and in the times of the spirit intercedes for you and Tim. May the peace that surpasses all understand you calm and soothe your aching soul. Grace to you.