Recently I have joined yet another TTTS group online within Facebook. This one is for grief support and I'll be honest, most days anyway, I think I am able to give more support than I need to receive...which makes me feel pretty good about my TTTS journey. The discussion recently came up about others views on religion after TTTS touched their lives. I've spoken on here before about the views of some, especially those who lost both of their precious babies. I always find it interesting to see how the loss of child or children changes people's views of religion. It definitely affected mine, changed it somewhat but for the most part it just secured my position that God is infinite is his love and support.
Anyway, back to what was said by some and then to what was said by me....
Some people commented that they felt like there can't be 'a God' because why would anyone want to do this to us, what did we do to deserve this 'hell' and pain. Some people believe that it is a beautiful fairytale that brings comfort to those who need it but really it's just that, a fairytale. But others felt the opposite, they felt like there must be a God, and that he must have really wanted their babies and had an amazing job for them. It made me ponder things and put my feelings into perspective and words. I think I've written some of this before but this is what I wrote to them and wish to share with you...
We are all entitled to our opinion and all grew up so differently. We all experienced TTTS in different ways too and it affected us differently. I grew up believing in a 'good' God...not the hellfire and brimstone kind, not the evil and sin sorta situation. More like God does amazing things for everyone and He has a purpose for us all. I had always wondered at people believing that God took those people home that He did because He had a special job for them. I, too, thought that it didn't seem right...why take a good person and leave a jerk here??? I have since come to believe, very strongly, that God's purpose in the whole grief and crisis journey is not about the person He takes, it's not about having a special job in Heaven for that person (though I do believe that He may give special jobs to people who are there). I believe that God is here, not for those that go before us but for those left behind and that the loss isn't about their job in Heaven but about our job on earth. I truly believe that Cole went ahead of us because there was a great purpose for me here on earth that I would need to feel this hurt, this pain, this brokeness to understand. I don't think God wants to cause us pain or wants to see us in pain. I don't believe, again, that it is about the person 'He takes from us' but rather about Him being here for us after that person is gone. I believe very strongly that I will see my son again...I believe very strongly that Cole and God guide me towards a goal...their goal. I am so very drawn to do and say things that I never was before and to me, this is my angel and my God speaking to me. I am sorry that others don't feel this way but I don't feel I am living in a fairytale...and if I am well...well at least it is a place of approaching peace and hope (I say approaching because there are still bitter moments and angry times but they grow less and less).
I've spent a lot of time talking about this subject with a few people both in person, online and on the phone lately. Some people truly support and agree with me, others look at me as if I have two heads. Some think what I say has merit (some even sent me personal messages to say thanks for this perspective) and others have shot me down. And guess what...I don't care either way. I am going to do what I feel drawn to do, I am going to be the person I feel God is pushing me to be. Do I want others to believe what I believe...no, not really. I mean I guess I'd like to think I am not alone in this thought process but what you believe is so truly personal that I don't believe we ever have a right to questions others beliefs. I do believe we have a job to share God with others and to help them see that He is there for them but is it my job to change people's minds about their religion, to convert them to mine...no way.
Something that I have stressed often though is that this is so very hard to get to, this place of peace, for some anyway. Actually it isn't the place of peace that comes first for me, it's the place of acceptance. It has taken me so long to accept that I just have no control over the major things that happen in my life. When we found out we were expecting the twins I was blown away...couldn't have seen that one coming for anything. I questioned why and how but came to a place of acceptance. When we lost Cole I questioned again and in all honesty I am not always done questioning. But right from the start I believed there was great purpose for this 'twinness' to come to my life, for Cole to be my son in Heaven and not on earth. I believed God had a plan for me, the mommy left behind. When I was in the very early stages of the loss..the first 3 months or so after he passed away...really before he was born, I was sure I knew part of the reason... I felt it MUST be to bring our family closer, to get Geoff and I working together better as parents etc. Each time that would blow up in my face, each time I would get a call from home that left me upset, angry, frustrated etc. I would question this plan or question myself. In time (okay in a very very long time) I came to realize that I just might not EVER understand fully this plan but I could accept it, I could take God into my heart and ask Him to help me get there, help me make good choices, help me be what He wants me to be...to guide me. I feel so drawn to helping others, so drawn to fundraising, raising awareness and now to writing my book. I am very certain that I was left behind for a reason and that part of this is the reason.
Incidentally, I am thinking of calling the book "The Ones Left Behind" but struggle with this since the first third of the book or so will be about the pregnancy and before the loss...but we'll see. And for those reading this who wonder what the heck I am talking about...I set a lofty goal for 2011...to turn this blog and other writing I've done into a book about our TTTS journey. So far it reads like letters to my boys but in adult tones. Some of it is conversation and interactions with others and others is just feelings, emotions and personal messages to them. I hope that it will all come together to show how much my boys have taught me and that being left behind with an angel watching out for you is a pretty amazing thing.
I'm going to leave this blog with another poem that was shared online in this same group...I really like it and think it captures just how I've come to feel about God...
I've listened to the "footprints" poem
a million times or more
Of how when only one set shows
upon the sandy shore
It is the Lord carrying us
and taking on our load
And His are the only set
of footprints that showed.
But what if when we look
there are no footprints to be found?
All we see is plain and simple
sand upon the ground.
No imprints showing that our Lord
is carrying us through life
Helping us when we feel
we can not handle all this strife.
Where is my Lord now that I've fallen
and can't seem to get back up?
So tired and lonely
trying to deal with what seems
an overflowing cup.
Where are those footprints
in the sand
to tell me He's right there?
Helping me with problems
and showing that He really does care.
Does He have favorites, OH NO,
please tell me that's not so!
By why does life seem easier
for some people that I know?
And sometimes I just scream out loud
although it seems in vain,
but often it gets harder each day
to deal with all this pain.
And then it dawned on me
as I realize how simple could it be.
I wonder why I was so blind
that I truly did not see.
It must have been a lightning bolt
that one day gave me light,
Cause out of the clear blue sky,
I finally regained my sight.
I saw a fluffy white cloud
shaped like an Angel dear.
That helped me to understand
and see things oh so clear,
That when I saw no footprints
and so often wondered why,
My Lord carried me on Angel wings,
when He decided to fly.