Have I mentioned that this thing called grief is a crazy thing? It is. I mean one day your down, the next day you’re up, the next day you’re clueless and the next your numb. No wonder it’s so darn difficult to maneuver through it…you never know what you’ll be dealing with the next day! These days when I wake up in the morning I look at Joaquin’s picture and then I look in the mirror. I look past the new gray hairs that seem to pop up nightly and the tired eyes and I wonder, “What will my heart do today?”
Lately, my heart has been burdened by a silent struggle. One that makes me wonder about my faith. My faith, after all, is what has carried me through these 14 weeks. Could I actually be here without my faith? The fact that I am still here – standing, writing, breathing and yes, laughing is a pure act of God’s loving grace. But I still struggle. My struggle had gotten so heavy that I needed spiritual guidance. So off I went to Father Fernando at St. Luke’s. I cried and revealed to him that I was afraid that my lack of obedience to God had taken Joaquin away. You see, I had a dream (a very vivid dream) that Joaquin had died the Friday before he actually passed away. The dream was so real that Paul raced into the bedroom as I called out for him while I stared at Joaquin in disbelief. I kept telling Paul to “check the baby, he’s not breathing, he’s not breathing!”. Paul checked Joaquin and all was fine. I couldn’t understand what I was hearing. I shook Joaquin and he turned and looked at me with those huge brown eyes and turned back around and fell asleep. I myself was afraid to fall asleep after that. The next day I worked hard to shake that dream that felt more like a nightmare.
After Joaquin passed away I revealed my dream to handful of people and many, including myself, expressed that the vivid dream was God’s way of preparing me. Preparing me how exactly? Was He telling me this was about to happen? And if so, there lies my struggle. What if I had been obedient to God’s message – would Joaquin still be here? Was Joaquin’s death my fault? What if I had listened? Would I have been able to save him? Was Joaquin’s death punishment for not being an obedient servant of God? Besides being so shaken that evening why was I so peaceful suddenly when Joaquin went into surgery? Where was that dream, that nightmare, that message when we turned him over to the surgeon?
At this, Father Fernando stopped me and said what finally resonated deep in my soul and gave me the understanding that I needed to go on another day. “Death is not punishment. Our goal in this life, after all, is to have eternal life and the only way to get there is death.” And so I exhaled and recalled what I had originally thought of that dream. It wasn’t one that was meant to be deciphered by me. It was a dream. Was it something deeper? Perhaps. But my job as a trusting servant I realize now was to discern (pray) and let God complete His plan for my son…and that was to give him the best gift ever – entrance in to his heavenly kingdom. I listened, I prayed and I let God’s will be done.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.