Sunday, May 4, 2008
On Friday, I spent a little time with my 4-year-old niece, Oceana. Oce is sharply perceptive and deeply affectionate. I am in awe of her every time I am with her. On Friday, she asked me to ride in the back seat of the car, next to her booster seat, while my sister drove us to lunch. Oce spent most of the ride drawing pictures for everyone - pictures of dinosaurs, ladders and trumpets. While she drew, she asked me questions about my stitches, my scar, why I need crutches, when I'll be able to walk without them. She wanted to know why Curious George had crutches that were a different color than mine. She wanted to know why I had scars on my left arm, but not my right arm.
Oceana has a scar, too. When she was only a few months old, she had heart surgery. She was born with two holes in her heart. We looked at her scar and mine. My sister told her, "You and Aunt Jessie have matching scars." Oce seemed pleased by that, and so was I.
Later that day, Oce asked me,"Sagey died in the car?" I said, "Yes, Honey." Then she asked why. I thought this was a really good question. I didn't have an answer, and that is all I could tell her. I said, "I don't know why, Sweety. People die in different ways, and Sage died in a car." She left it at that, but my answer felt inadequate. When I turn that question over in my mind, I never reach a solid answer. Chance? He died because circumstances happened to converge in just such a way that our truck was hit by a semi? It seems so very random. In the end, I usually abandon the question, "Why?" and move on to, "What now?" I think that looking for reasons is different from finding meaning. I will never know the reason we lost our child, but I can find meaning in the way I move forward from this point.