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That Damn Box

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At the time when most parents are getting the baby’s new room ready, we were meeting with a cemetery


It has been quite a journey.

From the day we were told our pregnancy would end with the certain death of our beloved baby, to today, just weeks out (in the best-case scenario) from the day he will arrive and quickly depart.

As we move closer to his birth, we have truly worked hard to try and appreciate every moment we have with our baby. Instead of allowing his kicks and movements to remind us of our impending loss, we have made a serious effort to love him completely during the time we have left with him.

But with every little cramp, every Braxton-Hicks contraction, we are reminded that our time is running out.

And despite my efforts to focus my thoughts on the gift of his life, as the days and weeks pass by, all I can think about is that damn box.

At the time when most parents are getting the baby’s new room ready, scanning the latest unnecessary baby products for their Target registry, and planning snacks and games for the baby shower, we were meeting with a cemetery. We were sitting around our dining room table discussing a funeral and a burial.

We were picking out that damn box.

I see it when I close my eyes, from time to time, that tiny box where my beautiful son’s body will await the return of Our Lord, and I’d be lying if I said the thought of it didn’t completely devastate me.

My heart is broken beyond words, and not a day goes by where I don’t find myself overcome with fear of what is surely to come.

This is typically the section of the article where the author presents a positive insight, a new way at looking at a difficult situation, a nice and tidy positive take-home message to close out the piece.

This isn’t one of those articles, however.

Instead, this is about how the trials we face can envelop us in a darkness that makes it difficult to see the light of hope. This is about how feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can make keeping the faith alive a struggle in and of itself.

This is about how we need to realize that all of that is okay.

We aren’t always going to find a silver lining in difficult situations; we aren’t always going to attain a profound insight in the face of our tragedies.

And that’s kind of the point.

God doesn’t permit suffering in our life solely because he wants us to experience an insight. It’s a great mystery why he permits suffering, and especially why innocents have to suffer so much. We can’t know the whys, but I guess he permits suffering because he wants us to say yes to being open to sitting in the suffering and experiencing it. He wants us to grow closer to him by way of having our own garden of Gethsemane moment: praying for our suffering to pass, while still being willing to endure it if it be his will.

He wants us to say yes to him without any expectation of consolation.

He wants us to close our eyes, visualize that damn box and keep going.

 

Tommy Tighe is a Catholic hipster, husband and father. You can follow him on Twitter @theghissilent.

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