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Saturday, February 25, 2012

holding

a sudden, unexpected storm of anguish. little face twisted in pain, tears gushing, wordless wails of pent-up grief howling out of that adorable little mouth. i hold her, rock her, hum softly and whisper the name of "jesus" and that's when she begins to cry so hard she almost chokes. i wonder what to do...but i know what to do.

i continue to hold her. i rock. i hum. i pray. i feel her little heart pounding as she writhes and twists in my arms with the onslaught of emotion she's held in for so long. she doesn't try to escape...she clings after a while, while i wipe her face with cool water and stroke her hair. i let her cry. it's got to come out.

grief in a child is a terrible thing. i remember my own storms as a child- i remember the abandon with which i entered into the grieving and the pain. i remember the confusion of not being able to stop crying. i had no one to hold me most of the time either...i let her cry.

for about 15 minutes it's just her and i and this storm in the bathroom (the only quiet place). gradually the sobs slow down and she breathes easier, but the hurting and the tears and the wailing are still there.

so much pain for one little girl.

so much abandonment, so much loss, so many years of self-soothing with no one to hold her or whisper quiet prayers and assurances of love. such a tough little one, needing to have a thick skin- so many wounds and layers of pain that she covers well- but somehow, today, some little thing burst the dam.

finally, she is calm enough to sit quietly on my lap and rest, and then after a few more minutes, return to her activity...the rest of the day her eyes are deep and shadowed, and i can tell the emotions are just below the surface...but we get through the day. she is weary. i am weary.

so hard to watch a child weep with no way to tell what's wrong. how does a 6-year-old explain a broken heart...

all i can do is hold her.

and maybe, for today, that is enough.