I get emails from friends, friends of friends, family, strangers, many different people who share a link to either a story, blog or email about a little kid who is sick or dying. I knew when Noah was in the hospital that he most certainly wasn't the first sick kid on earth and unfortunately would not be the last. And I don't mind receiving these emails at all! Though my heart breaks for them, knowing I can pray for the families helps me even on my own journey.
Weeks leading up to our decision to take him off life support and offer him as a gift to God, I was also made aware that we weren't the first parents, nor were we the last, to be placed in such a situation.
But, it's not something you ever really get used to, even if it's something with which you are familiar.
I have a girlfriend who has a non-profit organization, offering perinatal hospice care and support to families who have received a fatal diagnosis for their sweet baby. Because of support she had leading up to the delivery, moments together, and tender time of saying "Goodbye" when her daughter was born, she is able to encourage others on their journey...but, it's not something you ever really get used to just because you have experienced it.
Today I received an email about a little boy who was removed from his ventilator earlier this afternoon. His parents are brave. They are strong. And at the same time they are holding onto that last moment for a miraculous intervention this side of Heaven. And, all at the same time, their hearts are juggling a million emotions of peace in knowing their boy won't suffer any longer, grief because life didn't turn out the way they had hoped, dreamed or planned, anger because if they had control of the Universe they'd most certainly change the outcome of their biggest nightmare.
At least I am guessing that's what's going on in their hearts, among other things. I don't know because I am not them, and even though I've walked a very similar road, saying "Goodbye" is not something you ever really get used to...
Prayers for his family and for their hearts to know that even though his footprint on earth was small and too short for our liking, it's his heartprint that will last a lifetime. Either way, whether we can see the hope in it or not, it doesn't mean it doesn't suck and that it's ever easier to say "Goodbye."
Saying "Goodbye" isn't something any of us should ever get used to.
I'm not so sure, though, that there's anything we should ever get too used to...because when we do, even though there's a level of comfort, it can teeter between "familiar" and "taken for granted."
My point is this: life is precious, the first breaths, the final moments, and every day in between.