Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Beautiful Person

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.  These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.  Beautiful people do not just happen."
                       -- Elizabeth Kubler Ross

I have known the work of Kubler Ross for years, since the beginning of graduate school.  She was the premier grief therapist of our time.  As a professional in mental health, she knows her stuff.  And now, as a grieving mother, her words speak to the little bit of light left in me.  They honor and validate the darkness that shadows my days.  They reassure that I am alive, somewhere inside.  And that my soul will resurface one day in a beautiful form.

As much as I try to heal, or wish that I could outrun my sadness, the truth is that I do know defeat, suffering, struggle and loss.  I live there right now.  The struggle to breathe in and out when my older children are all demanding things of me; the suffering that makes me want to sleep through my moments of pain; the defeat, as a mother, that I was unable to bring my child into this world in a healthy way.

The unsightly scars that grief leaves behind could tarnish me.  Could make me a bitter person.  A mother who checks out of her older children's lives because the pain that the fourth is missing is just too much.  Could lessen my faith.  Could steal my smile forever.

But the words above demonstrate that there is an alternative, a light inside of me somewhere.  Ethan was a beautiful person, and he remains a beautiful soul.  Honestly, I wish I could trade this understanding of sorts for my boy to be here with me.  I wish I didn't have cause to become this beautiful person, but I don't have control over that.  I do have control over how Ethan's death shapes me, into a hardened person or a beautiful person.  To honor Ethan, I choose to become a beautiful person,

1 comment:

  1. Watching you with the 3 kids this past weekend was such an awe-inspiring lesson in love and patience. I cant put into words how amazing you are as a mother (and sister, and friend). The ease and grace with wich you handle the blessed chaos is truly incredible. It inspires me that one day i might be half the mother you are to all 4 of your children.
    And it was so nice that ethan joined us applepicking. I have never seen so many butterflies in one afternoon :)