“I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow”—such a powerful line from one of Casting Crown’s songs.
We all know that people die. We all know that we can die right now. But it’s funny how even though we know, we don’t live our lives like we know.
A year ago, my father died. And his death threw everything in perspective again. None of us expected him to die. It was accidental. He was too young and we had many plans with him still.
It has been a over a year since then and once again, I am reminded of this truth. Just in the last two months, people in my little bubble of existence have either died or lost precious ones who have died. One of my good friends just lost a friend. She was pregnant and healthy. She went into labor. Everyone was joyously waiting for the baby to come and to celebrate with her. But she died. She died during labor. Thank God, the baby survived. Had to be in the NICU for a little bit due to some complications. As for the mother—autopsy revealed she died from a rare condition called amniotic embolism. Somehow some of the baby’s tissues entered her own bloodstream. It killed her. Left her husband, ten year old son, and newborn baby and her extended family without her just like that. I don’t even know this woman. But my heart breaks for her family and their loss.
Then last month, an acquaintance from high school with whom I loosely stayed in contact via Facebook died in her sleep. She was 7 months pregnant. Baby didn’t make it. She was newly married. This was her first baby. She was only 32 years old.
Then just now, my husband shared the news that his friend from Utah, a woman I’ve met a couple of times on our trips up to visit and with whom I too stay loosely connected via Facebook, lost her 5 month old baby. I assume it was SIDS. Her post said it was sudden and unexpected. I can’t even imagine. She too is newly married. She had twin babies with her husband. Now they have one baby.
These stories can’t help but sober me to my own fleeting existence and those of my family. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost my Kanan or my Jameson. What would Owen do if he lost me or one of our boys? What would I do if I lost my Owen? What would the boys do if they lost their daddy? It could happen.
I’m pregnant too. And in July, I will be on the operating table getting my third c-section. I got pregnant very quickly after my second c-section. Four months after the surgery to be exact. That is only one month after the uterus is technically “healed.” It is recommended that after a c-section, a mother wait a good two years before she gets pregnant again. And it is recommended that one does not exceed 3 c-sections as each one adds more scar tissue. Each surgery is higher risk to the mother’s life. So I just can’t help but feel a bit uneasy about this July. What if I die? Or what if my uterus ruptures before that day because I got pregnant so soon and the baby and I both die?
I know what you are saying right now—you can’t think like that. Worrying won’t help. You will probably be fine. Don’t stress yourself out over things out of your control. I know these things. And I know that if I died, I’d be with my Lord and Savior in heaven. Honestly, I’m not scared of dying for me. I’m scared of dying for my children and my husband. As much as I’d rather be with the Lord than all else, I want my children and my husband with me when I do. Or at the very least, I want that they had enough time with me before I left them. My children are young. They need their mommy. My husband needs me—I am his wife, his other half, the mother of his children.
Please pray for me that I can enter this next surgery without fear and instead just peace. I fear a panic attack. Before my last c-section—the nurses had us sign a “Living Will” in case I died during surgery. We laughed at the obsurdity of giving this to us when I was already hooked up to all the tubes. But I didn’t have fear. Then there was a moment during the actual surgery when I felt a great pressure on my chest and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. The doctor’s gave me more oxygen and I felt better. But it was scary for a few moments there. One of my friends had her c-section a few months ago and lost a lot of blood during the surgery. She was fine in the end, but recovery was hard. It was scary for everyone too during the process.
I don’t want to go into this surgery in July without thoughts or recognition that I could die. I think that is unwise and naïve. But of course, I don’t want to go in fear or with an overwhelming anxiety about it either. That too is not good. In the end, I could die tonight in my sleep. I could die tomorrow on the freeway. My children could die today. Or we can all live until we are 120. We all have no control of this, no matter what we think. We can be safe and be healthy and that can limit our possibilities for death, but in the end, there are outside forces that we cannot control.
So we just need to live each day, loving our God, loving each other, and loving the lost and the suffering. That is all that matters. Whenever I do die—I want to hear my Lord say “Well done my good and faithful servant.” And I want those I’ve left behind to have the hope of Jesus, knowing that we will see each other again in the eternal future outside of time. And that if they are pained by my death, that they will have find hope and comfort in the hope of our Savior.
If you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, please pray to our father in heaven for those people in my little circle who have recently died and left their families or who have lost their babies and their wives and mothers the last couple of months. Pray that God use all of this for good in the lives of those who love him and are called according to his purpose, as he promises. That through the suffering and pain, those that don’t know him find truth and comfort in him—and come to him.