Friday, January 28th came, and I went through the motions as I typically do. But this day, my heart was a little heavier. Tears just waiting to spill over the rim. Anxiety just itching to rear it's ugly head. And than as a I shared with so many of my loved ones, friends and family, I was filled with love and confidence. Confidence that I would be able to get through the day. She would have been 10 months that day. As I sat at work, I found myself wondering if she would have been trying to walk, or trying to say more words. I imagined her smile and her sweet little baby talk. What kind of foods would she like? And I just missed her more.
I was sitting at work and we had a customer come in with her little girl. A little girl with curls and big blue eyes. Eyes that reminded me of my little angel. I often found myself sneaking glances at her, smiling as she couldn't sit still. She had energy for days and a pure joy, not just happiness, but pure JOY about her. A sincere innocense that I remember so vividly with my Savanna. This sweet little girl climbed up onto a chair that was entirely too tall for her, but she was a 'big girl' and told her mommy she could do it, and she did! She sat there, with her precious little legs dangling, swinging to and fro. With only her imagination to entertain her, she sat there while her mom was taking care of business, one eye on the papers, the other on her little girl. Suddenly the little girl looked overwhelmingly overcome by joy. Her eyes lit up, she looked up, held her arms out, and exclaimed so that all of us in the office could hear "mommy i wuv you!!" I must admit, the bucket of tears dripped over and I had to hide away for a moment in my little cubby also known as the bathroom stall. I was filled with love, anger, and sadness. I would never get to hear that sweet little voice from my baby girl. Not in this life at least. How I longed to just hear her. I craved to feel her in my arms, smell her sweet smell that was distinvtive only to her. Eventually, I got myself together and went back to my duty station.
I got my composure and kept going. The day was almost coming to an end. The overwhelming comments to my post of Savanna's 10 month milestone were so warming and brought smiles and wet eyes. The love pouring out just filling my heart. Small pieces of sadness dripped through the hole that has been left in my heart, but the drips became smaller as I read and re-read the out pouring from so many. I was so thankful for the strength the Lord had instilled in me to get through the day. But than I received a text message from J. The autopsy results were in, they would soon be closing her case officially. Her death had 'unofficially' been ruled as SIDS but without the tox results they would not be able to close it, well now they could-it was no longer 'unoffical.' J had requested that we could get a copy of the results. It's another part of her, something that we can keep. It was also something to somehow maybe bring some peace, some closure. They would mail the results to us and we received them the next day. I looked at the day as very much empty, I have always tried to be a glass half full kind of person, but that day, my glass was becoming increasingly dry with the ring of leftover residue dried to the bottom of the glass. I wanted to know, to see with my own eyes, see that there was truly nothing we could have done.
The package arrived on Saturday in a manila envelope. We opened it up and pulled out a small stack of typed descriptions on plain white paper. Across the top her name, weight, height, and the purpose of the procedure. All of these med terms staring back at me. I know a few things but most just looked like garbled mush. But as I read there was a constant theme throughout the report, an unremarkable heart, unremarkable kidneys, unremarkable lungs... everything was normal, unremarkably normal. It had the weights of all her teensy little organs. The condition of them. Nothing out of the ordinary, unremarkable. At the bottom of the first page it declared, no sign of foul play. As I read on it gave more and more description of the exam that was done. I was somehow waiting to find something so non-unremarkable, because than there could be some kind of a reason, a real why. But as I read on, I found no such thing. Tox results-normal, her levels--normal, everything was normal. Negative for anything that could give us a concrete answer. Anything that could give me something to cling to, something to somehow allow me to accept this. But there was nothing. And after screening through the pages, I felt nothing. I had this expectation of finding some peace in these examiners words, in their findings, and instead I felt emptier than ever. I guess it's good they didn't find anything substantial, that means she truly didn't suffer. But there is no other justifications. The very last page;
Cause of death: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Manner of death: Natural
Natural??? Really?? She was 7.5 months, there should be nothing NORMAL about it! I would read it over and over somehow hoping that it would change to something I could grab onto, something that could erase some of my pain. And yet, there I was hurting and dying a little more inside. She really was perfect, perfect and healthy. But her spiritual journey was complete. That's what they should show as her cause of death. That is what I have now deamed it as. That reason gives me comfort and peace. It gives me hope because I know that every day I get closer to her. And with each breath that I take, I am a breath closer to her. My spiritual journey is still developing still maturing. Her path and journey were completed. Knowing that, does make it somehow bearable, manageable. And so, we got through that day. And the next day came.
I haven't brought myself to look at the report again. It feels as if I'm looking for a cure in those words, a cure to my pain, and now I know it's not there. Through the love and the hand of God, the memories and guidance of my Savanna, and the prayers and unconditional love of family and friends... that's my cure. That is what will help ease the pain. Not a piece of paper or the conlcusions of a medical examiner. It's faith, trust and love. Hope and joy. Happiness and laughter. For all those things keep the darkness away and allow me to keep going, and to take another breath.
This songs main theme is, of course, about a broken heart. But I took something different from it. The struggle she sings about with her past lover is the struggle I feel with the darkness. The first time I heard this song it brought me to tears, but it has now become one of my favorites. Hope you enjoy!