The hole used to be filled up with a little girl. Even though she always wanted to kiss her Daddy instead of me, I love her beyond words. I miss her more than I can explain. Her silly words still ring in my ear, and times I catch myself twirling my own hair or that of a pony. I snuggle her blanket and her monkey daily, hoping maybe a little of that joy will close up some of that hole.
A hole is the best way I can explain how I feel, losing my child. Go figure, I did my research project in grad school on grief....so I know all the stages and know that people all deal differently....so I won't begin to assume that my experience is the same as any one else's, but I can tell you what my experience has been like depending on The Lord. If you had asked me 5 years ago how I thought it would feel to lose a child, I probably would have told you it would be devistating, that I don't know how I would move on. Even if you had asked me when Ellie was first diagnosed, I probably would have said the same thing. No one really wants to think about what it feels like to have your child die, it brings pain. And I have to tell you, that now I'm still look around and say "this is it" no endless days of sobbing, no inability to eat, no days where I can't get out of bed.....at least not yet. I can only attribute that to a God who's strength is made perfect in my weakness. I used to think I was a pretty tough cookie, I mean don't get me wrong I'm a crier (if you could see the pile of tissues beside me)...but in the chaos, I can stay calm. I can hold others and offer them comforting words.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too." 2 Cor 1:3-5
It's not me who is strong it's God gives me that strength. He gives me the strength to smile each day, to enjoy my kids, to look for the joy in things (even if that joy soon drips out of the hole). And when I don't feel the strength for any of this, I tell Him. I won't say I hear some loud voice from above say "okay Carly, I'll take it from here"....sure wish I did some days...but I know when I tell Him my heart hurts...me mends the hole a little. I don't think that hole will ever go away, not sure how it could. But this hole I have reminds me of Paul's thorn.
"or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
I don't think one day God will just take all the saddness away that was caused by Ellie's death. He won't just erase the hole, as if it never happened. My hole is a reminder that God will bring me though each and every day. He brought me through an event most would find tragic, and I'm still smiling. His grace is enough to help me through, I don't need him to get rid if it. It's like Mater's dents (from Cars 2....sorry to derail from the biblical train...but it works!) Mater didn't want his dent gone because it reminded him of his friend McQueen...sure it didn't look nice, but it was a reminder. My hole is my reminder of my friend Jesus, who has helped me every step of the way.