Wednesday, September 3, 2014

His Eye is on the Sparrow

One of the things that has been the most difficult for me in the aftermath of Mikayla's stillbirth is June-bug's reactions and questions. She has always been a very inquisitive child, and some of the thoughts she comes up with astound me.

Directly after the stillbirth, she showed some regression which I've read is pretty typical for children who experience trauma or loss. She started having bathroom accidents more often, and sucking on her fingers. Thankfully that has gotten better and though I still find her sucking her fingers every so often, it's not constant like it used to be.

The questions, though, have not let up.

I remember one night I was putting her to bed and we had been talking about the lizard we had seen in the backyard that afternoon. She piped up with, "Mommy, what makes lizards die?" We discussed different things like lack of food, old age, illness, being eaten by larger animals, etc. She then asked the same question of chickens (the other animal in our backyard). I had a feeling I knew where it was leading, but I continued giving her reasons chickens might die. Finally she asked, "Mommy, what makes peoples die?" At first I tried to skirt around the issue and listed things that were in common with the chickens and lizards: old age, illness, lack of food, getting hurt like in a car accident. She wasn't satisfied with that, however and added to my list, "Or when too much of their blood comes out because of the baby in their tummy?"

I was floored. I had no idea that she had been bottling up this knowledge (or suspicion at least) that I could have died if I had lost too much blood while I was pregnant. I realized that for her the trauma wasn't just the loss of a baby sister, but the fear of losing a mother as well!

Today we went to the park, just June-bug and me. We went on the swings, played on the see-saw, and I watched her go down each of the slides. She left the smallest slide for last, I think because it is the least exciting. As she walked over to climb the ladder onto the platform, I heard her gasp. When I rushed over (because I have become somewhat over-protective since April), I saw her pointing at a little sparrow.

The sparrow was obviously dead. It was not moving, and had ants crawling all over it. June-bug just sat and watched it for a few minutes, then said, "Mommy, that bird is dead, right?" I told her yes it was, and then she said, "Mommy, I can't take it home, right?" I told her no, you can't take dead things home. Then she asked, "Mommy, do sometimes people take dead birds home? You know, to try to make them better and not dead anymore?"

I must admit I teared up at that, but had to reply truthfully that once something is dead, people can't make it better. We can only make it better if it is only sick or hurt, and even then sometimes it will still die. June-bug took that in for a minute, then said she wished the bird was only sick so she could help it, because it was so cute and sweet, but then she added, "But if it wasn't dead it wouldn't be here. Not sitting here on the playground. It would be flying around in the sky or sitting in its nest."

She sat mournfully for a few minutes just looking at the little bird. Then she piped up, "People can't fix dead things, but Jesus takes people who die to heaven. Do you think heaven needs birdies, too?"

So I quoted her the scripture about God watching every sparrow that falls. She smiled then, and told me that Jesus would take this little bird to heaven and make it fly there for Baby Sissy to watch.

And my heart soared with the sparrows that God keeps an eye on, and I know He watches my June-bug and me.

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