But I do not feel loved.
I feel that our loss has made us stranger than a stranger to those who surround us.
I am odd, a misfit, a foreigner, as in “a person not belonging to a particular place or group; an outsider.”
When Georgie died, I wanted to make sense of his death. I wanted his death not to be in vain. I wanted his death to have a reason. To have an explanation. To lead to something noble.
But then, I came face to face with the cruel reality. The reality is that death is not a subject we talk about as a society. It is a taboo. It is a nuisance. It is a too much in the face of comfort a subject.
Death is classed as inappropriate in “civilised” conversation. Pick the weather, the seasonal trends or the pets. But not death. Never death. Death is not a comfortable subject, not even in church, not even in the presence of the good news gospel. Death remains marginal a subject, even if it is the unavoidable entrance door to Heaven. Death has become prejudiced against in church. The unexplainable, unfair, cruel death of a baby or a child, even more so.
We have become so sold to the idea of miracles and signs and wonders and the supernatural, we are so thirsty for fairytale, happy endings that death inconveniences. Even in church. And especially in the happy, clappy, “Spirit-driven” church.
Death inconveniences so much that, silence follows it unequivocally. Just like a parent teaches predominantly through body language and non-verbal cues, the church teaches its people through its silence.
And I feel that, like in The Lord of the Flies, the community of believers, in the absence of a discourse and driven by the silence of their leaders, proceed to draw their own conclusions and follow the pack instinct.
The odd-ones out, the misfits, the (eye) sores, the “depressed”, are eliminated from the community of “normals” as weaklings, as monstrosities. Just like in the olden days disabled babies would have been thrown off cliffs because they didn’t fit the norm, these days I feel Christians whose lives did not produce a miracle through prayer and faith(oh yeah, the big F word!) are pushed off the edge of the hope cliff by silence.
If miracles are the expectation, the rule, the norm, the desired outcome, then the ones without a miracle are monstrously misfitting and need smoothed out, like an annoying wrinkle on the ironing board.
I have been doing a lot of thinking. A lot of accepting. A lot of coming to terms with.
I need to say this out loud.
Death is part of life. Death will come for all of us. Death is the exit door for us all, sooner or later.
I have known the pain of death. I have thought it would be the greatest pain there ever was. But the silence is worse. I know it now.
P.S.- my baby has been dead five months today. He lived for only five and a five months so we are facing Christmas as the month when Georgie would have been in heaven for longer than he has been on earth. Please don’t be silent about it!