My Most Fervent Prayer

30 Days of Truth, Day 6 – Something you hope you never have to do

Dear God,

I know that people survive it.  I don’t know how, but they do.  They get out of bed most mornings and they put their clothes on and they go back to work.  They laugh again, even.  They are proof that life moves on no matter what and that human beings really and truly can survive anything.

But God, I beg you, do not let me become a testament to the power of our ability to survive the loss of our children.

I know it’s not fair to ask.  I know that no parent deserves to be spared more or less than another.  I know.  But I beg you anyway.  Please God let me not outlive Devin or Emma.

But also, Lord, let them not lose me too soon either.

I know, I know, I ask too much.  But almost as painful as the idea of losing them is the idea of leaving them when they are still too young.  Their grief, their loneliness, their not knowing how much they are loved by me – that fear is only a shade smaller than my fear of outliving them. They need to know how much they are loved. No one would ever be able to tell them with words how much they are a part of every cell in my body, every beat of my  heart.  I need to be able to press my heart against theirs, to wrap my arms around them, so that they can feel what they are too little to understand.

Let the fates not be tempted by me voicing my fears.

Let me be more blessed than I deserve to be and not miss my children growing up.

Dear God, please.

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  1. Liza says:

    beautifully written. i too hope to never have to go through that.

  2. Dawn says:

    This post spoke to me in two ways:

    1. My mother died when I was four years old. Although I don’t remember her, per se, I think of her and miss her every day.

    2. I had a brother. He died of crib death when he was an infant. My one living parent, my father, lives with that every day. He lives with a missing son and a missing wife. He’s a strong man.

  3. Karen says:

    I love this post.

    Though I love her, my grandmother is most mean and hard-hearted person on Earth. I used to look at other grandmas who were warm and loving with envy. But when I really think about it, my grandmother had 3 children and outlived all 3. She watched her 2 daughters suffer and pass from leukemia. And watched her son suffer from addiction and eventually found him dead of OD. Of course she is cold. She is strong and stoic, but I think that loving part of her died.

    • Miss Britt says:

      My great-grandmother was very, very old when her children began to die and
      she said that it NEVER was easy to bury your children. I can’t even imagine
      what outliving multiple children would do to a person’s heart.

      Britt Reints
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  4. Anonymous says:

    Amen. I share the same wish.

  5. Nanna says:

    I know that fear, darling.

  6. Scorch800 says:

    I Have been doing the same truths…I wrote this post a few days before you. But funny thing is everyone that I have read, has the same post. Including me..It will kill me.

  7. Lisa says:

    Beautiful.

    I was a single parent for a long time and leaving my son too soon was a big fear for me. I remember distinctly the relief I felt when he graduated high school. I knew that now if I *had* to leave him he would be ok. I still have a lot to teach him, but he knows me and my
    love for him without a doubt now, and he won’t forget.

    • Miss Britt says:

      I wonder if we could learn something about each other… about people in
      general… in realizing that all of us share the same basic fear of loss.

  8. PrairieMama says:

    This is my prayer for every parent who has not had to experience it. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It is also my prayer for my living children. I have lost one, but I can not fathom what I would do if I lost another.

  9. PrairieMama says:

    This is my prayer for every parent who has not had to experience it. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It is also my prayer for my living children. I have lost one, but I can not fathom what I would do if I lost another.

  10. Avitable says:

    And that, right there, is one of my biggest fears every time I think about having kids of my own.

  11. For every parent, this is so true.

    I can’t help but wonder, what life must be like for the people in impoverished and war torn countries. Can you imagine living somewhere where this kind of fear would be more certainty than improbability?
    You mentioned in a reply to a comment that we all share this same fear of loss; how paralyzing must it be to survive in a world where your children are more likely to die than to thrive?

    • Miss Britt says:

      You bring up an interesting point. Heck, even in THIS country it didn’t use
      to be assumed that all of your children would outlive you. I wonder if the
      fear was less then? If it was less something to fear and more just a part
      of life that you hoped you were lucky enough to avoid?

  12. Annabellearcher says:

    Right? I get that.

    Does the overall security you live in on a daily basis cause the fear to be heightened?

    Interesting questions.

  13. Jeanne says:

    Great post- I think all parents pray this prayer each and every day. I am amazed by those who can AND do continue to go on. My 26 year old niece died last year in June and then 6 months later my 22 year old nephew died. Both children of my sister. She and my brother in law are too of the strongest most amazing people I know as they seem to make it through each day!

  14. muskrat says:

    I just want to be as messy and loud when I live in my boy’s basement as he currently is in my house.

  15. I can’t even imagine what that’d be like, and I don’t even have kids. I am, however, going to a wake for someone my own age who died in a car accident tonight. His dad is someone I’ve been playing in a wind ensemble with forever, nicest man you can imagine. I am dumbstruck at the thought of what I can even say or do, but overcome with the urge to hug him and tell him somehow how sad I am that he had to go through this. About 30 minutes until I need to compose myself and go do this. I’m glad you wrote this today. Serendipity.

    • Miss Britt says:

      I’m no expert, but I’d guess that hug and sympathy idea is a good one.

      • I had to approach him twice, but I got it right the second time. Maybe it’s because it’s so universal but so personal that it’s hard, but I’m glad I got the chance to at least *try* to convey something. Thanks again, Britt. Rock on.

  16. Marni says:

    Looks like we’re on the same wave length again. I posted the same day and prayer today. Hugs. XOXOX

  17. Faiqa says:

    When I first did this post on my blog, I wrote something similar. I couldn’t bear to even have the words down… I deleted it. I know this fear… it is absolutely and unequivocally the most terrifying thing I can think of. Your decision to post it is exactly why you are so important to everyone who reads your blog and to me. Like I said on your birthday last year… you take us to the dark places and bring us back. When we come back, the place doesn’t look quite as dark as it did before. (Still shit scared for the record, though). XOXO

  18. Simone says:

    You have bravely written down the words I think all parents think but fear writing or speaking in case of fate. Tears streamed down my face as I read this blog (as they seem to with most of the things you write!). Thank you for saying the things I think and feel most days but is too scared to express!

  19. Jared says:

    Why would I want to talk about that?
    I don’t know. That’s right have a few drinks and drive home.

  20. Nicolasandnina says:

    Life does go on. It changes you forever. I lost my mother at 9. I didn’t know she was dying. I lived alone with her, not knowing the daily battle she faced with cancer. Not knowing one day soon I would hear the words, “I’m sorry, mommy died this morning”. 20 years later, I actually had the audacity to think that god would not take my only child from me after losing my mother so young. I was wrong. I didn’t know that after it looked like she was getting stronger and doing so well that she would be taken so soon. What I do know now is that I never take my children or anyone I love for granted. Ever. It changes you, you’d make it through, but not as the same person.

  21. Lil says:

    This post filled my heart with love for the children I am yet to have, and brought a tear to my eye at the utter devotion and unconditional love you have for your children. Just beautiful.

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