Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Holding too Tightly

We have a family in our church who lost their adult daughter around 10 years ago. She was martyred as a missionary while serving in another country. This couple came and spoke to our Sunday School class a few weeks ago. As they spoke about their daughter and the legacy she left, they said something that stuck with me.

Don't hold on too tightly.

If this makes you cringe a little bit, it makes me cringe a little too. I have to admit that I have struggled with this, but it just keeps rolling around in my head. I do hold tightly to Cohen. I worry  whether his carseat is in the car correctly. I worry about him being in someone else's care and something happening to him. I worry about something happening during the night and I won't wake up to help him. 

I think considering what we have been through, it probably isn't a huge surprise that I have issues with this fear and anxiety related to Cohen. Everything in me screams: 

How can I NOT hold on too tightly!? Don't you know what we've been through?

 Leaving him alone (with our wonderful nurses) in the hospital for 130 nights, months of worrying about his health, and knowing how fragile life is have left us a little traumatized. I don't look down on or judge any preemie or baby loss parent who has these similar feelings. It's all part of the healing process as we try to recover from the road we have walked.

But, I also know that I can't keep him in a bubble his whole life. I can't keep him from all the dangers of this world. Part of our faith journey is knowing that God has Cohen's days planned. I like to be in control and one of the biggest lessons we have learned over the last two years is that we aren't in control. 

We can still do our best to protect Cohen, to help him grow, to teach him things, and to love him to pieces every day that we get to spend with him. We have to give him a chance to fly, and to fall, to be able to experience life to the fullest. It's still scary and it's going to take me awhile to get to a place where I feel like I'm not clutching on to him, but I hope I can get there. And really, with his personality and drive, I'm not sure we could hold him back if we tried!


  1. I couldn't agree more with this feeling you write about. I am already by nature a control freak-- then bring on the loss of a child. Poor Cole...I probably do smother him at times. It is hard to remember that we are not always the ones in control, but God is. I can't protect him from everything, and he will have to live and learn like the rest of us. It's just so hard to imagine letting him explore this life on his own. But as you write about Coen's personality and drive...I think Cole has the same. :) Maybe that's a good thing for us. Maybe it'll make it easier to let them go out on their own someday...

  2. I have struggled with worry and fear over my kids for years and then Jonathan....well it just got worse. I prayer for them everyday and try to rest in that God is ultimately in control, not always easy:( Love what these parents said...profound, gives me something to ponder.