MG Empress and her Warrior Princess, Jaiden Tamyah. Forever Jaiden.
This is my gospel. This is my news. This is what I know, intimately, because I have felt, thought, been and am, so many of these Revelations. These are my proclamations, my absolute authentic truth, in raw form. Shared to help you realize that if you are a grieving parent, grandparent or sibling, you are not alone in your darkest, most cynical pondering. I am a very positive person. But I am an injured Soul. We are not “either” “or”. We are complex and capable of exercising tension in our lives. This is also aimed at those who interact with us. To help you realize when you are being insanely ridiculous with your expectations of us. And when you–like I– choose to speak when silence is found more profitable. I would be gravely remiss if I ignored this portion of my life because it is indeed, mine and Me.
1. I can’t BELIEVE this is my life!
What. The. Hell. Of all the people in the world…why Jaiden? Why me? Why us?! I loved Jaiden. I STILL love Jaiden. She was my First Everything Right. At what point in the book of my life’s story was her death necessary? Wow! Really, God?
2. God, I don’t like going to CHURCH anymore.
And He isn’t the problem. It’s the secrecy and avoidance in sermons that healings do not always occur. That our levels of faith aren’t the prescriptions for our diseases. The insistence on prevailing through positive affirmations while denying that I’m drowning in depression. The scrutiny that if I openly admit my pain and disappointment, I am no longer a spiritual victor. Even warriors need reprieve! The empty promises that are proof-texted from another culture, another time period, that leave us wondering if the same God even exists…or if He’s impotent or unconcerned. This is the incubator for apostasy!
The empty “declarations” that are scathing to my soul! I can say it and believe it and it does not manifest. Yes, I believe it with ALL of my heart. No, I am not wallowing in sin nor a covert operative of iniquity. Just tell the truth. “I don’t know” is an acceptable answer. Please don’t ruin the solace by chasing it with euphemisms and platitudes. Identify with us. More so, identify, not gratify. Because hopes unrealized never satisfy.
3. Why couldn’t I KEEP my child?
There are countless parents who do not want their children. They mentally, sexually, physically and emotionally abuse them. Some even murder their precious heirs. Yet, I cherished my child and she was taken.
4. I have not LOST my child.
Jaiden has not been misplaced. I know where she lies. Matter of fact, for months, I wanted to sneak out there in the middle of the night and dig up the casket just to hold her. She is not lost. I have not misplaced her. But Jaiden is gone…
5. My child has not PASSED.
Passed what? From whence has she matriculated? Her life on Earth has ended. I do not consider that “passing”, it is failure. Failure of the medications, the protocols, our attempts at a healthy lifestyle. Failing to save her.
6. My child did not WIN the battle against cancer.
There was no victory. I AM HURT! She suffered unjustly. It is demoralizing to blatantly lie by proclaiming that she won. Did the millions of survivors “lose”? If death denotes victory, why medicate to prolong survival? Why “race” for a cure?
7. My child was not HEALED in Heaven.
I didn’t know that cancer and other diseases were taken to heaven and healed upon arrival–marked sarcasm. Saying, “she’s healed now”, is no consolation. Healing is needed on earth, where infirmities are seemingly infinite.
8. My child is not an ANGEL.
Angels are ministering spirits (Hebrews 1:14) created by God to protect, give messages and serve however He sees fit. Never have I read in the Holy Bible that humans become angels and are assigned to surveil their grieving loved ones. Especially for children. Western Christianity has exchanged the biblical veracity of cherubim and replaced it with the Renaissance period’s depiction of innocent souls. In addition, God did not need another angel or flower, therefore He took my child. God needs nothing. And if He did, He is the creator of the Heavens and the Earth, and can speak anything into existence. He could’ve spoken a replica “angel” or “flower” just like my Girl.
9. I don’t care that your story has a happy ending…YET
Two years ago, I attended a bereavement meeting. It was proven the best balm for my dry, cracked soul. The facilitator was a therapist who’s child also died from cancer. He shared that for the first few years, he was bitter and even jealous of the families whose children survived. His admission freed me! The therapist encouraged us to own our feelings and not avoid them. They were not permanent, IF we addressed and move through them. Not devised a plan to avoid them. I’m just not there with people for whom I carry no affections. I must say, I am not happy when a child dies from cancer. I receive no satisfaction from that cataclysmic, devastation. Yet, I see stories of success and wonder, “why not Jaiden?”. I can’t help the acidic feeling of jealousy in my chest. I can’t help feeling re-injured. Stab. Stab. Stab.
10. ANXIETY is suffocating!
There are days that I am not sure if I will make it. That my heart will not implode and I will not survive this agony. My heart rhythm becomes erratic. My respirations increase. My mind is incarcerated by the memories of her demise. I try to remember her long, black, thick curly hair. But all I see is a bald head. I try to recount her laughter, but all I hear is her whimpers. Her faint calls for, “Mommy”. Before I know it, I’m hyperventilating, weeping profusely and praying to not lose my mind within the next 60 seconds.
11. I can’t breathe because I’m missing my LUNG.
Jaiden was my right lung. Jana is my left lung. I am suffocating because an essential part of me is gone. I am an amputee of the soul.
**This series of articles is dedicated to the many parents I unfortunately know because of our families convergences with pediatric cancer. This is for you and our glorious children, whom the world was not fit to contain.
In high esteem of:
The brazen, warrior Patty Wimmer and her “Bubbles”, formally known as Luke “Lukers” Johnson. An affectionately loving, brilliant mind, with the humor and wit of a 71 year old man, though 17 were his years.
The humble, perseverant Heather Williams and her “LiLi”, formally known as Aaliyah Miranda Mitchell. A true miracle and blessing to the inhabitants of this earth. A loving, compassionate, and steadfast princess who reigned for 10 years.
The legendary, vivacious Leslie Singleton and her charming, charismatic Christoper Damien Singleton, Jr, affectionately known as “Junior”. Nine year old Junior remains known for his unprecedented benevolence, tender expressions of love and his inviting smile.
The resplendent, champion Yolanda Hightower and her dazzling dancing diva, Jernee’ Janice “Na-Na” Fagin. Her contagious smile and tenacious spirit fuels her mother in stem cell transplant awareness and advocacy.
The loving and equally lovely, Leslie Filion and my nephew, Roger Harrison Filion. Though Roger did not have cancer, his departure from this realm at 8.5 months changed my forever friend, Leslie and colored her character with unparalleled empathy.
The dignified, righteous queen Ra’anaa and her “King” of a son, Kevon Jenkins. Stunning, ambitious, and intransigent in his faith. For 16 years he loved his family unequivocally.