On Saturday evening, Jessie, Quinn’s sister, died. My son Callum’s Shar Pei/Great Dane puppy was bitten by a 2-metre-long brown snake.
Her death wasn’t in The Plan. She should have lived for years. Instead, the Jessie stories have suddenly come to an end. They’ll be no more comparisons: “Is Jessie much bigger than Quinn? Send us a photo!” No more I’ll protect you! barks from a warrior puppy. No more soggy doggy kisses.
We make plans. We think we know what’s ahead. And then something happens. In an instant, life flies out of our control. Without turning the page, or even moving to a new paragraph, the story changes.
Callum digs a big puppy-sized grave under the tree in his backyard.
Our one-day-old son is lowered into the cemetery ground.
A routine ultrasound. “I’m sorry there’s a problem with your baby.” As these few words hit our ears, our story changes. Just like that. No warning.
Our son Thomas died. There was nothing we could do about it. Sunk in my pit of grief, I cried, “My plan for my life was better than this one!” But I know, deep down, it wasn’t.
I survived the death of a child. I could never have done that on my own. Oh, at first, I tried to. But a day arrived when I knew that only God could help me. And so I let go of control. I had no choice. I threw myself into His arms. And I trusted that I’d emerge on the other side of grief.
Joy and sorrow. How can the world contain both? When does one turn into the other? Which one is ahead? I just don’t know. And does it even matter? We’re not in control. God is.
These days we don’t look too far ahead. Instead, we try to live life as we should. Right now.
Live. Give. Forgive. Love until it hurts. Trust.
In other words: Unschool.
It’ll all work out. It always does. Because we’re God’s.
Have you ever had an experience that has taught you about trust?
Images: I took these photos of our puppy Quinn (and Gemma-Rose) in August and July 2017. She has grown a lot since then!