Monday, January 21, 2013


The why question is a big one.  I try not to entertain it.  I avoid it at all costs, knowing it ends nowhere.  But some days, I cannot escape it. Like suddenly being forced to look at your own reflection in a mirror... Today, Alea was holding the mirror.

The girls are playing house again, talking about how "the dad" died.  Roya is "fake" crying for her "pretend" dad, and Alea, (apparently the Mom this time), starts comforting her.  My shoulders tense... I'm in the kitchen preparing toppings for a gluten-free pizza for supper...  The play starts moving out of "house" and into "real". I've been dreading this one... I hear Alea comforting Roya, telling Roya that Daddy will be back, just as Roya used to comfort her...  He's coming back.  I know she believes this.  She prays at every meal, and help my Daddy... At first she thought he was lost, and screamed many hours at night fearing for him, unable to verbalize her thoughts.  Later, she understood he was safe with Jesus and not lost (which I assume came from overhearing adults use the phrase lost your father).

My girls can only comprehend so much about death.  Young children are protected by their youth and gradually realize the depth and finality of their loss.  Alea had not yet understood the finality of death, just as Roya had not when it first happened.  We moved beyond this "stage" with Roya, but my 3 year old was just getting there.  I knew, with the heavy weight returning to bear over my body, as Alea verbalized her genuine belief that Daddy was returning, I had to tell her the truth...

So I take her aside and look into her eyes, and say, No Alea. Daddy is not coming back.  She hears me, as though her greatest fears are being discovered, and sobs... real cries of new and fresh awareness, new grief.  Here we are again, back to the couch, my daughters huddled on my lap, reading children's books about death and dying.  I'm trying to explain heaven, trying to help Alea understand that her Daddy cannot come back.  Why? Alea sobs. Over and over, she asks Why?  So I talk them through it again, tell them what happened, bring out the "human body" book, tell it as honestly and literally as possible so their imaginations do not imagine the worst... Alea is broken over her Daddy's broken heart. Why? She keeps asking. Why won't my Daddy's heart work!?!

Why?  My reservoir of answers is exhausted and the question remains. Why? Why does my four year old tell me she doesn't like herself, that she wants to die?  Why does my 3 year old fear her own heart malfunctioning and entering into some scary abyss called death that she cannot wrap her head around?  Why when others are celebrating their families, enjoying anniversaries, welcoming new babies... Why when fathers bend down to love on their children, is there no father for mine?  Why did God see us worthy of this higher calling called grief? Why did he see my daughters so worthy of fear, loss, loneliness, and self-doubt? Why must I bear this burden alone, when every other wife my age is complaining that their husband doesn't do the dishes, or plays hockey too much, or doesn't read her mind and understand all the feelings of her heart?  Why am I somehow worthy to be shocked into brutal awareness of blessing and loss, life and death, sorrow and grief?

There it is. Alea held up the mirror and forced me to see the question reflected in my own heart as well as hers. A question for which there are no answers... Why?


  1. hang in there beautiful! Lots of love and prayers to you and your family.

  2. I always want to comment but I never know what to say that would be meaningful or helpful or encouraging. Please just know that I find your writing beautiful and honest, Natasha, and that it serves as a constant reminder to me to be thankful for what I have right here, right now. Thank you for sharing your heart in this space and with a vastly silent audience.

  3. I've missed you. I love you, wish I could be of some help. I wish I could tell you that you're not alone, but we all are...except...Jesus is the only one who gets it. He knows intimately what you feel, he felt it for you, so you would have a partner in your grief. Keep holding his hand. You are "encircled about eternally in the arms of His love." 2 Nephi 1:15

  4. you spoke early on of writing a book,this blog is the most hearttouching,beautiful,sad and honest "book" I have ever read.My heart hurts for you but you are reaching so many with your poignant honesty,God bless you Natasha.If this blog were a 'book; I would buy it in a heartbeat,in this reaching to others whom you dont even know exist,,,,,,well I think somewhere in that you will find your "why"

  5. Part of me wants to sit and chat with Roya and Alea. I understand their pain better than I do yours. Losing a parent suddenly leaves you feeling completely broken and lost and forces you to do a lot of growing up far faster than you should have to. It changed me completely from the child I was, to the woman I am now and I was far older than they are, but the pain is just as real.

  6. Natasha,

    My sister lost her first husband when very young, although she had no children, it took her 10 years to get her life together. Now she is facing another death, her second husband of 33 years has terminal cancer. I really feel this will bring conflicting emotions for her, as over the years she still speaks of her first love. Do I have your permission to show her your blogs? I think when it is over she may find from your writings something that will help her next journey. You really need to write your book. It is the best writing I have ever read. So many people will benefit from your open honesty. You are truly a child of God!!!

    1. You certainly have my permission. Bless you and I'll try and remember your precious sister in my prayers. What a journey of grief she must have!

  7. Natasha, I met you and Lynn once or twice when I lived in Moncton or a short period of time. Then this past December I was visiting a friend who asked if I knew you and then proceeded to share your story and gave me your blog. I have been following you posts. Thank you for being so honest in your writings. I cannot share the pain and devastating emotions you continue to go through, but I want to thank you so much for helping to remind me to continue being thankful and grateful for my husband and two young girls (3 and almost 2). We definitely have tough days with them as we parent them, but many a times the Lord reminds me of your blog and the reality that at any moment, one of them could be taken from me or I from them. Thank you for reminding me that my husband isn't perfect and doesn't do everything I 'think' he should do but that I am so blessed he is here with me! Thank you my beautiful sister in Christ! Marsha