After losing a child, it never gets easier to raise the one you still have here on earth. Today I was given the heartbreaking news that our beloved pediatrician Dr. Mindy Green passed away after a long fight with breast cancer. We hesitantly established care with Mindy just weeks after Zoe died. As grateful as I was for all of Zoe's doctors, it was terrifying to take the only child I had left in for a simple well-child check. from the start, Dr. green already knew our story and was more than kind and gracious with our traumatic circumstances. Having battled with cancer, she knew all too well how fragile life can be.
We trusted her. I trusted her. She treated us as if we were the only family in her care. If I ever called for anything, she called me back personally within minutes. If Londyn needed to be seen urgently, she saw us regardless of her busy schedule and would spend an hour just talking to us as if we were family friends. We always talked of getting our girls together, as she has a little one just Londyn's age.
When I heard the news of her passing, I was sick. I was sick of people dying... especially people that I care about. I was even more sick about having to tell Londyn that someone else in her life had gone to heaven to be with Zoe. It seems as though a lot of people are returning home too soon.
I said a little prayer, took a deep breath and gave her the news. I think it hurt me more than her, because I feel like hard things are constantly chipping away at her innocence and childhood. I was nervous because Londyn was so afraid to go to the doctor after Zoe died. She thought everyone that went to the doctor would die. Dr. Green made her feel comfortable and special during a confusing time.
I told her that Dr. green was very sick and Heavenly Father didn't want her to hurt anymore, so she went to heaven to be with Zoe. Without hesitation, she said " I thought only babies go to heaven."
I didn't feel like cooking dinner tonight and while at our favorite Chinese restaurant, out of nowhere Londyn said "I'm only a little bit sad that Dr. green passed away." I told her that it's okay to be sad and that I'm sad too. She then said, "it's okay Mom. now she's Zoe's doctor."
It's indescribable how my heart aches when she says things like this. Especially because my preschooler is the one comforting me! What 4 year old says that? A four year old that tells me in the car today, "I need to take flowers to the cemetery for Zoe. Can we do that this weekend mom?" A 4 year old that expresses the fear that she won't go to the same heaven as her sister.
Once Lulu asked "what cemetery did I use to be at?" She thought that since Zoe died as a baby, she would soon die as well. I told Lulu that only some babies die and go to heaven. Lots of babies live and grow to be big like her.
Later today we were talking about Dr. Green again and Lulu said "I thought only Mommy's die when they get really really old." How do you explain that these instances are rare and that at her age, she should be afraid of the dark or monsters in her closet. Instead my sweet little princess thinks, worries and fears death at such a young and what should be an beautiful and innocent time in life. Growing up is filled with roadblocks, life lessons and heartache. WHY does hers have to start so early?
These moments lead us to the dangerous "whys." Why do people around us keep dying? Why did a sweet baby have to come to this earth and die after suffering for her entire 4.5 months of life? Why did the first funeral I ever attended have to be for my own child? Why does my four year old have to worry about whether she or her family and friends are going to die? Why do I have to live the rest of this life with a hole in my family and a hole in my heart? Why me? Why does Mindy's little girl now have to grow up without her mother by her side? Why does Mindy's husband have to raise their daughter without her? Why can't the grieving period be just that, period? Why? why. WHY?
There is only one answer.
The Plan of Salvation. The Plan that our Father in Heaven has for each of us. He loves us and sent us here to learn, make mistakes, love, serve, hurt, grow, be tested and put our faith in him. These trials are unbearable at times and can most certainly be without His presence in trying times. If we shut Him out, we are left lonelier than ever before. I have found that hurting because of Him is much more painful than letting Him hurt with me. I don't have all the answers, but I hold onto this one and look forward to a fullness of joy that will be given to me when I am faced with my Maker and only then will all the answers be revealed.
The Green family is in our hearts and prayers. Mindy Green was a beautiful woman and talented physician. She left a heart shaped imprint in our lives and will be forever missed.