I write this crying at my desk with a beer.
I was going outside to greet a group of college students studying nursing. I immediately saw something was wrong. There was silence, except for a Haitian woman wailing. I brought water to her and another guest (not in the nursing group) held her, and the nursing students filled us in. Her four-year-old daughter had died en route to Port-au-Prince. The daughter was in severe condition before they left the mother’s town (about four hours away from PAP), and they knew it was risky bringing her to PAP. But we have the best hospital in the country. She was having an incredibly difficult time breathing and was also malnourished (which is very common here). The girls were going to bring the mother and child to PAP yesterday, but the roads were closed. They told the mother that her daughter might not make it. But she survived the night, only to pass away on the way to PAP.
I kept hearing the mother cry out, “pourquoi?” (“why?”)–Why does this happen? Why did she have to die? Why did the road have to be closed? Why wasn’t what they did enough?
And how does a mother cope with this? How does she move on from something so terrible as this? How can she not feel guilt, even if she did all she could? How can a mother hold her other children without falling to pieces about the one who died?
And then you think about the students, the ones who cared for this girl, who were holding her in the car. How are they supposed to move on? They did all they could and it wasn’t enough. Yes, God has a plan, but when it isn’t obvious and when it comes with an experience as painful as this, how is that supposed to be okay? How are they supposed to feel?
I don’t know the answers. I don’t think I ever will. All I know is that for the first time since I’ve been here, I don’t hear conversations or laughter; I only hear crying. I see fifteen college women hugging each other and I see every single person in this house (employees and guests) with tears in their eyes.
Jesus put this song on my heart–a song I’ve only heard once (I don’t really listen to the radio). But it’s beautiful. “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” by Matt Redman.