Somewhere over the past 6 months or so I acquired this tiny little stuffed pink bunny rabbit. I cannot for the life of me remember where it came from but one day it was just there. It went into a box with baby girl clothes and supplies that are used as children come into my home and I never noticed it again.
When I got call last Sunday for a medivac flight of a tiny little girl named Ketia I threw on some scrubs and tossed a few things in a backpack without thinking much about it. As Ketia struggled and fought to breathe on the plane I reached into my bag for something to comfort her and my fingers closed over that little rabbit. From that second on she loved that bunny and she was her constant companion. When she cried in the ER while they tried multiple times to get an IV in her tiny veins, she clung to bunny.
While she was held down for an echocardiogram that gave us a peek at her heart, she rubbed her soft ears.
While she breathed her last she had that bunny cuddled up to hear cheek and yesterday, when I laid her to rest I tucked that little bunny in beside her one last time.
Ketia loved that bunny.
I love that bunny because she loved her.
On Good Friday I buried Ketia at a cemetery a few blocks from my home. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed as I watched them prepare, and then close her tomb.
I thought about our Savior. I thought about what it looked like when he was buried and then even more so, what it looked like when He defeated death and burst forth from the grave. When the man who oversaw the cemetery began to seal the tomb I though to myself how final and permanent that seal was and my mind immediately went to that first Easter morning. What must have it been like to have watched that tomb sealed, only come back a few days later and find it broken open. The shock and fear would have been great. I imagine there was confusion and anger and so, so much grief.
I used to think about Easter as a happy, hopeful time. But this year for the first time I wondered and thought about those dark, ugly terror filled days where there was no hope in sight. Those living in the midst had no idea that “Sunday [was] coming”.
This year, that is me. The fear is too much and I can’t possibly imagine the day when this is all woven together to make sense. I can’t imagine a day when anything will ever be ok again. I can’t imagine a day when I won’t wake up overwhelmed with grief and tears for the ugly reality that these babies are fighting.
Facing the death of this baby that I loved was hard. Harder than anything I have done in a very long time. Processing her death over Easter is something that has completely brought to life the reality of why I will keep fighting. Because this isn’t about what I do at all, it’s about what He did when He gave everything to rescue me. It’s about the fact that when a baby dies I can grieve but that I can also get up tomorrow and do it again, because I have a hope that lasts far beyond this broken world and the hurt that it holds. It's about the fact that every single Ketia and Youvika that I have lost has been swept up to dance at Jesus' feet and all I can do is keep pressing forward until the day He finally sees fit to let me joint them.
Ketia loved her bunny, and I’m glad she gave her comfort but this year more than ever I am reminded more than ever that Easter is not about bunnies.