First the good news. D's brother had back surgery on Tuesday. They removed the bone fragments from his first vertebrae, and inserted some steel bolts to hold the bones together to allow them to fuse and heal. He will require months of physical therapy, but he should make a nearly full recovery. They removed the breathing tube this morning, and at last report he was talking and laughing.
Now for the depressing stuff. The funeral was Wednesday. No parent should ever have to bury their own child, and NOBODY should ever have to bury their unborn son. D's brother is only 17, has probably never held a newborn baby before, and here is this kid who just lost his fiancee, holding the still body of his baby. Heart-rendering doesn't even begin to cover it. Having to stand before three caskets (the baby was buried in his mother's arms) is a place of suffering just this side of purgatory.
D was so strong; she almost single-handedly made phone calls to insurance companies, updated friends and relatives, tracked down their missing dog, kept her family's spirits up, and managed to keep her self-composure through it all. The feelings I have for her have grown from mere friendship and growing affection to humble respect.
Of course, even the strongest pillar can crumble over time. I'm concerned that once D gets a break from work, from family, and from the laundry list of personal needs she's put on the back burner this week, it's all going to hit her, and she's going to collapse. Thank God she has some good friends here in town and in Fort Wayne.
This is going to sound very strange, but I came away from the whole ordeal with some sense of peace and calm. That's not to say this was pleasant in any way, but in this time of turmoil, I turned to God in a spirit of surrender. I think D did as well. There is no way to make sense of such a terrible loss, and it is foolishness to try. We simply trusted that God has a purpose for this that we aren't meant to understand, at least not yet. I also prayed an incredible number of Hail Marys and read a number of psalms to keep my mind and heart from dwelling too much on things I really didn't want to (or shouldn't) think about. There are a few issues in my life revolving around certain events in my past that trouble me greatly, some of which are related to the events of last weekend and this week. I think by helping the healing process for this family in some small way, it helped my own healing as well.