Charlene is a mom of 3, struggling to come to terms with the loss of her eldest son and fighting to find her faith again.
Unless you have been living in the stone-age, everyone should know what a genie is. Well, if not then let me break it down for you…think Aladdin, you know, the street urchin that finds a dirty lamp and rubs it? A blue apparition aka Genie pops out and grants him three wishes? He then goes on to fight for love and freedom against the evil that is Jaffar… coming back right? Okay, if you need more explanation then a genie is a spirit of Arabian folklore. It is Depicted traditionally as an imprisoned spirit within a lamp and when you rub the lamp, the spirit then allows you wishes. Got it? Great! I am Charlene Gallant and at the ripe ‘old’ age of 39, I have recently come to realise that God is no Genie. Yes, I know that you may think that I am crazy but I’m not (well, sometimes). For me to even think GOD was kinda a genie before should be ludicrous right? But is it really such a sensational statement? I didn’t actually think God was in a lamp or that HE was actually blue but I did believe he granted my wishes and I took the gospel as my guide, "For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."- Matthew 17:20
Basically, that means, I prayed, and stuff happened because thus was my faith in God. I obviously had to stay on the straight and narrow, only then God ‘will make a way when there seemed to be no way’. When bad things happened in my life, I felt I had strayed from the ten commandments (yes sometimes my halo does slip, bite me!) and ‘punishment’ was inevitable because God is Just-ice ( the ‘punishment’ always fits the ‘crime’). Most times I didn’t understand the reasoning because the God we serve is supposed to not judge and love us unconditionally, right? That is what we are taught as Christians and at the same time we think we are untouchable because God is great. BUT it is GOD that is great, and WE are only human. In fact, the more you try to walk the path of righteousness the more you are attacked by the Devil I guess because Gosh does crap always get worse when you are trying you’re best to be a good person. It took one time. Just one, that shattered my whole world. From being a faith-filled person, I became a person full of anger, doubt, and bitterness. HE didn't grant me my wish and now my little boy, my sweet beautiful boy, is gone.
I loved my life just as it was. Yes, I was exhausted most times but Being a mom especially a mom to a cerebral Palsy son, made me feel so special. I felt I had a purpose. A clear purpose in life, that I received with gratitude. I had to look after an angel and what could be more honorary than that.
I am unprepared and ill-equipped to deal with this ache in my heart. This tearing pain that floods me and stays with me from the day Jaden, my eldest son, was taken from me, the day he died: 11th March 2020.
My self-worth was in question as I tossed around the what-ifs surrounding Jaden’s last few days and the guilt ate me up inside. Did I do enough? Did I do something wrong? Did I let my beautiful boy down? Was God angry at me? Was I not good enough? Was I not worthy enough to be a special needs mom anymore? God broke me… How do I process? What do I do now? Without Jaden…Who am I?
Then it is the anger. The terrible searing, burning anger towards God. I have cried till I was weak, and I have cried till my throat hurt. I have screamed and shouted at God: Why God? WHY????? How could YOU do this? Why didn’t you help him? I called out to YOU; didn’t you hear me?? How could YOU make someone so precious and innocent be in so much pain? How could YOU?? How could YOU not grant me my wish? I begged and pleaded…didn’t you hear me call on YOU to help Jaden? Why Lord, how could YOU do this to me??
Then it’s the fear and torment because in the midst of our grief, the global pandemic hit. So now with my faith being knocked off kilter, my mere mortality was never more threatened, and I’m terrified of losing another child or more people I love.
The loss of Jaden and this pandemic, all brings home the fact that there is no such thing as forever just an UNTIL. I’ve fallen into depression, a black hole of self-destruction (I have been here many times so I know) and I’m fighting, the hardest I have EVER fought, to get out of this dark pit again…for my family.
I lost my will to sing after Jaden and everyone who knows me will know the import of that statement. Singing is my all, it was how I communicated with God and how I primarily communicated with Jaden. Losing my desire to sing, indicates the extent of my brokenness and it took months before I sang again. I snapped out of my head one day when I heard my husband playing Jaden’s favourite song (Brain McKnight song-WIN) on the piano. I went to sit next to him and just started singing, tears streaming down my face the whole time. When we were done with the song, my kids were crying on the couch, my husband’s face was wet and we all just hugged each other, weeping for the longest time.
We went to my son, Jaden’s, grave soon after that incident. It was the first time ever since lockdown began and that we were allowed to go. I thought I would feel closer to him when I was near him like that, but I didn't feel him, I cried bitter tears for that. However, I realised that if Jaden really wasn’t here anymore then I hoped with all of my heart that he was in a better place. I hoped that the wheelchair that bound him here on earth would bound him no more and that wherever he was he would be free of pain. That is my hope…my desire.
P.S. here is the link to God is No Genie: Part 1
© 2020 Charlene Gallant
Charlene Gallant (author) from Cape Town, South Africa on September 21, 2020:
Hope my beautiful baby is where you say and that he is happy:(
Thank you Nitin
Nitin on September 21, 2020:
I am so sorry to read about your loss. Precious Jaden is with the Lord now, happier than he could ever have been on earth. He is no longer bound but free as a butterfly.
I understand how you would feel as a parent. I am deeply moved by your story.
There are no easy answers to some questions. But life has to go on. May the Lord comfort you and your family and strengthen you spiritually.
Charlene Gallant (author) from Cape Town, South Africa on September 10, 2020:
Yes we do:( and thank you for sharing your story with me.
Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on September 10, 2020:
In late July 1983 our son Gerard Alan was born without problems, a rosy future lay ahead of him. He had a mischievous smile and a serious right hand (that landed on our dog's nose once and put him off getting too close). I found him one morning the following February, face down, not moving. He was another statistic in the data for cot death syndrome, cremated soon after, his memorial in the City of London cemetery marked by a small rose bush that doesn't flower around his birthday. He'd have been 37 on July 27th this year.
I've blamed myself, but say nothing about that, and I'll carry that into the hereafter. It would only cause further upset if I was to mention it.
However, we - the wife and I, and you - know how the pain of loss feels.
Charlene Gallant (author) from Cape Town, South Africa on August 28, 2020:
Thank you Gigirosie thank you
gigirosie on August 28, 2020:
I am so sorry for your and your family's loss of Jaden. Your article moved me deeply. To lose someone that one loves so dearly is so hard. It's like your very breath has been taken away. Honestly, Charlene, I am an atheist, but I also have a spiritual life rooted in my belief that we are all one family, created by the Universe, and that we are made of the same stuff as the stars. I believe that when someone dies, they become part of the earth again, and therefore, part of the cosmos again, giving something else life. To me, this is a beautiful comfort. I don't think of it as something magical or as some sort of fantasy. No genies. Just Mother Nature carrying on. And it's beautiful, just like Jaden, you, and your family. Of course, there will always be that special part, a loving but painful part, of your very being that is Jaden. I believe that someday the heartache will lessen, but you wouldn't feel the pain so deeply if you didn't love so deeply. You are clearly special, with a lot to offer the world, just like Jaden.
Justine Nalbach from Michigan on August 24, 2020:
Great article, thank you for sharing your story.
Charlene Gallant (author) from Cape Town, South Africa on August 21, 2020:
Kyriaki Chatzi on August 21, 2020:
Well, I can't begin to realize what it's like to lose a child.
But, I really hope this emotional scar of yours heals soon enough. :(
Charlene Gallant (author) from Cape Town, South Africa on August 18, 2020:
Thank you so much for your kind words.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 18, 2020:
Losing a child is someting that is horribly difficult, and I am so sorry to read about your loss of Jaden. I am glad you are a Christian as you know Jaden is free, not bound to a wheelchair. As least that is my belief as a Christian. You will always miss Jaden, and I hope pain lessens over time.