Warning... this is a painful song to write about and I can imagine it will be a painful song for you to listen to or read about. But the song is so honest and real, I feel that you need to know the whole story behind the song. Because my greatest fear is that you will judge me without knowing the deep pain it was born in. So listen/read with love and care as if this was your story, because we are all a family of humanity, and I believe we are all interconnected in ways we can't even possibly imagine.
On June 14th, 2015 we had a little family birthday party for my daughter who was about to turn 2. The only people we invited were my parents, my sister, her husband & their son, Camper. It was a great day! We had a little backyard dance party, food, cake, nothing crazy... very normal. And we went to sleep that night not knowing it was the last day of "normal" in all of our lives.
The next morning my sister called us and said, "I think Camper caught a stomach bug, he woke up this morning and started throwing up. He's sleeping now, but just wanted to let you know in case your girls start feeling sick."
We didn't think anything of it.
The day went on, and Camper (who was 2 years and 9 months old) kept waking up, throwing up, and falling back asleep. My sister thought it was good for him to rest, so she kept putting him back to bed. But by the evening, she was having trouble getting him to wake up. He was listless and limp. My husband (who is a pediatrician) advised her to take him to the ER. He said, "He is probably dehydrated and needs fluids."
We were sitting at the kitchen table, eating a late dinner, when the phone rang. It was my brother-in-law calling from the ER. I will never forget hearing his voice say, "He has a brain tumor."
Even now, 3 years later, the tears are rolling down my cheeks as I recall this memory.
The room started spinning and I remember falling to my knees praying, "Oh God Oh God Oh God Oh God" . That's all I could utter.
Apparently, Camper had a undiagnosed slow-growing brain tumor that reached critical mass and had hit a blood vessel causing it to rupture. He had a massive bleed and was basically brain-dead by the time they got him to the hospital that night.
There are no words to describe the emotions of shock, sadness, pain, fear, confusion and darkness that washed over all of us in the next few days while we slowly stepped into this new reality. We all took shifts holding his tiny hand and telling him how much we loved him. My brother-in-law & sister made the most beautiful (and difficult) choice to donate his organs, and now his heart is beating in another child somewhere.
The days & months that followed are a blur. But the grief was forced into a very expedited timeline because my sister was already 6 months pregnant with their second son when Camper died. I remember thinking how this felt like such a blessing and a curse. Obviously, I don't believe any child is a curse, but it was so hard to endure Campers death while knowing a new life was growing inside her. As any mother of two children knows, you wonder how you could possibly love your second child as much as your first. It miraculously happens, but without knowing her second yet... it felt so cruel to be loosing her first little love.
On the other hand, it felt like such a blessing because this pregnancy, and the life growing inside her, was literally the only reason to get up out of bed most mornings.
Shortly after her second son was born, my sister announced that she wanted to try to get pregnant again. She had always wanted to have two children, and because she was getting older, she didn't feel like she had endless amounts of time. Of course we all supported this decision.
What you have to understand is that with BOTH her first pregnancies (Camper & his brother), she got pregnant literally the first "try". It was like she was the definition of "fertile myrtle". She assumed this new attempt would have the exact same outcome.
If you have ever journeyed with someone who is trying to get pregnant, or if you yourself have been on that journey, you know it is a monthly emotional rollercoaster. So imagine adding the grief of a lost first born child, and the heightened hormones of having a infant... For 9 agonizing months she tested negative... and then finally on September 10th, she got a positive pregnancy test.
I remember it was September 10th because September 11th was (or would have been) Campers' 4th birthday. We could not believe the timing! I truly believed this was a miracle gift from God sent in divine timing to help her get through the sadness of celebrating his birthday, without him on this earth.
And then, the day after that... she had a miscarriage.
When I got the news, I sat down at my piano and that's the day I wrote this song: "I Can't Feel You Anymore".
You see, I have spent my whole life writing and singing songs about God, about hope, about faith, about trust... and for the first time ever, I lost all that. I was absolutely devastated. And to be honest, I still have not recovered and I don't know if I ever will. It was just too much. Too hard. Too painful. Too much suffering, sadness & loss. Where was this good and faithful God I had believed in? Because I looked around, and I could not find Him. I had always "felt" God's presence in my life and I have always seen the angle of redemption in every circumstance... but that day (and for many days since) I felt alone, like there was no one watching out for me. Because how could a loving God allow this to happen? Did He turn His back for a moment? Did He let go of 'the wheel' and accidentally drive our lives off a cliff? Everyone's pat 'christian answers' (including my own) were not filling the void of darkness I was teetering on. And so I decided to not fake it anymore, and I dove head first into the darkness. Of course, I didn't make this public knowledge, but those close to me have been faithful sojourners on a very rocky road for the last several years.
I don't know where you are at in you own life and maybe me saying this stuff scares you or makes you uncomfortable but that's not my intention. I am longing to share whats going on in my heart & head and I'm hoping that through the honesty, it will actually connect us in ways that 'faking it' never could.
Through this deconstruction of all of my religion, I have arrived at a few core beliefs. And for what it's worth, I feel like sharing them with you.
I do believe in God, though I don't understand it.
I do hope that in the end, there will be redemption for all pain & suffering & sadness we experience on earth.
I do know there is great comfort in the eyes and embrace of other people who have also suffered. And when they look at you, and when they embrace you, they are the eyes & arms of God in that moment, stirring a deep hope that we are not alone.