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When I Sit In the Darkness
Oct 11, 2002

Where do you start to tell a story of great grief? My daughter was only five months old when she died in 1977 of a viral infection that attacked her central nervous system. The pregnancy had been a difficult one for my wife, and after the baby was born, she was very sickly. She immediately came down with jaundice and we were in for blood tests every other day. She was unable to keep any milk down, and so we had to give her a special formula. I can only remember one week where she layed in her crib and smiled, and made all those wonderful sounds that babies make as they grow and develop. One day I stood silently at her door and watched her play and reach for the mobil that stretched across her bed. Too soon that changed when one Sunday, she simply stopped breathing. My wife and I both worked to save her life while waiting for the emergency crew to arrive. The baby was so bad they rushed her and my wife to the hospital in a police car while one of the EMT's worked on her. I was to follow in the ambulance behind them. While sitting there I looked around and to my surprise there were five firemen and EMT's there also, all of whom I had grown up with. As we raced to the hospital we heard over the radio the following;
Hospital - "Is the baby breathing?"
There was nothing but silence from the police car, and I knew she was gone.

The next few days, weeks, months and years all now seem to blur. Now many years later I still cry from time to time. It is less now than then, but come the tears do. I will hold a baby of a friend, or their grand child, and the saltiness fills my eyes and flows down my cheeks. Then I tell them my story, of the preciousness of this little one. I tell them the story of Meredith Allyn Koctar and how her short life affected so many others.

Today I help facilitate a grief recovery and support group. I wrote the following poem, and give each group member a copy at the end of the series;

When I Sit In the Darkness
By Randy Koctar

When I sit in the darkness of the day,
And darker still the night,
There is a Light that shines to all who search.

Whether for loss of self, or of someone close,
With all the hurt and the pain,
One is there to hold my hand.

Ever vigilant, always by my side,
Feeling my loneliness,
Taking on all my burdens when I need.

Keeping me in His hands,
Brightening my dark days,
And my darker nights,
His light shows me the way.
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