Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Alone for Christmas?

We're leaving in 2 days. Up until now I haven't been anxious or nervous, just excited. But now, with 48 hours left before our trip the only thought that keeps running through my head constantly is "I cannot leave him." I hate the thought of leaving our son alone on Christmas while we will be 1000 miles away. People say "he is in your heart, he is always with you." Yes, I know that, but there is something tangible about his body, his tiny body being alone in the cemetery with no one to visit him on Christmas.

I want to get him a nice floral arrangement for his grave since we will be gone. Something that shows other people that our son isnt forgotten this season. But the problem is I have no idea what to get. I have visited a few floral shops and browsed online but there is no category for "grave for child." It is times like these that I really wish there were some sort of manual on how to parent your child who has died. I dont know what to do for him. And the truth of it all, and I am sure this is where the frustration lies, is:

I cannot do anything for him. He needs nothing. He wants for nothing. He doesn't need me.

And I hate that. Having a living baby has shown me how much a child does need their parents. Except when your child dies, they don't need you. Tomorrow we are going to his grave to visit him before we leave. Then we are planning a visit to steak n shake to eat the famous cheeseburgers that he (I) craved when pregnant with him. And back home to open gifts that we have put in his stocking that go to Abigail and the puppy. Im happy that we are finding a way to include him, but at the same time mad. It was never supposed to be like this. I want to know more about him besides the fact that carrying him made me want cheeseburgers. I dont want to guess at what he would want to give Abigail, I want to take him with me to the toy store to pick something out for her.

How could I have played a part in creating this beautiful child and then carried him for 9 months and know so little about him? How is that possible?

Missing him today a lot and wishing I knew him better, wishing I didn't have to leave him and knowing at the same time it makes no real difference to him whether he is alone or not on Christmas.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Go On Living

When I heard about the tragedy in Connecticut I cried. The tears came and all day I felt weary and weepy. So sad. So senseless. So horrific.

In prayer this morning I was again crying and asking God, "show me the goodness." I have learned from grief that sometimes the only way out of the "pit" is to re-direct your gaze. So this morning that is what I tried to do- turned off the news, stopped reading the facebook posts and instead opened my Bible.

"Show me your goodness Lord for "I believe I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (psalm 27:13)."And all I could think of was the sadness of Christmas this year for those families. I then asked God,

"Ok, maybe just show me a family that will be happy this Christmas, one that is celebrating with a new life, perhaps a new baby? Maybe a family that waited a long time to get their child and now this Christmas can truly be joyful." And in an instant I heard him whisper "that is you." 

Sweet Jesus! I almost missed it. My own story- loss, tragedy,senselessness, and then hope and new life. I have the chance this Christmas to show God's goodness. The way God can restore (like that word-Joy?) a broken heart, a broken life, and a broken dream. He can, He does, He will. For me, for my husband, for all those families in Newton.

Is it easy?no. Is it impossible to hold onto hope in the face of such tragedy? Without grace and without God, yes. And in the end I am reminded of the power of living. Living and going on when everything around you screams its not worth it, just give up. Living in the goodness of the Lord requires courage. Courage to look a horrific event in the face and still choose to move forward.

Mary did this, actually on the first Christmas. As she hustled her newborn baby-literally God's goodness alive- from that stable back onto the donkey in a moment of uncertainty. I wonder if she could hear the screams of the mothers in Bethlehem as they watched as Harod's soldiers murdered their innocent children. I wonder how she managed to keep moving forward knowing all the tragedy that was behind her, the tragedy that seemed to be a direct result of her child being born. I don't know how she did it, only that she did. She chose to move forward despite the heartache. She chose to be a living reminder of God's goodness. And I cant help but smile when I think of how mad that must have made satan. Because evil doesn't win in the end-goodnes does. Evil may win the battle but not the war.

I will continue to cry for the families that have suffered so deeply. I will also choose to live this Christmas when everything inside of me screams to just give up, stop fighting. I will live to honor their children. I will live to honor my firstborn. I will be joyful because I know God is bigger. I know his restoration and it is real.

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain."Revelation 21:4

"Amen! Come Lord Jesus!!"Revelation 22:20

Thursday, December 13, 2012

This Christmas

This Christmas my heart feels heavier for others' loss than our own. Knowing what agony that first Christmas without Caleb was and knowing that so many others are going to experience that this year just leaves me feeling drained, sad, angry, and longing. Longing for , the one who will wipe away every tear. Loving this song this advent season. I never paid attention to the lyrics until this year. Its so fitting for where my heart is. Longing for a savior, for someone who will help save us from the darkness. Praying for all those families who have someone missing.

"Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
 And deaths dark shadows put to flight....

And give them victory over the grave"

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Wanted to point out that I added a new section called "the letters" on my blog. It explains them all if you click on that page. Enjoy!

Also wanted to share this post with everyone. Reading others journeys after babyloss has been so healing for me. In this post, Brooke, who is 2 years from losing her first baby Eliza, talks honestly about the holidays, grief, and just what 2 years of being without her baby looks like. I couldn't stop nodding my head as a read her words. Grief is so universal and so similar sometimes. My favorite line in her post "Oh My God. You guys. My baby died." Yup still feel like that most of the time. Its all there right below the surface. Hoping you read this post and feel less alone or gain some insight into loss further on down the road.