Wednesday, April 16, 2014

3 Years

As I sit down to write this I can hear our noisy 2 year old singing herself to sleep to the tune of "E-I--E-I-O." 3 years ago I could only hope to hear noise from a live child coming out of the nursery. So much has happened in 3 years and so much has stayed the same.

We've survived. In those early days and weeks that is all I hoped for-that we would survive this, that our marriage would survive this. 3 years later here we are, standing stronger but still wounded. That hasn't changed, its healed to some extent but the scar will always be there.

In 3 years we have met so many baby loss families each with their own heartbreaking story. I remember how reluctant I was to join the "baby loss" community right after Caleb died. These people weren't my friends! I had friends already and I was supposed to be going to moms groups with them and watching our kids grow together. Instead I sat around tables with strangers of all ages and backgrounds and we cried.  What started off small has bloomed into close friendships. Loss is so universal and after going through it I found that I instinctively knew the language for it. Part of me knows that's why we are trying to create the ministry Immaculate Hope. The baby loss community has become "my people" and being around grievers makes me feel at home.

3 years ago I had no idea what the future would hold. I was so scared. I learned to trust God in a way I never thought I would be able to. And it was a blind trust and it wasn't all at the same time. Because God cried with me and He still walks with me in the Valley of Death. 3 years ago I had hoped for answers. 3 years later I've learned that even if I had all the answers I'd still miss Caleb just as much.

I'm so different. Part of that being different is the fact that I don't know who I am most days, but that's alright. I'm comfortable feeling lost and confused and not sure of life. The old me had to control things and have lists-I'd like to think that the new me is more flexible and not so hung up on "doing the right thing." Because if there is anything I've learned it's that sometimes you can do everything right and the world still turns upside down on you. Life isn't fair-good person or not- it can still sucker punch you when you least expect it. That knowledge makes me yearn for Heaven. Heaven is a real place now and I'm ashamed to say that even before as a Christian I don't think I really wanted to go to Heaven all that much. Sure, maybe at the very end of life, but life was great! Now it's so different with my first born being in Heaven. I feel like a part of my heart is not with me and so much of me won't be complete until we are reunited.

3 years. I really cannot fathom that I've lived 3 whole years without our son. Sometimes it still feels like a bad dream. I wonder often how I'll carry this grief and what it will look like at 10 years, 20 years, 50 years? Does it ever go away? Not sure, but part of me hopes it doesn't. Grief is love. The sadness, sorrow, rage, anger, agony, and despair I felt when Caleb died were all born out of intense love. To grieve him is to love him, and that is something I will do every day of my life, just like I'll love Abigail and any other children we have every day of my life.

I'm sad to close this space up, but I know its time. What's left to say has already been said. At 3 years I'm more focused on the living we are doing instead of the grieving. This space has been so healing for me. It's been a place to connect to other moms and families going through loss. It's been a place to sort out my emotions and document them along the way. It's been a place where I could grieve out loud. Thank you for listening, for following, for praying. You can continue to follow me onto my next blog journey Sacred Hearts, Simple Lives where I'll blog about common everyday life things.

3 years. Caleb, I had no idea 3 years ago that I had this much love for you in me. I never thought I would lose you and I never thought it would hurt this much. You've changed me forever. I'll close with the scripture verse we chose for your tombstone. It offers me hope on all days and can hopefully offer others hope as well.

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God, have faith also in Me"John 14:1

I love you sweet boy, today, tomorrow, and forever.

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