Thank you for your transparency, Becky.
As I sit over my bowl of soup, tears mixing with the carrots, I find myself looking for a way to get it out. Really get it out. It's like that moment when you know that the dam wants to break. Needs to break. But can't. It's so hard to lose it, unless you can lose it completely. And rarely do you find yourself in a situation that allows that kind of uninhibited freedom. Nothing held back.
My last loss was 3 days before Mother's Day. And this one, a week shy of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. The irony is not lost on me.
I went to a park this morning and in an effort to have something tangible to hang on to- and subsequently let go of- I attempted to do something to honor that which is intangible. Did I do it to make myself feel better? To find the ever-elusive validation? To cry? To ponder? To have people at the park stare at me like I was crazy? To announce my most recent loss to the visible public? To have an excuse to leave work for an hour? To have some pictures to help explain things to do the future kids that I'm not sure I'm ever going to have? To somehow try to capture a loss so deep within my being that words simply do not suffice? I don't have an answer to that question. Mostly what I have right now are questions without any answers. Again? Really? Again? Why us? Why now? Will it ever change? Will it happen next time too? Will there even be a next time? Will I ever feel like a normal person again instead of a socially awkward misfit that just makes everyone else feel uncomfortable? Will the darkness ever go away? Will the grief ever subside?
I don't want to hear social cliches. I know people mean well, but it doesn't help. I'm sorry but it just doesn't. And some days, it makes things worse. Don't tell me it will all work out. Don't ask me what we're going to do next. I'm still just trying to get out of bed and go to work and feed the dogs and wash the dishes. Don't tell me that at least I know I can get pregnant. Don't tell me to just relax. And please. If you have any kindness in your heart. Do not tell me that this happens all the time and a friend of a friend of a sister of a brother of a cousin of a friend at work went through the "exact same thing" and 4 years later in the middle of their adoption, they were surprised and things worked out perfectly, just like they will for me. I'm sorry for their difficult journey. Whoever they are. And for who or what they lost. I really am. There are many who are hurting, and my heart goes out to each one. It really does. But it's not exactly the same. No two experiences are the same. No two children are the same. And no two losses are the same. I don't need anyone to minimize the children I have lost, size, gender, or gestation aside. Children. My children. That I was given. And were then taken away. Before I even had a chance to buy the first onesie.
One very short week ago today, I spent nearly 48 hours under the covers. Reruns of Cake Boss playing from sun up to sun down. Shades drawn. Pillows soaked. Pain so deep that the Morphine might as well have been Gatorade. I don't remember it being this hard last time. Was it this hard last time? The darkness. It feels harder this time. Darker. Angrier. And it settles in. The little moments. Of numbness. Of guilt. Of grief. Of apathy. Of fear. Of confusion. Of rage. Of paralyzation. Of sobbing to the point of vomit. When exhaustion takes over. And in those moments, it feels as though the darkness is here to stay. And that everything I used to know is gone forever. The carefree newlywed with the renewed hopes and dreams is no longer. She dyes her hair. And dyes it back again. And then again. And cuts it. And then cuts a little more. Gets the tattoo that she said she'd never get. All the while grasping, reaching. Feeble attempts to somehow shout out to the world that she isn't the same. To make the outside match the inside.
A friend texted me that day and said "I'm not going to ask how you are, but I am going to ask you what you're doing to survive today." Breathe. Only breathe.
And then the light.
The teeny. Tiny. Sliver. Begins to pierce the pervading gloom. Mostly seen in the kindness and gentleness of the man who has seen me at my worst. Who has literally picked me up off the floor. More than once. Who hasn't left my side. Who has a never-ending supply of patience. Who has put his own plans aside. Who has prayed over me. Who has sat up in the hospital for hours on end. Who has loved me at my ugliest. At my weakest. When I have nothing left to give in return. In the darkest moments when no one can see. Who has, figuratively and in his own way, day after day, wrapped a towel around his waist, bent down, and lovingly and selflessly washed my sad, broken, hurting feet. Who has been a very real picture of what it is to love in sickness and in health. For better or for worse. And who has loved his (at times most unlovable) wife like Jesus does. Who deserves a hug. Some encouragement. A night with the guys. And a medal. And the glimpses of light continue to pour in in the kind words of friends and family who offer simple words of love and support in a text, comment, or "like" even though this isn't their burden to bear and they are likely sick of me clogging up their Newsfeed with my balloons and pictures of baby feet. Who give it their best effort to let me know that I'm not alone and that my little ones, no matter how brief their existences, are remembered. Whose kindness is overwhelming. There is no greater way to love a grieving mom without any children, than to simply acknowledge her loss. You know who you are. Today, especially, I thank you.
As for the women who are expecting? Who are welcoming their newly arrived little ones into the world? I love you. And I love your babies. I may miss your shower, mostly for fear of making a scene that would take away from your day. And I may be a little distant at times. But I love you. And I rejoice with you. I really. Do.
And so. As the loss dates and the due dates begin to run together, I wonder just how I will ever find the shore. And in some moments, I wonder if that shore even exists. And I wonder if He's forgotten about me. Because I feel so. Abandoned. Isolated. Forgotten. Devastated. And Heartbroken. And just when I seem to find dry land, I'm swept out to sea yet again. Where are you? Why have you left me here? I'm so tired. I'm so. Tired. And I don't know how much longer I can keep treading water. You think too much of me. You think too much of me, Lord.
Today I will ask for air. And maybe in a few days, for Hope. And maybe the day after that, for Joy. And then for Gratitude. And soon for Obedience. And then for Glory to the One who deserves it. In the midst of it all. Because this is all just too painful to be for naught.
To my little ones: You are a part of me that is missing. The days, weeks, months, or years are inconsequential to me. I will never let anyone minimize your value. You were fearfully and wonderfully made. Knit together by our Maker with a body, small as it may have been. You have a soul and a name and a place in our family until we meet. And I will always make sure that you are Remembered and thought of with Love, no matter the years that pass on. Your mom loves you. <3
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord's praise,
for He has been good to me.