I can’t even remember the past week…I feel like I was living it asleep.
But life has sort of forced me out of the fog and into the land of the living.
Nobody sends you a map showing you how to find your way through the journey of grieving and healing; everyone sort of needs to forge her own way through it. It looks different for everyone, and you sort of make it up as you go along.
It’s been hard. I won’t lie about that. But, it’s getting better. Maybe I wouldn’t say that. Maybe it is more that it is ‘less bad.’
I’m not intentionally trying to make progress. I don’t think grief works like that; you can’t ‘try.’
But if I had to assess, on most levels – physically, emotionally, and spiritually – I think I’m mostly spiraling up.
Physically, it’s a mixed bag. The good news is that I am not as nauseous, tired, or bloated. My boobs are getting less sore. Physically, I am feeling more like myself. The bad news is that my uterus is hanging on to this little one. The sack and fetal pole stopped growing, but they are still attached and intact. That’s not what my doctor was hoping for.
Technically, I lost this little one probably right after my 8 week sonogram. That was three weeks ago, and there is no sign of my body naturally letting this go. If there is no bleeding or if the sonogram doesn’t show any changes, my doctor will give me medication to ‘force’ it along. He suggested we wait until the weekend to do this. “It’s a pretty wicked 24 hours,” he said.
(Great! So excited to have this to look forward to this weekend!)
Emotionally, it’s getting a little better, too. The tears are less frequent. I can actually talk about it without crying. I don’t know if it is numbness or healing setting in, but I am less emotional. Good or bad? Not sure.
I still have my trigger-moments. This week definitely had some sensitive spots, as it was this week last year that I found out I was pregnant the first time.
As all of Long Island has been reminiscing about Hurricane Sandy, all I’ve been doing is reliving every moment of that week as it related to my first pregnancy: trying to get to the doctor’s office while I had no phone, no heat, no hot water, no electricity. There were gas shortages and mazes of downed trees blocking every route of passage. I was worried that I was breathing in toxic fumes from all the candles I had lit in my house to try to generate some light and heat. Those were my first days as an expectant mother.
So this week, I have been reliving two losses. All in a year’s time. Told you I’ve always been an over-achiever.
Spiritually, things are loosening up. I haven’t really been able to talk to God about this too much. But this week, there was some breakthroughs in our conversation. I finally just said to Him, ‘Say something! I need You to say something about this!’
It kind of felt like when you are going through something – good or bad – and your closest friend or the person who means the most to you stays silent. Doesn’t say anything. Doesn’t acknowledge it. What the heck? Say something! Don’t just ignore this!
And I felt like He did. It came in a very unexpected way. I was home after work cooking dinner, and my husband was in the living room watching TV. He was actually watching some cartoon on the Christian channel about Jesus’ death and what happened when He showed up after His resurrection.
First, seeing the story told in that way made me realize just how unjust His death was, even from a human perspective. These Jewish religious leaders plotted His murder – His murder! And the Father allowed it – the murder of His own Son in order to save mankind from death as well.
So, I was at the sink cleaning some dishes, and I just heard Jesus say to my heart, ‘I love your baby, Kate.’ And as my eyes started welling up with tears, I realized that He knew my baby and He loved her (I feel like it was girl. Just my feeling). He would take care of her. She is special and precious to Him. He knows her.
And then, I realized how important Jesus’ death and resurrection is in all this.
If Jesus, who had all of perfection in eternity – heaven, a perfect relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit, no pain, suffering, no ugliness, no loss – was willing to give all of that up to experience all the pain and suffering we feel, to enter into our suffering and loss – and then to look death in the face, experience it Himself, conquer it and come out on the other side – if He did all of this to make sure death would never be the permanent answer to our losses, to make sure my goodbye to my babies wouldn’t be forever, to make sure they would live and so would I and we would be reunited again – couldn’t I trust Him with them? Couldn’t I trust Him with this?
Hasn’t He already proven how much He has invested into making sure that death never need be final? Making sure I wouldn’t be facing this loss with sheer hopelessness that my babies were gone forever? At so much personal loss to Himself, He entered into death to make sure death would never have the last say or be the final victor. For our sake.
Couldn’t I trust His judgment? Trust the goodness of His heart?
He is not a distant by-stander, watching this unfold from afar. He has already gone through to the heart of pain and suffering and death itself to defeat it (when He didn’t have to), and certainly, He knows the way to walk me through to the other side as well.
If He willing chose to go through all that, in order to be able to identify with us – with our sorrow, our loss, our grief – to rescue us, to save us – could I trust Him that He knows what He is doing? That it would be impossible for Him to do (or allow) anything that didn’t have its source in His perfect love for me?
So, while I wouldn’t say things are ‘back to normal’ spiritually for me, my heart is softening. Not that I would say that it was hard- maybe just a little numb. A little lost.
And I’ve been in situations before that were different but kind of feel that same; I know He will walk me through and that He will get me through. I know He won’t leave.
And I feel like that gives my heart freedom and room to just go through these feelings and thoughts – even the ugly ones – knowing He won’t abandon me because of them. He is patiently by my side, letting me go through this at my own pace. No pressure.
So, for the first time in weeks, maybe longer, I’m feeling something that has escaped me for a long time – since before I was pregnant, probably even before that:
It’s not ‘peace like a river,’ it’s not peace with my circumstances, it is not the peace of understanding or acceptance. It is just a quietness in my soul. A stillness. A lack of frenzied mental activity. A lack of trying to figure things out. A lack of questions. A lack of worry. It is just still.
Maybe it is just a ‘worn-out’ stillness, when there is nothing left to do or try. An exhausted rest of coming to the end of struggling, striving, figuring.
My soul is quiet tonight. And even if it is just a brief respite from the tears and grief, I am grateful peace found me tonight.
[Photo Credit: Lutonomy]