Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sunlight and Shadows

It's been 2 years.
2 years since that first day of hurt.
2 years since the sadness began.
The sadness that doesn't quite go away.

I was surprised at how much I was dreading this day.
I don't know why I thought it wouldn't be a big deal.
It clearly is.
But in the past week or 2, I'd find myself startled by grief.
Grief that seemed out of place.
After all, it's been 2 years.
And we have Davy now.

That's when this whole tangle of emotions begins to twist inside me.
When I was first pregnant with David, a few well meaning people said to me, "see, now you'll have this one. It will help so much. Imagine, without the miscarriage, you wouldn't have this baby."
They were right.
I wouldn't give up my Davy for the world.
But does that mean I have to be glad, or thankful, for losing the baby before him?
I know that isn't what they meant.
But no matter which way I look at it, it doesn't make sense.
Loss doesn't make sense.
It just hurts.
There is no explaining it, no figuring it out.
It stings and burns and you don't have to find the good in it.
I am allowed to say I am glad for Davy, but also that I am so, so sad that I never knew that other baby.
Yes, still.
I won't ever be able to explain how I can be in the sunlight and the shadows at once, but sometimes I am.

The thing about my miscarriage is that it was also the start down a dark road for Aaron and I.
Or maybe we'd been headed down that road already but we hadn't acknowledged it yet.
I can't help but look back on that time with some deep, deep aching in my heart.
I can't help but think of that loss, too.

Those days seem like a life time ago.
Much of that darkness has been lifted.
With hard work, many tears and infinite amounts of grace, God has redeemed us.
Through it all, I have fallen more in love with my husband than ever before.
But more importantly, I have fallen more in love with Jesus.

God has used these trials, these hurts, and my loss, to shape me.
I understand things now that I never did before.
I have compassion and understanding that I didn't have before.
You can say to me, "I am struggling in my marriage," and I won't judge you, or be surprised.
I will say, "I've been there."
I will be real with you.

You can tell me how much you miss your baby.
Even if that baby was no bigger than an apple seed.
And I will cry with you and I will say, "I know."
Because I have lost, I can walk with others who have, too.
And I want to.
Because no one should walk through loss alone.

I recently re-read one of my favorite books, The Yearling.
One of the characters in the book, a young boy, passes away.
His family is full of rough and tumble men.
All his stoic, taciturn older brothers don't know how to deal with their grief.
When Penny, a man who along with his wife, has lost many babies, arrives, his loss allows him to bring them comfort.
From The Yearling:
"The talk broke over Penny in a torrent.  The relief of words washed and cleansed a hurt that had been in-growing.  He listened gravely, nodding his head from time to time.  He was a small staunch rock against which their grief might beat.  When they finished and fell quiet, he talked of his own losses.  It was a reminder that no man was spared.  What all had borne, each could bear.  He shared their sorrow, and they became a part of his, and the sharing spread their grief a little, by thinning it."

Isn't that a beautiful description of the way we can share one another's hurts?
Sitting here now, after loss and hurt and searing grief, there is sunlight in the shadows.
The sunlight is that I can be the comfort the way others were to me.
On one of my hurting days, my sister-in-law reminded me of the verse, "in this world you will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world."
God did not promise a life free from pain.
We live in a fallen world and pain abounds.
But He promises that in the end, the hurt will be overcome.
And He promises comfort.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ." (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

The kids and I have been learning the hymn, How Firm a Foundation.
It is beautiful.--one of my favorites.
This verse describes so aptly the last 2 years of my life.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not harm thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine."

I cannot say yet, that I would have chosen these trials.
What I can say is that I am grateful for the opportunity to offer that comfort I received to someone else.
I could choose anger and bitterness.
Or I can choose to let Him consume my dross. 
I can choose to let Him refine me.
I'm trying.

Love from,


Anonymous said...

I love you.
And I'm sorry.
I'm hurting for you, today.

Anonymous said...


I know this loss as well. My beautiful boy was stillborn full term 12 years ago this year. I have three more children since he died. But they don't replace him. He was my son and a mum just can never forget. It doesn't seem to matter how much time has passed, some years are easier on the anniversary and others seem like the first again. There is no rhyme or reason to grief, you just have to ride the roller coaster and allow God's grace to carry you. I too have people say, but you wouldn't have these children. Maybe, maybe not. Who knows. But I DID have another baby and I cannot look at it like a trade, it's a loss. And if someone asked me if I could do it all again and erase that part of my life, I would say no. I cannot erase that part because I cannot erase him - I would not trade him for having less pain. He was my child, even if I only got him for a short time (in the womb). This was enough to make him a part of me forever (but oh how I wish I got longer). But here is my favourite quote regarding this loss and grief, the risk that love is. I hope it means as much to you as it does to me, and you continue to risk love...

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell"
C.S. Lewis, "The Four Loves"

Betsi* said...

I will never forget your sweet little one and the pain that bound us together during our shared experience. You brought such comfort to me when the Lord brought you into that ER waiting room almost two years ago. With one glance your heart read mine and you held me and cried with me.
You were Romans 12:15 for me. And I'm so thankful that you are willing to be open with us and give voice and validation to we women who have lost very little ones. I'm not alone. thank you.

Katie @ minivan diva said...

God will continue to use your loss and wisdom to bring comfort to others as He continues to provide comfort for you. Beautiful post.

j e n n i f e r said...

sending love.

hannah singer said...

darling greta. i love you. i am sorry for your sadness. for your loss.
so comforted by your words here, thank you for sharing your tender heart! and oh how i love that hymn!

hugs. praying for you.

hennymats said...

sniff. sigh. wiping a little tear out of the corner of my eye.

will be thinking of you.

betsy_diamond said...

thank you for this. today is one month since i miscarried, and i was feeling very alone with that loss tonight. thank you for sharing your shadows, because they truly have brought some light to me. i'm sorry for your loss.

betsy_diamond said...

thanks for your very kind comments. i've been reading your blogs for a few months and always find inspiration and encouragement.

Skin and Blister said...

I know the feeling.

Have you read 'Mister God this is Anna' by Fynn ?

It's been my favourite for a very long time and there's a big message in there that brings me comfort. I think you would like it x

Lori said...

I have my own such anniversary coming up. We have lost three to miscarriage~with the first we too would not have had Selah if little Jada Praise had survived...but the loss is still there.
The last was by far the hardest coming 5 years after our youngest had been born...I desperately wanted another baby even those Judah would have been #9...Although that in itself causes grieving issues~What right do I have to grieve when I had 8 beautiful children...
Praying for you through this time of grief.
Keep up the God work.