"There is nothing we can do with suffering except to suffer it." C.S. Lewis
After writing my last post I enjoyed a couple days with limited "suffering" - meaning I was able to find joy in small things, cry a little less and sleep a little better. I imagine my body and brain needed a break from the unbearable sadness I had been experiencing the days and weeks before, so I welcomed them. I didn't allow myself to feel guilty about feeling relief, as those negative feelings didn't serve me.
After those days were over, the roller coaster of emotions started back up, and here I am...again. That's the thing about my days - some are good, some bad and I never know which I'm going to get when I wake up. Sometimes I get both - in the same day. A good day can often go bad quickly. A bad day can also get better, although not nearly as quickly!
All day today my heart has been heavy, but tonight I gave in and let it overtake me.
I am reminded DAILY of my loss, sometimes hourly...everything around me screams "YOU HAVE NO BABY." The good days I'm able to acknowledge these things and continue on. The bad days I let them linger and get the best of me, sometimes causing me to be extremely angry and other days just turning into tears that flow uncontrollably, sometimes both.
I awake and there's silence.
After showering I stand in my closet and look at the maternity clothes that I have to keep wearing because many of my other clothes still don't fit.
I pass by pictures of a child, my child, that only spent a brief moment in my arms.
There are plants that need watering, gifts that need thank you notes and books on grief that need to be read.
Sympathy cards and 'thinking of you' cards still trickle in.
Laundry soap specifically purchased to wash baby clothes and cloth diapers still sits near the washer.
Medical bills for a baby that never came home.
The closed door that belongs to her nursery filled with baby items I don't know what to do with.
There is a wooden box sitting on my mantle that holds my baby instead of my loving arms.
Frozen meals still fill my freezer, serving as reminders of the extra time I thought I wouldn't have.
Every time I leave the house to go somewhere there is no car seat in the backseat.
I can't go into public without being asked, "How are you?" or "How's your day?" - generic but polite questions that leave me wanting to scream, "I'm awful, how are you?" or "Actually pretty crappy, you?" but after they politely ask I politely respond what they expect me to - "I'm OK" or "Good, and you?"
My physical body - the extra weight, loose skin and weak muscles that no longer have a purpose but serve as a CONSTANT reminder of my loss.
Taking the dogs for a walk with no stroller to tow the precious cargo I imagined I'd have.
There are pregnant women everywhere - their big beautiful bellies leave me longing for mine again - because at least when she was inside me she was alive and belonged to me.
My calendar reminds me of all the days that have passed since she left us. That same calendar is now filled with therapy sessions, grief support group meetings and a return to work date that looms over me, all making me want to throw up.
A to-do list that includes items that I've done and have yet to do: cancel newborn photos, call the daycare, the therapist, the insurance company, follow up on autopsy results.....
A baby's cry in church.
Facebook statuses filled with beautiful photos and updates of children and families.
Songs on the radio, billboards for Children's Hospital, magazines specifically for parents and babies in the doctor's office waiting room.
The same evening routine: husband comes home, dinner, discussion, a little television and bed - reminding me that nothing has changed, yet everything is different.
This is my life now. I look in the mirror and barely recognize the woman staring back at me. Who is she? How did she get to this place? Will she always be this sad? When will she truly trust and allow God to fill her with peace?
After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10
I long for the day I am restored and strengthened.
Today is not that day. Today the emptiness and grief have taken over, bringing me to my knees.
Lord, I don't know why you have brought me down this path. I don't know what purpose I serve in all of this. I don't know why I couldn't have had her for just a little longer. Help me to get through this. Help me to trust you - take away this unbelief and replace it with trust. Give me the wisdom I need to recognize and accept this as a part of your plan. Surround me with people who build me up and return me to you. Fill this gaping hole in my heart with your love and presence.