Grief is a funny thing. You’ll be chugging along, everything is great and life is good, and then BOOM. You’re knocked to your knees out of nowhere.
I recently had a day like this.
Sundays are difficult in general. I get the three kids up and ready for church, and often have to deal with my oldest fighting tooth and nail. He wants to stay home with daddy. The girls go into the nursery easily, but Bug cries and throws a fit when it’s time for him to go into his Sunday School class. Instead of a morning of peaceful reflection and refreshment, I find myself harried, stressed out, and wondering why I even bother to go through this every week.
But I know the reason. I know that I promised to do so. And I know that it is what I want for them. To be raised in a religious environment because I need help in providing them with the morals and values I would like them to learn.
But I digress. Last Sunday, I went through this routine, but eventually made it to my Sunday School class. I look forward to SS. First off, it is filled with people who have become very close friends over the last several years. We all have children in the same age range, several of us have experienced the loss of a full term baby, and we are all actively trying to find and promote peace in our worlds.
We discuss important themes and try to apply the teachings to our contemporary lives. Right now, we are studying the book The Five Love Languages. If you have never read the book, it is an amazingly insightful look into why we have conflicts in our relationships. The book teaches us to understand and speak the love “language” of those around us, particularly our significant other. So we’re talking about the assigned chapter, which is about “Gifts” and the class moderator asked all of us what we considered to be a gift that our spouse gives us. Not material gifts (although it could be I suppose) but the special gifts that make us feel loved.
I was the only person in the room without my spouse. When it came to my turn, and I tried to describe what a good gift would be for me, I found myself getting very emotional. I told them that it would be the greatest gift if my husband was there with me. I wish that we shared a commitment to our faith. I wish that he at least acknowledged how important it was to me, and went anyway.
So the tone of the morning was set. I just kept tearing up through church. A beautiful baby girl was baptized, and her brother sang a little song for her. I cried. I felt so alone.
And I missed my baby girl tremendously.
Since Kathryn is buried in the garden at the church, I often visit her after the service is over. This time, as soon as I knelt by her stone, I was absolutely overwrought with emotions, and I sobbed. For the first time in a very long time. I let it all go.
And then I pulled myself together, dried my eyes, and went to collect my three children. I survived the rough waters and hoped to be sailing toward calmer seas.
Although the moment had passed, it reminded me that somewhere deep inside, those feelings of grief and sadness still fester.
I guess they always will.
If you have suffered through the loss of a pregnancy, infant, or child, please know that you are not alone. Come join our community at Sunshine After the Storm.