Friday, June 9, 2017

The Flow of Grief

Hi's me.  I know it's been awhile.  This may sound weird and maybe even impossible, but when I last wrote I talked to you about the dark times I was in.  They were dark.  And I needed to get out of them for awhile.  So I really had to take a moment and put my grief on hold for a moment.  I had to literally decide that I wasn't going to let myself "go there." I had to turn off the faucet of grief that was flowing at full speed and decide to be present in my current family.  Some of you may be wondering why I don't just go to this place all the time?  Shut off my grief. Move on. Be happy with the children I have.

Let me tell you why....that is impossible.

It's impossible because weeks like this week will pop up.  It hasn't been lost on me that this week I should be bringing home my baby boy.  His due date is Sunday, which means they would've delivered me by now and my baby Benjamin should be coming home to be a part of our little family.  But the reality is that he's not.  And so as much as it pains me to do pains me worse not to....I slowly turn the faucet back on.  I let the grief back in.  With every birth announcement on Facebook or Instagram (as luck would have it there are quite a few,) the flow increases, the wounds open.  Gosh how I wish my happiness and excitement for these families didn't come with the pain of aching arms.  My happiness for my friends is tainted with jealousy and sadness and as horrible as that may sound to you, I don't know how to change that reality.  And so the water flows...

I am lost in my world of wonder.  What would Benjamin look like? Handsome like his daddy or cute dimples like his mom? How would his brothers react to having a new baby in the house?  Would Noah be gentle and take on the roll of older brother? How would Jonah adapt to not being the baby anymore? Would Ben be a happy, easy going baby as I prayed he would be or would he want to be with his mom 24/7? Would nursing come easy or would it be a struggle?  I wonder about so many things.

And my arms, they remain heavy and yet empty.  Turning 38 a few weeks ago, I feel the pressure of my biological clock constantly asking the question, "Will you try again? Will you risk pregnancy again knowing full well what pain could come with it? Will you allow yourself to be vulnerable to the scrutiny of others as you even consider bringing another child upon the earth?" It feels like "now or never" and yet there are so many unknowns.  Not all pregnancies are bows and balloons.  I know that reality all to well.  And yet my family feels incomplete.  Benjamin was a very wanted member of our family.  Can another child fill that void?

Next week, Tom and I will be leaving our boys for 6 days and heading out to Northern Wisconsin to a retreat house called "Faith's Lodge."  It was started by a family who lost their daughter, Faith, and decided in her legacy to open a house for families to come to and retreat from the world and also process the grief of losing a child.  With two busy toddlers, we haven't had a lot of intentional time to really grieve.  We also are in desperate need of respite and release.  It'll be hard to leave our children behind, though they are in excellent hands, and take this time for ourselves.  Maybe when we come back we will come back with a greater peace in our hearts and know the direction our family will take next.

If you wouldn't mind please spare a small prayer for our family this coming week.  Obviously for safe travels for us and for my parents as they care for our boys (God bless them...they don't know what they signed up for!) But also pray that whatever God wants to do with us that we would be open to His healing touch and allow ourselves to enter in to His loving arms.