Watching a friend experience the loss of their baby and the grief that remains can feel so helpless. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one-size fits all” approach to support a grieving friend through loss, but there are many ways to be supportive. When my daughter died at 33-days-old, it was the first loss of this type…
It has brought me to more tears and to my knees more in the last week than I have been in the last year.
Watching, begging and praying.
For someone else’s baby to live.
I obviously know what it feels like to do that for my own babies. To sob so heavily as I beg God to please just let his heart keep beating. Let me know what he feels like in my arms.
His mother’s arms.
And I know what it feels like to grieve the loss of others. Women I’ve ‘met’ through blogs or groups. To grieve with them after their loss.
This was new.
To know baby. To have held him. To have cuddled him and snuggled him and think about how much he reminded me so of my sweet little Luke. To mold what he felt like in my arms because he just felt.so.good and these days…knowing there are no more babies in for us…I am soaking up every bit of baby I can anywhere I can.
I volunteered two weeks ago to watch some little ones at church for the morning. I have always loved volunteering for nursery duty…for an infertile woman, it’s a very win-win way to get somewhat of a baby-fix.
I was blessed with some sweeties that morning. Grant was one. Eight months and sweet-smelling. Yep. I pretty much had volunteered for the best thing ever that day. He was smiley, easy and happy. He and his sister were dressed in the most adorable way for Valentine’s Day, and I had the best morning snuggling and tending to them.
Three days later, I volunteered again and wound up in the same room as his Mommy. We had a full house that morning, and poor Ashley got to hear me just warble at all the crawlers, trying to keep them from being upset if only because a crazy lady was singing Jesus songs to them. She was my kind of gal…loving on and taking care of those babies with such compassion and care. As if they were her very own.
Imagine, then, if you will, barely a week later, learning her Grant was critically ill. He suffered a bathroom accident, which led him to be hospitalized and and doctors did not expect him to survive.
Shock. Horror. Disbelief. Sickness.
I remembered. I remembered having a critically ill baby boy. Doctors not expecting him to survive and me being so, so, so sure he would. God was going to give us a miracle in saving Matthew’s life.
I just knew it.
Grant has been fighting valiantly all this week. Yesterday, at 1:40 pm, he took his last breath in his mother’s arms. At the hospital, doctors learned that he had an aneurysm near his heart, and the complications from that led to his death.
I barely have the ability to type because I am overwhelmed with the heartbreaking emotion of this situation.
I know what so many people must have felt about us. How shocking it was. How they desperately wanted to do something…anything…to make it better.
And I know, sadly, that there isn’t anything humanly possible.
This is so hard.
It’s hard because it is not about me. Not my child. Not my decisions. Not my grief.
And yet…try is I might…I can’t get over how much this hurts.
I, like so many others, am heartbroken for this family. For their loss. For the road I know is ahead of them.
But I’d be lying if I said the reliving wasn’t taking its toll on me.
The ironic part of all of this was that this month, I planned to write about how I didn’t feel like ‘grieving’ was a word that could define me anymore. I grieve, no doubt. Regularly.
But before this week, I have to be honest and say that I was going to hammer out a different word…a word that didn’t seem so heavy and isolating, yet maintained the respect that my dead children deserve and honored my right to break down at any moment for the rest of my life simply recognizing the weight of my losses.
A word that said, “Every day, I remember. Every day, there is a pang of wistfulness. Every day I am keenly aware of what should have been. But every day, I am happy. Every day, I am filled with a joy that I never dreamed possible. Every day, even days that I am overwhelmed with grief, I am more overwhelmed with gratitude.”
I don’t know that such a word exists.
And if it did…today, I must admit—my heart is so heavy. So heavy for the loss of that sweet little boy. So heavy for the losses of my sweet little boys. So heavy for the losses of ALL sweet little boys and girls…losses of which no mother’s heart should ever bear. Just so heavy.
Today—grieving just doesn’t even come close to being heavy enough.
Please continue to keep Grant’s family in your prayers.