What I Want To Tell You…A Year Later.
I am five days away from the year anniversary of a D&C.
It wasn’t like walking into the hospital overdue and walking out a day later, having to get into a car with an empty carseat…anticipating the baby that would never sit in it.
That was a hell all its own.
But it was hell, of that you can be sure.
It was not just some ‘procedure.’
It was the deliberate (and horrific) removal of a baby I’d begged God for. A perfectly formed, healthy and sweet baby boy…who just days earlier had been sucking his precious little thumb as I watched on ultrasound.
There have been many things I’ve wanted to say in this past year. I’ve begged God for strength for some and grace to refrain from others.
I want to tell you that it is NOT like yours. You may be able to compare our procedures, but our situations and circumstances were very, very different. Don’t belittle mine because you handled yours differently.
I want you to know that you were right. It was not like losing Matthew at all. It was completely different, with its own horrors and nightmares, because he was a completely different child. A completely different beating heart I dreamed of meeting one day. But don’t mistake being different for being easier. It’s not. And if it was, you don’t get to tell me it is.
I want you to know that I understand you didn’t know how to help me grieve like you helped me with Matthew. I know that pregnancy and infant losses are difficult situations to navigate through as they are…and that it seems waters are so much more muddied with miscarriage. I know that even though your hearts hurt for me, you still couldn’t understand it to be as great a loss as Matthew was, and therefore didn’t feel the need to be as heavily supportive as you were with Matthew. I get it. I love you.
I do not have much grace for you, though. You, who helped me sift through names for him and wondered if he’d look like Matthew and Luke…only to question why I even named him once we lost him….for you, though I won’t say it out loud, the taste of hypocrisy is strong in my mouth.
I won’t lie. I do not understand you completely. You, who have your own loss and identify with me, but then when you get pregnant again, are so much more quick to dismiss your loss as ‘one of those things’ and wonder why mine are still so heavily woven in our daily lives. You think you are emotionally so healthy again and wonder why I can’t just be like you…thinking that if your dead child had lived, you’d never have this Rainbow you now carry or have. I understand where you coming from. I do. That had Matthew lived, Luke never would be sifts through my mind on a regular basis, and often leaves me desperate for a way to process that concept and still be a good mother to both children. I’m not ok, though, with one child for another. And, I guess I’ve taken my miscarriage differently than you have yours. While I do not understand you, I’ll say this…we all do whatever we have to do to get through the hardest thing in our lives. I’ll never judge your grief or how you go about it. I just don’t always understand it. But don’t judge me for that.
Then again, you don’t understand mine, do you? You wonder why I seem to dwell. Why I can’t just ‘move on’ and enjoy the amazing little boy I have in Luke.
Here’s the thing. I do. I enjoy every.single.second I have with Luke. I am grateful beyond grateful. It is because of the joy I have with him that I am so very aware, every day, of the same joys and contentments that are missing as I miss my other children. Were you to lose an eye, you’d think your remaining one was priceless, no doubt. You’d be grateful for it and never take it for granted. But let’s be real. It would also always remind you of how much more amazing things could be with both. We are human. It’s natural to feel that way. Don’t assume I’m not grateful or that my remembrance is dwelling.
My remembrance is as innate in my existence as is breathing.
I want you to know that I am so thankful for you. You, who have never shied away from those tough questions or those talks that just made your heart hurt for me. Even if you didn’t know what to say, that you make yourself available, even as you may be or are hurting yourself, is a blessing.
I want you to know that every time you say or write his name or acknowledge his existence, my heart leaps. To be the only one who gives your baby’s beating heart any credibility is very isolating, and you recognizing his life mattered is beyond validating. Thank you.
Mostly, if you are reading this and relating, I want you to know I understand. I empathize…and we all know that only those who have been here can do that. If you are finding you can barely take the next breath, much less still stand, I.GET.YOU. If you think your life will never, ever have joy again…true, honest and real joy…believe me when I say my heart aches in communal longing with yours.
That’s why its most important that you know that I am not just still standing, but jumping. Up and down. Hands waving. Exuberantly and triumphantly.
Sometimes out of sheer joy and disbelief that after the losses I’ve suffered I could be this happy and sometimes out of frustration and despair, wishing it was so, so different.
If you feel like you cannot relate to this, and there’s no way one can have a child in the ground and another viciously robbed from her and still say she is exuberantly and triumphantly living, I want you to go take a look at my blog a little over three years ago. Look at how I planned to just stop eating and die. Look at my crisis of faith. Look at how *I* did not believe blogs or articles where a mother lost a child or children and still was able to claim joy. I found them to be hokey and just not realistic, and if I am really honest, I judged them. I did not believe they loved their children as much as I loved mine, or felt they’d lost as much as I felt I’d lost.
But I was wrong.
Yes, in spite of you or because of you, I am not just standing.
I’m living with outrageous gratitude and unrestrained joy in a life that has delved into the deepest pits of heartache…and still visits there somewhat regularly.
You read that right. OUTRAGEOUS gratitude and UNRESTRAINED joy.
And I want you to know.