Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I Have Faith

There are moments in life when the clouds part, and something just makes sense, even if it’s only for a moment. They are not often. They are can not be conjured. When they happen, it's a gift. Fitting for the season...

I’ve been reading this blog:


I feel like I’m reading my own words. Words that swirl in my own brain, but I have trouble crafting into full sentences, so she has done it for me.

Michaela, you are a mother of my heart.

I’ve been questioning my faith a lot.

A lot.

I’m talking deep down, soul shaking, life changing, questioning. What do I believe? Do I even have faith? Most of the time, I’m just angry. Angry at Him for not letting me keep my daughter. Angry that the bottom third of my Christmas tree is neatly arranged, and not loaded with decorations the height of a two-year-old. Angry that my grief affects every single moment of every single day. Angry that I can’t sleep at night because I’m worried my son will die while I rest. Angry that I have to live the rest of my life navigating through being the mother of a child in heaven. The rest of the time is spent begging God to help me make it through the next moment of crushing anxiety, fear, letting go, etc. If doesn’t feel like much of a relationship. It feels desperate, and bitter, and confusing.

But then… I look at my little boy, my miracle boy, and I read a statement like this from Michaela:

"My baby. Baby child, quickening in my womb, you are our greatest leap of faith."


And the sky clears. And the sun breaks through. 
Asher’s existence is proof of my faith. All I have to do is look at him and remember that I had enough faith that God was the giver of good gifts to even attempt to conceive him. I had enough faith to carry another child, knowing full well that he or she could be taken at me from any moment, but believing that he wouldn’t. I have faith each and every time I let myself drift asleep, that there is a God that watches over him while I cannot. I have faith. Even though it is small, and messy, and looks a lot different that the blissful, naïve kind, it is there. I have faith. I have faith. I have faith. The more I say it, perhaps the bigger it will grow.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Today Is Not For Celebrating

As darkness descends on this night, the eve of my daughter’s birth-day two years later, equally dark and unwelcome memories flash through my mind. It should not be this way. I should be fondly remembering the day before I gave birth to her, recalling the night I began to labour, thinking excitedly, this is it! But instead, I must relive the most heartbreaking night of my life. The moments no mother should ever have to endure. I so desperately try and block them out, but yet they play.
Over and over again. 
I watch the scenes as if a bystander, as if that could not possibly have happened to me. It’s simply a horror movie.
But then I feel the pain, and it’s all too real.
It happened.
Perhaps a part of me hopes that by writing the fragments down, I will banish them out of my head, relegated to hang forever hopeless in space and time. One can hope…

Fear.  
Clutching everything. Anything.
The nurse’s face. The doctor’s face. Horror.
Screaming. Bloodcurdling, primal, screams only appropriate for death.
No. No. No.
Silence. Emptiness. Stillness.
Weeping. So much weeping.
Numb.
Mom…our baby…
Men. Clinging to one another.
Numb.
A rotating door of comforters.
Numb.
A sink, dripping. Dripping. Dripping.
So numb.
Darkness.



Thursday, January 16, 2014

Swimming


At the one-year mark, I found my grief shifting.

I’m not saying 12 months was a magical number of healing, or that it even had anything to do with the fact that it was one year, it was simply when I started to notice.

In the days and months that followed coming home from the hospital with empty arms, grief was all encompassing. It was right there, raw, consuming. I expected it around every corner, constant reminders that made me approach life cautiously, knowing the pain was right there, in everything, all the time. I wept, not just cried, each, and every day for almost 6 months straight. The tears were always on the brink of coming, always threatening to expose me, always my companion. Was I depressed? Perhaps, slightly. How can you make it through an earth shattering moment and not be “depressed”? But that term gets thrown around too loosely. No…mostly, I was just learning to live without the daughter I love so deeply.

But, as time went on, I learned to cope. It didn’t mean the grief and the sadness went away. No, not at all. In fact, they just became deeper, more engrained, more real. The shock began to wear off, and the weight of what I will live with through the rest of my life began to set in. But the ability to interact with life, to participate with the day to day, and even smile (though most of the time it was fake), became easier.

And now… now it has shifted to deep within my soul. It lives with me, as it will until the end of my days, and will forever mold me into the woman and parent I am becoming. Though I am not a prisoner to its shackles, I am a friend to its embrace. Grief will forever change me. But, as opposed to its ever-nearness before, now it can spring up and shock me with tears when I least expect it.

It’s like swimming.

Your body is plunged in to an icy, cold pool and for a while, you are frozen. Literally. You can’t move. For awhile, all you can do is float, lungs gasping for breath at the surface, hoping you make it. Then, you begin to flex your fingers, and toes, and legs, and arms. Your body grows accustomed to the cold, and you start to swim. The frigidness is all around you, but you learn to move with it. You even close your eyes and start to enjoy the feel of the water around you - the way it carries you, as you start to feel a little lighter.

And then…

BAM

You smash into the concrete wall on the other side of the pool.

And the pain is just as raw and real and breath-taking.

A gasp at a row of three-year-old ballerinas, knowing you will never swell with pride watching Her on stage.  

A sob in a dark theater, realizing you will never watch Her face light up in Disneyland like hers does on screen.  

A knife in the gut as a child in Target cries out, "Mama!", knowing you will never heard those words on Her lips. 

These moments take you by surprise, and suddenly it all rushes back in an instant.

She is gone.

And it hurts.

Because, I love Her.