I still have dreams where I can feel Isaac moving inside of me. Those are very good dreams to be in but waking up from them is hard. Sometimes Clint is there with his hands on my belly feeling the kicks, and we are anticipating with joy the day of Isaac's birth. Then I wake up...WHAM!...and remember the dream has already ended far too soon. This kind of dream is normal and part of what mothers who have lost a baby go through. It can be very unsettling and can hang with us the rest of the day.
Another part of the grieving period is letting everyone know and dealing with innocent questions from those who don't. Even though I tried to let everyone know, there are still a few people who don't. In an email the other day, I was asked how the pregnancy was going. WHAM! I was enjoying my day, but that question was unexpected.
There are things you can't anticipate. When people see me with my children in tow, they remember me as "the mom with all of those children." A couple of weeks ago, I was stopped by a brief acquaintance and asked if I was the lady who homeschools and has seven children. She had some questions about homeschooling for me. At the end, she complimented me on my children's behavior and asked if I was going to have any more children. WHAM! I hadn't been prepared for that particular question or realized how much it would hurt.
Sometimes a grieving mother can be just fine, and then something will happen to remind them of their loss. You might not even see what it is that has triggered their sadness. You might not understand why they are quiet or struggling with emotions. Most of us hide it very skillfully, but it's there.
For the mothers who come here who have just lost a baby, there will be those unexpected hard moments. I try to prepare for what I can and have a response in mind. Other than that, I try to show grace to the person who triggered it and rely on my faith in Jesus Christ and the promises He made to get through those moments.
If I can share my story, I do, because there are other hurting people I might be able to help through my experiences. I have discovered many women who have lost children and are silently hurting very deeply. It affects their friendships, faith, and marriages. I have made some of my closest friendships simply because I shared a deep hurt, how it affected me, and how I overcame it. It's not always easy for me to share. Think about how we call it sharing. Sharing our hurts takes something from us, but it gives to the listener who needs it.
Many people grab the shovel that hit them, dig a hole, and bury their pain ..or jump into that hole themselves. In light of the parable of the talents, where God gives men something and expects them to use it, I propose we instead grab the shovel that whacked us in the back of the head and put it to use building a path to other people's hearts for God's glory.
I Peter 1:6-7 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
I Peter 1:22b ...love one another deeply, from the heart.
In honor of our Father Who is worthy!
In memory of Sarah, Rebecca, Josiah, Angel,
Abigail, Benjamin, Isaac, and Mary.