“Prayers and aching in my body, in my lungs. Swear the bones around my heart, are coming undone.” (Audrey Assad, “New Song”)
There’s a heaviness within me. In my heart. In my body. In my mind.
A heaviness that grows as the weight of my belly stretches. A heaviness that seems to coincide with the heaviness of an expanding body, 7 months postpartum, 5 months pregnant...grieving and growing. It’s changing, yet familiar. A reminder of what is gained, because of what was lost. Living under a question mark of uncertainty. Hoping it will all work out. Yet, aware there are no guarantees this side of heaven. As my body grows her little brother, and I look more like I did at the end of her life, I remember.
There’s an aching. A deep longing. A feeling as though things are coming undone. Unraveling at my core.
Confusion. Chaos. Inner turmoil. Seeking. Searching. Begging. Pleading. A restlessness. A cry for help.
“I need a new song.”
This was a terrible week. TERRIBLE. For the first time since losing my little one, my mind was consumed with current life circumstances. It focused on the struggle of the present moment, but it held on to the grief, the past, and the fear that encircles the future. Joy was robbed. Confidence stripped. Certainty succumbed to despair.
I found myself trapped in lies, worries, and anxieties of things I wanted to escape. I was a prisoner to pettiness and irrational thoughts. My anger erupting. My doubt returning. My discontentment brewing. I wanted freedom, yet couldn’t find a way out.
And all the while, my grief was building. Layer, upon layer, upon layer that I unwillingly stuffed down, because life was happening all around me. And I couldn’t stop it. And it was too much. And I was just plain exhausted and had minimal time to process. But I can never outrun the sadness. It hunts me down as it’s victim.
She felt so far, my little girl. And I got so wrapped up in anger, resentments, and frustrations with people that I forgot that SHE is the reason I am making big decisions. Life changing decisions. Decisions for my family. Decisions for me. Decisions to simplify and put into practice this new perspective I have since she left me. She is my reason for needing “a new song.”
All week the emotions were right at the surface. My tears ready to fall at any second. I kept moving and trying to breathe through each miserable moment, desperately searching for confirmation that life was heading in the right direction.
But I felt misunderstood. Betrayed. Alone. My grief and pain felt forgotten. The reality of my life seemed dismissed by the outside world. And with that, because I know what happened...MY BABY DIED...the finality of such a catastrophic loss set in deeply. And it broke me in two, splitting me wide open, and my wounds ran raw.
I went to the Lord in the most Blessed Sacrament. I presented my brokenness. I offered my trauma. I relived the nightmare. I remembered what it was like to hold her and see her again. To really see her...not just in a picture. The memory so fresh. So alive. So painful.
And I begged. I begged to be rescued. I begged for a “new song.” My tears mingled into my hair, my skin, my shirt, the kneeler of the chapel...cascading down onto the floor that I began to sink into deeply. Forty five minutes of tears that cried over my lifetime. Yet, it only felt like moments. Memories of a childhood lost. The prominent and permanent question of WHY and remembering how I felt as a little girl... Alone. Scared. Wanting to die. Begging to be rescued.
And here I am, decades later, begging for the same. But not for a way out. Or for an escape. But a way through... Pleading for a Helper. A Comforter. A Healer. A Protector.
I find myself spiritually standing in the face of the enemy, being persecuted, hunted, and beaten down. And I want to win.
But how does that happen when I am drowning in a typhoon of grief that has knocked me under? Tears all morning. Tears all afternoon. Tears all day. It slammed me, leaving me feeling so defeated.
I went to confession today, and as I approached the church, I saw her grave in the distance. Her flowers drawing my eyes to where her body rests. And it was another reminder of this finality. My baby is gone. Forever. How have people forgotten? How can people expect me to be the same? Function the same? I am NOT the same.
I am learning who I am. And who I am is new. And who I am needs change. Who I am needs “a new song.”
So I am letting the grief fall over me. I am submitting to the deep sorrow. The ache. The void. The hole within.
And with an expectant desperation, “I am waiting in the night, for you, Lord.” Waiting for a NEW SONG.