“Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.” (Bob Dylan)
Grief has not been linear, but I am moving. I am moving toward newness, and moving away from my old reality at the same time. Pain and beauty are occurring simultaneously. Sadness and hope are traveling side by side. I’m remembering.
The weather shifting into spring is reminding me of a year ago...laughter, anticipation, counting down. The warmth, the gentle breeze, the birds singing...they are all reminding me of carrying her within me. Being together each day. Living life with her life growing inside of my body.
I’m recalling better days and reflecting on what it all looked like before we lost her from our grasp. Before I changed. Before darkness hovered so near. Before the sun became muted and colors stopped sparking. Before life lost its vibrancy. When music was still found all around me. When nature seemed to be set ablaze with glory, and I found comfort much more easily than I do now.
We were in a time of waiting. Of counting down. We had no idea what was coming.
My life is moving in this pattern of loss. It’s still navigating through this grief, as months continue marking the calendar. The twenty second continues to come, and we have only three more before we land at a full blown year. How are we upon month nine?
My mind is looking to that date, while remembering what a year ago looked like. And my mind is also looking to another May date...the arrival of her little brother.
It’s so confusing. My heart is perplexed.
How can all of these emotions exist at the same time? My one body, my one mind, my one soul...on two journeys. They are parallel, but at the same time, they fuse together as one.
I remember, and I feel, both the loss and the hope at the same time. I’m scared to trust, yet I so desperately want to, in the same breath. I visualize her labor and delivery, and dream up his, in the same moment.
I count the weeks and the months from losing her. And I count the weeks and the months to gaining him...or so I pray. Twelve weeks or less...one way or the other I will meet him.
This journey is hard. It’s taking everything out of me. I live in a constant state of exhaustion, and while the world continues forward, I struggle to remain fully present. My thoughts wander. I mentally leave conversations unintentionally. I so desperately want to be focused on the now, but I’m transported from the past to the future in a second. When and how will I recover?
I cry. And I miss. And I long...for her and for him, as I try to fall asleep at night. I wake up constantly, and I look for comfort in his movements. Then I remember doing the same for her, until it suddenly stopped. I want him in, but I want him out. I want him safe, and I wonder if my womb is his safety, after all. And filled with shame I think, I can’t believe she died inside of me.
I look at the baby bed, and I want to clear it of her things, to make a space for him...but I’m terrified about being proactive. How will I wash baby clothes? Prepare for his arrival? Even think about his baptism? The clothes we washed for her still sit in baskets in my closet untouched. The sheets on the crib mattress have gathered dust. The house, deep cleaned as I nested, has become a wreckage. The baptism didn’t happen...a funeral did, instead.
I can’t get my mind to stop. It’s traveling from one space to the other in a constant state of memories, confusion, and dreams for the future. I’m attached to him, and I’m attached to her...and I’m terrified to lose again.
My heart knows that if it is truly God’s will, then I may indeed lose again. And I’m struggling to live in a state of acceptance with that truth. Because right now, I want what I want to be what He wants. And I want to understand. To see the bigger picture. And how this journey ends.