Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Waves

One of the best word pictures I received about grief was from a friend who is also my banker. Louise has also buried a child and that makes her my instant friend.
It helps that in my first few days of loss, she responded compassionately to me as I deposited a cashiers check one day, and then tried to deposit the carbon copy of the same check the next day.
She also understood my desperation was more important than her customers on the day when I wouldn't release her hand as she slid some paperwork towards me.
Anyway, Louise told me one time, that her grief was like an ocean tide. There were days when the waves were out to sea and she could view her sadness from a distance. Then there were times, when she waded, ankle-deep in the gentle daily grief. Some days, she was treading neck-deep, sometimes she was drowning. She also said that sometimes, she would be walking along a dry sandy shore and a rogue wave would tumble over her, leaving her tumbling, choking, wet and wondering where the grief came from.

I am missing Jae deeply this week.
Maybe it is because of school getting out,..summer is here. Graduation ceremonies she never had. Jobs she will never hold. Vacations she will never take.

It could be that I am looking through the scholarship applications for several beautiful wonderful kids. A scholarship which exists because Jae Lynn has been killed.

Maybe I miss her because I found her cards and letters that she has given to me over the years. Seeing her handwriting and notes to me reminds me that Jae Lynn was here.

Maybe I miss her because the night sky is beautiful and the moon is casting a silvery glow on the house, barn and yard where she played and partied. Full moon nights make me feel closer to her.

Maybe because during these nights when I am outside, I hear the whippoorwills again. They haven't spent a season here since,......she and I listened to them together a couple of weeks before....you know....

It made me miss Jae Lynn when Alicia's friend came and spent some time in our living room last night visiting Casey. He was very close to Alicia and he wondered if I "knew who he was". It touched me that he is still so profoundly impacted by Alicia's absence. He talked with reverence.
There probably are a hundred others who feel the same way about all three girls.

This morning, as we have many times before, Louise and I spoke as I conducted my banking business. We talked about this and that,...and then I asked her: "How are you".
Asking that question is really just a way to say,.."I understand."
She and I parted as we usually do,...both of us quiet, pensive and misty-eyed.

As I navigate this rogue wave of grief, I am reminded that my healing has come from focusing my mind and my heart on Heaven. Our last day/week of my Bible study encourages me to look for the glorious in the middle of our daily circumstances. The pain of life can distract us from watching and remembering that God has a plan for all of this.

The great thing about God is that He knows we are prone to sit in the pain rather than seek Him.
Thank Heavens He does not leave us there, but constantly calls us to follow Him.

I'm tryin,..I'm tryin... I'm tryin.....

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

you are doing it...you are doing it...you are doing it. my heart is full and my eyes are as well as the tears brim over. thank you for sharing your grief and in doing so, sharing your gift to inspire and encourage.

you taught me this weekend in a class called "weepy seeds" at the national "seeds of hope" gathering for bereaved parents in saint Louis (where i am from). i want to thank you for being you. for picking up your cross, the cross of being a grieving parent, and for carrying it along side so many others in a way that makes us want to pick up our crosses and keep moving forward towards God...even if it's just one baby step at a time.

i went to the gathering after bumping into the st. louis chapter's bereaved parent website last week. my angels were busy getting me there and then present the entire saturday through as i moved from one amazing talk to the next.

my husband and i have five angels in heaven("leo" '05,"t" '05,"tucker" '06, "lilly" '06, and "nina" '07) and two on earth reilly and morgan ages 7 and 5.

at times i doubt the intensity of the loss and grief i feel as a bereaved parent, full of rational reasons to prove my grief is not "normal" or "acceptable"...i only knew them inuetero for just 9 or sometimes a blessed 13 weeks. Why then do i miss them so? Why do i have a sense of each ones little ones personality? why do i long to smell them and hold them in my arms and touch them "again" when the only caress we experienced was of my body carrying their tiny developing selves within me. each one a blessings, and each one calling me closer to my God in thier short lived lives. my husband hates when i say that, "my God"...thinking it is coming from a place of ego or of separateness...but it really speaks for me. my God. i mean it to relect an intimacy and a related-ness...like "my Father" or "my Mother". My God.

my 5 little warriors...they came into this world knowing their lives would be short lived, but they lived them mightily, calling to me from inside me to open my eyes, to feel gratitude for all of the blessings that surround me on a daily basis. But most of all, they came to help me learn a thing or two about acceptance. auhhhhh...acceptance. the ability to "hold on to letting go". my last baby, nina, spoke to me reguarly. she helped me enjoy every day of carrying her, letting go of the fear of loss that gripped me in my last pregnancy. no, this one was different. experience had taught me that life can be short and to enjoy every moment of being pregnant with this sweet soul. it taught me to listen and to truely be in relationship with the soul that was our child inside me. we talked to one another, yes, but mostly we just loved one another.

and then nina sent me a most precious gift. 10 weeks pregnant and due for an ultrasound the next day i woke with my heart gripped in fear. had i miscarried? was this fear because of the ultrasound planned the next day where we would look inside to see if that beautiful boom-boom-boom-boom of a heart we had seen 2 and 4 weeks before was still beating. there were no physical signs i had miscarried...

nina, guiding me with her love, inspired me to forget my busy day full of to-do's. after dropping my two girls off at school, i "played hooky" and took a walk. It was a gorgeous fall day in St. Louis. The trees had turned all sorts of beautiful colors. The weather was perfect. I smiled and said hello to the people that walked, jogged and rode by, feeling connected to the Earth and to each person in it. My heart filled with joy and I smiled, forgetting my earlier fears. Then, I heard a voice inside I took to be our baby, Twinkle Nina, say, “See Mom, I may be in heaven or I may be in your belly. Either way it’s a beautiful day. You are love. There is nothing to fear.” And this is when I really understood the meaning of the following words that came so clearly, “Let not the state of your heart be contingent on the circumstances of your life. Love this day.” wow. What a gift. I was not a puppet on a string…happy because the things happening in my life were happy…sad because the things happening in my life were sad. I could feel joy and love in my heart, being in the gift of the present moment, instead of fear and worry for what the future may hold. This day was proof of that for me. I had a strong sense that I had miscarried again, yet what a fabulous day I was having. I could be full of love and joy and still be dealing with the grief and loss of miscarriage.

Yes. The contentment of my heart is not rooted in the circumstances of my life. Wow. I could handle Wednesday and accept the results of the ultrasound no matter what was in store. Acceptance. This is the gift I received.