Ancient History

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Hubby wrote about how a Spaghetti-O can’s lid viciously attacked him at lunch yesterday.

Yesterday was very difficult all around. It was Sunday and we are church-goers. But we haven’t been in several weeks. Last week, I was recovering from my procedure. The Sunday before I was still reeling from my news and didn’t want anyone to ask me any questions that would spring the tears from my eyes. Joel had a snotty nose the Sunday before that. Excuses.

The time had come, though, to confront a lot of feelings I had been holding under water. I knew going to church was going to expose everything I had been feeling. Anger at God. Feeling betrayed. Wondering if my feelings mattered to Him. Abandonment, loneliness, sorrow…all the horrible sensations of my previous loss dredged up again, stirred around, and set on fire.

In many ways, it is harder this time. Last time, I had things to make the pregnancy and loss more real. I had ultrasound pictures of my baby when he was alive. I received cards and letters in the mail, flowers I dried, a miniature blanket from my MOPS group. Hubby gave an amethyst ring to me as a memorial. I am not criticizing people for not doing these things this time. But now I understand why these tangible things are important to those who mourn. Having something to hold, in your hands, makes it real.

There is such an unreal quality to this most recent loss that I forget, sometimes, that it has even happened…I feel a twinge in my lower abdomen and think, for a split second, that it is growth. I have a wave of nausea or a sudden craving for salt and vinegar potato chips. The beginnings of a smile form until I remember no. I feel like an amputee having phantom pains in a leg or arm that is no longer there.

I do not have an ultrasound picture or dried flowers. I do not have any cards I can open for this loss. I do not have the makings of a memory box because my one lone item, my hospital bracelet, would rattle around inside.

These things can never replace a baby. But they are solid, material, and tangible. When I would start getting sad about my first loss, I could stroke the little fleece blanket, hold a yellow rose in my palm, and look at my ultrasound pictures. They didn’t heighten my pain. They diminished it and helped me heal.

If anyone noticed me at church yesterday with my face looking at the ceiling, they might have mistook me as someone raising my face to heaven in praise. No. It was to keep the tears in my eyes. It was all about Gravity. Hearing and watching my fellow church-goers sing “He gives and takes away” was extremely hard. They were all smiling, seemingly focused on the He Gives part. My job, yesterday, was to represent the He Takes perspective.

And still I choose Him. Facing all the dark feelings is necessary. People fear death and loss and sorrow because they don’t want to go to the places they dwell. But you can never fully appreciate the He Gives until the taking.

So someday, when I am at church with a big smile on my face and I happen to see a woman or man with their face tilted to the ceiling, I will wonder if they are using gravity to keep the tears in their eyes when nothing else will.

Until yesterday, that thought would have never occured to me.

13 comments to Gravity

  • Mom-of-mopsy

    How courageous of you to share your true feelings instead of denying them, pretending that they are not there. Our Lord knows that they are there and He understands far better than anyone how this pain of yours will help someone else someday. 2 Corintians 1:3,4 says that “He is the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” Knowing that Jesus is with us in our storms of life is a comfort and He brings
    us safely through as we believe and rely on Him. I can see that you already trusting Him to do that.
    My love and prayers, Mom

  • mopsy

    Thanks, mom…I have thought of that. Maybe the things I have been through and the fact I am still somehow carrying on will be comforting to some other woman in my shoes someday.

  • rossmomma

    As usual your eloquence touched my heart. You brought tears to my eyes, and since I’m at work I too used gravity to keep them there.

  • Thanks, again, for sharing your heart. I know it will encourage others.

  • I’ve been there too. I understand. Now it’s a sadness that is part of who we are. Thanks for putting it into word for us.
    I hope you’ll consider the book I’m sending you to be in honor of the twins.
    God bless.

  • That was very beautifully written. I had a baby die at five months gestation five years ago. I have no memento of that time except a photo of a bouquet my aunt sent. I still cry when I see it. I still count each year and think about how old she would have been. What she might have looked like. What changes her presence would have made in all our lives. I still miss her, the little she-who-was-never-born. She was born in my heart.

    My most comforting memory was right before I went under the anaesthetic; the nurse who was wheeling me in paused and took my hand with tears rolling down her cheeks. Are you scared? she asked. I nodded. This same thing happened to me not long ago, she said. You will be all right. I’ll be right here. And she held my hand until I fell asleep.

  • Thank you for being so honest about your feelings, your pain. I’m so sorry. I wish I knew what to say. How to make your pain just a little bit less intense. You are in my thoughts

  • mopsy

    Thank you, *everyone*. I know many of you have experienced this too, and I am so sorry.

    Writing about the loss has helped tremendously, too. But I feel a little self-conscious about it. I don’t want to depress people.

  • I often wonder what I can do for friends who are going through similar or perhaps not so similar times of grief and loss. Your post was so moving and you expressed yourself so well — thank you.

  • Kim

    Your writing moves me and many others. This is a great sounding board for your feelings. As your friends, we are here to listen, and support you as you grieve. You are in my prayers and thoughts as you make your way through this journey.

  • Hello,

    I came across your blog a couple of days ago, and I’ve been reading previous posts getting to ‘know’ you and your family. There are so many things you’ve written about that I can relate to. You’re a Christian woman for one, which makes me believe it was the Lord that led me to your blog.

    When I came across this posting about your feelings toward God and your recent loss, I was moved to tears. I too can relate to your feelings of anger, sorrow, betrayl, along with questioning His Will and the “why He allowed this to happen”.

    However, I didn’t loose a child. But had a child born with a birth defect.

    Rachel, our 10 month old daughter was born with a cleft lip and palate. It was a complete shock to us as none of my ultrasounds had picked it up. I cannot begin to express the shock the news was as my OB announced the birth defects during an emergency c-section.

    Rachel was suppose to be our ‘easy baby’.

    Our 5 year old, when she was 3 months old, developed swallowing problems and was hospitalized 3 times in 4 months. Her feedings were extremely stressful.

    I had a hard time when all this was going on. For 9 months we had prayed for a healthy baby…then this happened. And then everyday we prayed that the Lord would touch her and heal her…He didn’t. I really went backward when it came to my faith. Despite making the weekly appearence at church, that’s all I did for a long time. I became withdrawn, and wanted nothing to do with my Christian friends. The Lord finally touched Hannah when she was 18 months old…in His timing. It took a long time, but I slowly came back to where I should have been…walking with the Lord.

    So when Rachel came along, we were devasted because once again, God didn’t answer our prayers for a heathly and perfectly formed baby. We knew the the road ahead of us would be a long and stressful one. But after a couple of days, we were back on our feet and were relying on the Lord to get us through all of this.. And He has. He has answered so many prayers for Rachel in reguards to her surgeries, etc.

    This response got kinda long. LOL. I guess I just wanted to reach out and say, I’ve been there done that with the feelings you expressed in this post and I appreciate your being honest and sharing your feelings.Sometimes it’s hard when you think you’re the only person dealing with such feelings.

    When the first person to respond to your post was your mom, expressing her Godly wisdom, it too reminded me so much of my mom. I can tell just by reading her post that the two of you are close. It’s so awesome to have a Godly mom full of wisdom.

    May God Bless you. May He give you strength to get through this.

  • mopsy

    Thank you, Darcy, for taking the time to leave a response. Your thoughts and wisdom are very comforting, and I always feel uplifted when I read that others have been in similar situations and survived, thrived, and go on to encourage others.

    God gave me an awesome mom! I am so blessed to be her daughter.

  • I realize that this is a very old post, but it was so ironic as the Sunday that I returned to church after my “proceedure”, we sang that very same song! I can totally relate to trying to keep your tears from falling as everyone around you sings “He gives and takes away”. You said “But you can never fully appreciate the He Gives until the taking.” What an amazingly profound statement. You are so right! I have spent the past hour reading from your blog. I have been very blessed by what I have read! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings so honestly.

    Lisa’s last blog post..Tagged again…by MandyMom

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