I've spent the last week or so thinking about the year mark. I don't have anything really new to add to the thoughts I've had over the last year, which you can find scattered throughout the year, in all their honest and aching glory.
I am grateful for the little space I have to write out my thoughts, as it has helped tremendously. I hope that these thoughts aren't taken to mean that our life is one big sad fest and also that if I blog tomorrow about something completely happy that I don't really mean any of it. That's life, you know? And while I aim to mostly share the good and happy things, there do exist times of reflection and sorrow and whatever else makes it on here. So thanks for reading both!
I think things sometimes feel the same, just not as sharp or all-encompassing. Although I can say that the bitterness has decreased significantly. But there is still sorrow, still pieces of a broken heart and still an ache for understanding. There is also peace, some kind of understanding that is both significant and not exactly what we'd prefer and there is love.
There was Wednesday, which took me back to that Wednesday, the longest Wednesday of our life. Where the time passed so quickly and so slowly and in the long hours we sometimes felt like the only two people in the world. And then there was Thursday, when I sat in the hospital room alone (dave went to get the car) and demanded to myself that I make it to the car before starting to cry again. Which I did, and not one second too soon. There was that stupid pamphlet they give you on grieving the loss of a child, which we could not even look at without crying. and oh, the crying.
Later that afternoon we went to target and there was the absolute ridiculousness of walking around target the day after I had a baby and had to leave it, buying whatever we bought like it was any other day. I mean, I think we bought prizes for a work Christmas party for crying out loud. You would have thought we would have bought real tissues, but that was something we never did think of over those next few weeks.
This past Friday was the actual date but it wasn't a day that was any different from any other day, really. There are still days I realize that I still don't have room in my soul for certain things. Which I know sounds so vague but I don't know exactly how to explain it. I think I asked Dave a few months ago if we wanted to do anything for the date. But I mean, what do people do? We never talked about it further and Friday was so busy that it wasn't until the very end of the day that I wondered if we ought to have done something, because if we didn't, who would? But the day just ended knowing that lucy knows we love her, tears and a heartfelt prayer.
And really, it could be any Wednesday or Thursday or Friday or Monday or Tuesday that takes me back to that week a year ago. I guess it's just unreal that it's been so long and yet it still seems like yesterday sometimes.
So it's the same, just not as close to the surface most days. So yes, time helps, but sometimes, not really. I recognize that it has dulled the pain and makes life seem almost the same as before, but it does not answer the questions, it does not replace the life lost, the dreams unrealized, nor does it make you forget.
But there are other things besides time. There is a gospel plan so amazing and miraculous that you can almost forget your questions and heartache because you know that all will be made whole. This past year has given me an unshakable knowledge that things will be made whole. So even in the struggle, there is always, always peace.
I recently re-read Paul's beautiful sermon in Romans 8.
"for I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
what shall we then say to these things? if God before us, who can be against us?
who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. for I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, no principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
This month, especially, we are so, so grateful to be where we are, preparing for a new baby. (even with issues that have gone along with it) Last year the thought of having to start over for another baby and going through pregnancy again was almost more than I could handle. And while the year was long sometimes, it's almost over and we are so thankful for baby boy. It's unbelievably lucky. and thank you to all of you for your support all throughout this year. I could never express how much it means and how much it has carried us. We found ourselves in the hospital again on December 14th, but for a much better reason than last year: we were taking an infant care class. we are now parenting pros!
Sometimes I don't know where we stand in the group of those who lost babies. Not quite a miscarriage, not quite a stillbirth, not expected nor dreaded, not a loss after a few days or months, not a loss after years. just a loss. but not "just" anything, because it consumed my entire soul. and my heart aches for all who have experienced it, both recently and not, because it's the absolute worst.
And while sometimes, in all honesty, the words of others mean nothing, the thoughts of healing ahead mean nothing, the "gift" of empathy you supposedly have means absolutely nothing, the reason we celebrate Christmas means everything. Celebrating the Savior, who gives love and peace freely, who saves us and makes it possible for us to be with our loved ones again, and who is always, always there.