Saturday, May 12, 2018

Four Weeks of Lessons

Four weeks. 

It's been four weeks since we said hello and goodbye to our little girl in the same breath.

It's been four weeks of questions. Four weeks of whys. Four weeks of trying to get up each morning and put on a smile.

Four weeks.

On the one hand I'm surprised it's already been four weeks. But on the other hand, I feel like it has been the longest four weeks of my life. I feel like I've run an emotional marathon...and I'm still running. 

I've learned some valuable lessons during this marathon though.

I've learned that talking about this, talking about her, helps. I don't understand why miscarriage and pregnancy and infant loss have been such taboo subjects. It needs to be talked about. People need to know that it happens. It's not rare. And you're not alone. If I've learned anything from this journey, it's that I'm not alone. There is a tribe of women that have walked this path before me and a tribe of them that will come after me. I don't know why. I may never know why Jesus needed our baby girl before we got a chance to know her. 

I've learned that when I stop and think of all the things I don't get to experience with her, it tears me apart. I don't get to watch her learn her first words or take her first steps. I don't get to paint her nails or learn to do her hair. I don't get to wear matching outfits with her or sing songs of praise with her. I don't get to go dress shopping for her first dance or celebrate her achievements. I hate it. It hurts. But then I have to switch gears and remind myself that she never has to feel pain. She will never experience a broken heart. She will never hear ugly words spewed at her or fear the unknown. She will never worry or be sad or be lonely. And when I remember these things, for a moment, it makes it a little better. 

I've learned not to sweat the small stuff. I've always tried to roll with the punches (sometimes better than others) but this has really taught me not to worry about the things I can't change. If it's something I can change, then I can try to do something about it. But if I can't, I just try to change my attitude. I'm not perfect in this area by any means, but I'm trying. With the Lord's help, I'm trying.

I've learned the value of our tribe. The people we surround ourselves with are of vital importance. Our tribe is a lot larger than I thought it was. My work tribe, my Jesus tribe, my family tribe...all important. I still am blown away by the people that loved on us and donated time or food or money or garden items. I feel so unworthy to have been surrounded by so much love but yet I know God placed them there so I could stand on the shoulders of the saints in His strength. 

I've learned to be more intentional. The people that supported us? They were intentional. I've wanted to be more intentional but always felt like I fell short. I suppose one has to be intentional about being intentional. I want to be more intentional with my spoken words (still a work in progress), more intentional with my time, more intentional with sharing how I feel about the people I love, more intentional about doing what I love, and more intentional about my time with Jesus. 

I've learned that grief is a process. There are stages. And you can be in one stage one day and another stage the next and then you can repeat stages over again...sometimes multiple times a day. The cycle of grief has slowed down from where it was 4 weeks ago, but it's still there, taking us back and forth periodically. I'm not sure that cycle ever truly ends. 

I've learned a lot. And tomorrow, I will learn how to celebrate Mother's Day as the mommy of an angel. And I will cry because Zivah is not here and I am. I will smile because my precious boy will tell me Happy Mother's Day and kiss my cheek and give me what he made at school and beg to eat the cake he decorated for me. I will cry again because my first Mother's Day as a mother of two was not supposed to look like this. I am supposed to be cuddling an 8 month old bouncing baby girl next Mother's Day...not missing her and longing for her tomorrow. 

For all moms: moms of angels, moms of one, moms of many, moms of none (yet)...Happy Mother's Day. May the peace that passes all understanding wash over all of us tomorrow. 

Zivah's lamb that we took to the hospital with us. Her TayTay (grandma) bought it for her.

The painting I bought for my husband's birthday. It depicts how he sees her and our Jesus.

Big brother standing in front of his little sister's memory garden. 

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