Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Path of a Grieving Mother

I very much dislike feeling as if I must defend my love for Lily or defend the fact that she is an irreplaceable precious life that I will grieve for the rest of my days. Lily is just as real as any other person on the planet. She is buried in a cemetery in Virginia and is dancing before the Lord as I write this! I truly don't understand why it's so hard for those who have not lost a baby to grasp that it's a lifelong sorrow. Mothers especially should be able to try to imagine it, even in a small measure, even though it's hard to even think of.

Mothers - just picture this will you: imagine if when you went to the hospital to deliver your child, what if your doctor had told you their heart had stopped beating just before being born at fullterm? And there was no medical explanation as to why this happened. Imagine all the years of memories, pictures, laughter, and cuddles you have had with your child and that all those times would never have been. Imagine it all being erased. That's what I'm missing out on. Imagine giving birth to a lifeless child. Imagine seeing that precious face you love so much and imagined countless times, but their eyes never opening to gaze back. Is it really, truly so hard to at least try to understand? Imagine not having any other living child to help ease the pain and ache and fill your empty arms.

This gets me irritated just to think about how little empathy people have. However, I am reminded of a time when I was probably around 15 and I was eating at Cracker Barrel with my mom and grandmother. They were talking about a family whose unborn baby had died. I clearly remember asking, "Why is it so hard? It's not like they really got to know the baby." It is painful to know such words came from my own lips. I do recall being in a grumpy mood when I said that and acting like a brat, and I was young, naive, and not a mother yet, but still, I said it.

I believe God has allowed me to remember that conversation so that when the very same type of loss touched my life so intimately, I would have more grace with others. They don't understand. And many times, people can't understand something unless it happens to them. I don't want people to have to live through it to "get it," so hopefully my words will help open eyes and hearts.

Please, if you are reading this, try to think about what it would be like if you went to the hospital to have a much-loved and anticipated baby only to discover their heart had ceased to beat. Try to personalize it in your mind. Then reach out to someone you know who has lost a baby. Show them compassion, love, understanding, and support. Simply let them know that their child matters to you and that they aren't forgotten. Don't push them to "get over it" or tell them to "move on." Try imaging what it would be like to walk a mile in their shoes before judging the shoes they have been given to walk in.

I don't need to give value to Lily's life or convince others that she matters. She does because He says she does. I'm leaning on this truth.

One's value does not grow depending on how many breaths they take and how many days they reside on Earth. And a mother's love cannot be measured. There is no point in comparing who "has it worse" in grief. Remember these things, both those who have lost children and those who have not.

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.” -Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross


1 comment:

  1. Yes, I do know that feeling. My mother was 32 weeks when she woke up one morning feeling no movement. That was 7 months ago. I went with her to the hospital and watched as the silent moniter screen pulled up. My sweet baby sister had gone to be with The Lord. I will never forget that sickening feeling as we left the hospital with many tears, empty arms, and aching hearts. I am sure my Leah and your Lily are the best of friends. My sister also has 3 other siblings with her in Heaven. But The Lord is good and His Mercy endureth forever.


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