Mar 10, 2014

What They Did

These are the moments that have made up the last two months of our lives. As the Lord has taught us, I have been writing. It does me so much good to put into words what the Lord is teaching me or what I am feeling as we go. If at times it sounds like I'm preaching to you, it's more than likely not the case; but I had to write it to preach to myself. To have something to read and remind me of what this was like, when I feel as if I've made no progress at all, it helps me to read about the past. When I forget the goodness of the Lord, it helps me to read of his blessings.

If you'd like to read more about the story of our Hannah Grace click here.

December 28, 2013

Today I’ve been reading. Today I’ve been crying. Today I’ve truly been grieving.

But grief is something so strange. There are no perfect instructional books on the subject, there are not five distinct stages of grief for everyone. No matter what all the books and the websites and the blogs say. No one grieves exactly how I grieve.

Most of all though, it’s different. I am comforted by those who have been through my pain. I hate that some of my dearest friends have gone through something so similar, but I am grateful because they know how to listen when I need to talk, to laugh when I need to make a joke about something that seems so horrible for a ‘grieving mother’ to say. They know exactly what to say or do. And it seems like there are people very close to me that can say ‘I understand,’ but for most people they don’t really know what to say. But I’ll be honest I don’t really know what to say either.

The most helpful things have have been different than I ever would have imagined. My very first hug came from a friend who came in the dead of night to the dark empty hospital room to sit and wait outside just in case we needed anything. When I asked for a hug she hugged me, she said she was so sorry, she asked if there was anything we needed. She didn’t tell me everything would be alright, she didn’t give me any advice. Because she knew all I needed was a hug. She could do nothing to change what had happened, but neither could I.

Kyle and I knew within the hour of the horrible news that we’d be okay. We knew our God was with us, we knew he was sovereign, we knew his great love for us, we knew he was holding our sweet girl. And very often through miles of tears we’d say to one another, 'we’re going to be okay… we’re going to be alright.' But we weren’t ready yet for someone else to tell us any thing of the sort.

Hours later as the sun rose us we had friends come in, they brought snacks for Kyle and they brought new light. Two of my closest girl friends walked in the room and came immediately to me. They were in tears. They knew our sweet Hannah, they lost her with us, they cried with me and hugged me and let me share with them what I was ready to share. They laughed when I made a joke, because at some moments we needed to laugh. They sat in my bed with me and they held my hand.

As my labor continued the room filled with friends and family and the distraction was great. We laughed, we talked about everything under the sun. We shifted back and forth talking about our baby and talking about things like the barbecue place down the street.

It was interesting as visitors came. There were some that were crying when I was trying so hard to laugh, and others who came in crying when, yes, I needed to cry with them. I would have never thought I’d want flowers, but friends brought the really pretty kind of flowers that I loved and those continued to make me smile in a room that was sometimes so full of sadness and empty of life.

I think most of all I loved the people who listened to us, who waited to see how we were doing before they burst into tears. They didn’t ask for all the details, but they listened to every detail if that’s what I wanted to say.

Friends told me I looked beautiful even though I know I looked like death; there was a mirror. And when our sweet baby was born and I was a proud momma wanting to show her off, they let me brag about her perfection about her looking like me and Kyle. And they agreed that she was the most beautiful thing they’d ever seen. Even though I know that may not have been true, because many of them have their own children.

And most of all when they met her they waited for me to say ‘do you want to hold her?’ No one took her from my arms, and I would remember that. When a baby’s life has already been taken from her mother and father, don’t be the one to take the sweet little body out of a parent’s arms without waiting for an invitation. Hannah’s grandparents were the only one’s to hold her other than me and Kyle and then of course the medical staff. Others saw her, but by then I wasn’t willing to let anyone else hold her. I just wanted to hold her forever.

In the days and hours that passed. I had friends offer to help. I had one friend who was the buffer between us and our loving community. When we needed meals, another friend had them organized. When we planned her funeral and wanted balloons all we had to do was say the word and our friends did it all. When I needed someone to visit or talk to our friends were there.

My family stayed with us, they brought me medicine in the middle of the night, they fixed my plates, they helped me off the couch. They again, listened to my stories, but they also watched a Harry Potter marathon with us because it was fun. And they let Kyle and I retreat alone to our room everyone in a while just to cry and hold one another.

In the beginning our needs were different. It wasn't time to tell us what to do. It was just time to listen, to cry, to laugh, and to help in meaningful but simple ways. I'm not sure yet what to recommend, I'll be thinking about it. But I do want to put together a nice list of 'what to say' and 'what to do' because I know that when things like these happen people are all wondering.


We did know that we weren't alone. And I can say already that acknowledging our loss and our pain was something I was grateful for. To know that others were grieving with us, to know they were praying for us, to know that no one belittled our pain was quite a comfort.



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