Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Loneliness of Grief

It is easy to feel alone in grief. At first the pain is so overwhelming that you don't want to interact with people. Then the interaction begins to feel exhausting. The easiest thing to do would be to lock yourself away and just hurt.  It feels so simple to stew in the pain, the unfairness, the sheer suckiness of the whole situation.

This was my first instinct. My first desire. I didn't want to see people. I wanted to stay numb and sad. I wanted to wrap myself around my pain and not let go of it. I knew that no one could understand or know what to say or help. I was convinced that if I let go of my grief, then I would be letting go of Teddy. I would be forgetting him. If I found a way to be happy and live my life, then I was betraying him somehow. By being sad, I was somehow honoring his memory and keeping him close.

My instinct was natural. It happens to all of us in terrible situations. It is part of human nature. Lucky for me, I don't have to simply rely on my human understanding of my son's death. From the moment we were told that he wouldn't make it, God found ways to bombard me with reminders of His love. He used family, friends, co-workers, doctors, nurses, and whomever else He found.

I wasn't able to close myself off because I was overwhelmed with love. I was covered in it. Uplifted and comforted by it. No matter what my instincts were, my heart was drawn to the love I received. Instead of a cocoon of pain, I was given a resting place of love. I didn't want it, didn't ask for it, but it was freely given and thankfully received.

I still felt lonely, but never alone. I still felt sad, but never without hope. I still felt angry, but never bitter. I still felt scared, but never without hands to hold. This resting place of love carried me through the first six weeks of my grieving process.

Six weeks is about the same amount of time it takes to figure out how to care for your newborn. As a new Mom, six weeks feels like a day. In that short time period, you have integrated your child into your life and have slowly figured out to be a parent. I have thought about this a lot in the past couple days. Six weeks post Harry vs. six weeks post Teddy.

Both of my sons have changed me. Both of my sons have taught me lessons about life. Both of my sons have blessed me. Both of my sons have shown me that love is a bigger and deeper concept than I can ever grasp. Both of my sons have shown me the wonder and awesomeness of God.

Six weeks post Teddy, I feel like I have my feet back under me. I can laugh and live and still hold him in my heart. I don't have to be grieving to hold him.Crying is still ok, but the constant pain is subsiding.  I didn't come to this place on my own. On my own, I would be a bitter sorry mess of a woman. I came here through an incomprehensible love.  While I was wallowing in my selfish thoughts, God was finding a way to save me from myself. Romans 5:8 says "But God demonstrates His love for us in this; While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." I didn't ask for this. I didn't even know I needed it, but it was given freely and abundantly and I am thankful.

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