Saturday, December 31, 2011

Kicking and Screaming

So.  The new year.  Mere hours away.

I want it to go away.  I want to stay here, stay now. I'm not ready to leave 2011 yet.

Because 2011 was the only year that held my baby girl.  It was the only year that she lived . . . and she didn't even live all of it.

2012, I'm not ready for you.  Let me stay here, where my daughter's memory is fresh.  Where I can still remember what it felt like to carry her inside me, to hold her body in my arms.  To touch the smoothness of her cheeks, the soft down of her forehead.  Please.

I don't want to leave this year -- because leaving 2011 feels like it means leaving her.

I can't do that.

And I know that she's not here with me right now anyway.  That she's as dead today as she will be tomorrow.

Still.  That doesn't matter.  I'm not ready to jump into a whole new year.  The first year without her.

Especially when I remember what today was supposed to be.  Today I should have been mere days away from being able to give birth safely.  These were supposed to be the last few weeks of swollen expectation before I got to hear her cry for the first time.  Weeks of nesting.  Excitement.  Joy upon joy upon joy.

And now -- none of that.  I expect only tears, a shattered heart.  Instead of joy, doubt upon doubt.  Fear.  Anger.  Anxiety.

I know that there is God, that He does not want me to live and fester in these wounds, to not stumble forward.  I know.

And I know that He turns things around.  He has already done this, in 2011 even (ah, another reason to stay).  In March I found myself suddenly free from the bondage of seventeen years of an eating disorder.  I can see no other explanation for this than that He stepped in to bathe me in His healing.

Then I discovered the joys of art-making, and dizzying amazement when I saw that my body was home to another soul than my own.  And from there, He taught me love outside of myself.  How to eat like a human being, how to live in gratitude.  He taught me more about Himself, showing me just how unreservedly He loves us -- loves me.  He showed me what it is to live in community, and what a healthy marriage feels like.  He enlarged my heart and my family.  He gave me the sisters I had always dreamed of.  He made me a mother.

It's been a good year.

Even with Eve's death, it's been good.  God continues to teach me.  I am learning how to be broken-hearted with ones who need it.  How to love with His kind of love. What it means that He is a rock, unshakeable.

2011 has been good.  The best year of my life.  Even with the loss -- perhaps especially with the loss.


I don't want to leave.  I can't go.  I'm not ready yet.

2012 is too much.  It is filled with dead hopes, and the ever-fading memory of my dead daughter.  The thought that it could ever be spring again is offensive, abhorrent to me.

I am desperate to stay here.  The future is too dark.

Baby Girl November 20, 2011-1

"This very moment is the only one you know you have for sure."

~Oprah Winfrey


  1. I'm praying your grief is replaced with peace & hope tonight friend. Let Him be a shelter for you, and if u need to, cuddle up in a big warm blanket, turn on some music that lets you "be" with him & grieve it out....He can mend your heart, piece by piece....& put it back a little differently than before (never the same after we lose), but He is able to hold you & fill ur empty arms. Praying abundant blessings for you in 2012.

  2. All I can offer you is hugs and more hugs.

  3. Thank you, Lisa. xoxo

  4. I know how you feel. 2011 is the only year I have Corbin with me. I lost him in May to heart defects. ( I feel almost guilty for starting a new year without him. I had the same guilt when we got a new mattress because he had never laid on it.
    Sending love and prayers that you have a gentle new year.

  5. That is a very precious picture of Eve's small hands. Thank you for sharing her. Love, Kim s.

  6. i know that what you said about your body being home to another soul is very real because when Eve died, I suddenly knew that, and I miss her. I realized that she was there at every Bible study, hearing our voices with yours, and we were all awaiting her with great joy.

  7. I'm so sorry about your sweet Corbin. Thanks for your sweet words of standing-togetherness. <3

  8. Thanks, Kim. And thanks for your encouragement and hugs today.

  9. Beth, my heart is aching with you. When you're ready, I'll link you to my story. Until then, here's a hug.

  10. I have two links for you, one to the post I wrote yesterday in Circular Praise and one to the original post in Tracings.

    The second one was posted as part of the Christian Writers blog chain last May. My story of baby loss differs from yours in some major ways, but I know you'll understand the heartache that resulted.

    Feel free to email any time you need a friend to listen.

  11. I feel such compassion for you as I read this beautifully written post. So many of your thoughts mirror my own. The losses we faced in 2011 are so great and the pain so real...but how can we not be grateful to God for the year that we got to carry our precious babies. Thank you for sharing these honest and beautiful thoughts.

  12. My last comment went through before I was ready! Just wanted to say...much love to you as you face 2012

  13. I totally agree, Alison -- I am so grateful for the year that my baby was conceived, that she lived inside me. Love to you.


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King