Thursday, August 9, 2012

Space Enough For Her

date night

Yesterday I got an answer to my question.  Or at least part of an answer.  If you read my last post, you'll remember that I've been wondering about how a dead child and a living child can both fit into the same life, especially once the grief begins to abate.

I've now had a taste of what that answer might be.  Here's what happened:

Yesterday, I woke up feeling heavy and terribly sad.  Not anxious, and certainly not normal, but sad.  At first I couldn't figure out why.  I thought maybe it was due to lack of sleep, or from waking up late.  My mind ran through a host of possibilities before I realized -- I was missing my daughter.

You see, yesterday I turned 30 weeks with our rainbow baby.  Eve died at 31 weeks.  So this week?  It's the crazy-making week.  The one I've been dreading since seeing that positive pregnancy test back in February.  And even though my conscious mind had forgotten that I turned 30 weeks, when I woke up my emotions and my body were filled with the knowledge of it.

And I was sad.  Just sad.  It's been a long while since the sadness has not come mixed with anxiety or fear or anger or detachment.

It was refreshing, in its own way, because it was a way to connect with my sweet girl.

It took me a couple of hours to realize what I was feeling and why, but once I did, I gave myself over to it.  I got back into bed and cried for a couple more hours.  I remembered all that I know of Eve, and imagined what she might have been like if she'd lived.  From the way she moved within me, I got the impression that she was a strong-willed, brave, impetuous, sassy, wild girl.  I hope that one day, after this life is over, I get to find out if I was right.  But for now, it is good to remember and to wonder.

To someone who hasn't known grief, it might seem strange to hear crying in bed for half a morning described as good.  I'm sure that there are some people who might be appalled hear that I still do such a thing nine months out from the cold day I birthed my daughter's body.  But I did, and I do, and it was very good.  And by "good" I mean that it was healthy and it was needed. 

More than that, it was a reminder.  A reminder that November is coming, and that even with a sweet rainbow boy in my arms that month will still be sad.  The one year mark of Eve's death and birth will still be cavernous.

And it was a reminder of something that I already knew -- that having a second child, a living child, does not "fix" my grief.  Eve's death is not a problem to be solved.  It just is, along with my grief.  Novembers will probably always be hard.  Seeing glimpses of my girl in her brother will probably always pinch at my heart.  And there will always be space enough for her with me.

date night

18 comments:

  1. This is beautiful. The Montana sky is an amazing reminder of how big our hearts, and God's, truly are.

    Sending love and hugs.

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  2. Hugs Beth!!!

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  3. Oh so beautiful, being a mommy of many I know this very well. There is enough room in a mothers heart :) LOVE the pregnant shot in your header! Praying for you Beth during these difficult weeks.

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    1. Thanks, Tesha! We had maternity photos taken (will post on that eventually, I'm sure) and I thought it would be good to make space for Jacob on the blog, too. :)

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  4. "Eve's death is not a problem to be solved." That's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen you write.

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  5. I understand how crying the whole moving can be good. I love that you gave yourself over to it and allowed yourself time to mourn. xo

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    1. morning not moving. Please excuse the predictive text on my phone...and the fact that I didn't proof read!

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  6. Right here. You've got it. Healing is happening... every day. And when the time comes to hold your little boy in your arms, you can still hold Eve in your heart. You are already doing it. And I'm so glad our paths intersected so that I can witness the beauty of it all as it unfolds.

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    1. Thanks, Angie. I'm really glad we "met," too. Your words (here and on your blog) bless me.

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  7. I love this post. Such truth, Beth. Such powerful truth.

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  8. Your words tear at my soul. I'm so glad to have found you. Your raw poetic words are healing to my own wounded chapter inside.

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    1. I'm so glad we met via #SMS. I love your words, too, and your Instagram-ing.

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  9. Love this post. I'm glad you've realised how to have a balance x

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  10. Good for you for going at it and having a good cry!! Good for you for not trying to push it back. I love this post! and that picture, just perfection!

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  11. I seem to be in some ways on a different journey of grief. I have living children and now grieve for my 6th child. I seem to be in my own search of "fixing". I find myself so confused over the obvious measure of blessing I have by mothering 5 living children yet they do not "fix" my grief of the one I miss. I so appreciate the reminder that perhaps there isn't a problem to be fixed. Each of my children have a unique place in my heart.

    I love the sweet description of your Eve and who you knew her to be. I love that you found her personality as she lived so sweetly in your womb.

    Kim

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  12. I admire your strength to let your soul breathe and just be, allowing yourself the room to grieve, honoring the time you need to cry, and not denying yourself your truthful, raw feelings.

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