A friend of mine has recently asked me lately how I am doing.
My response to that question is usually one of the following:
"Not too bad..."
"Good, how about you?"
I knew though, that she was asking more than just a "how's it hanging?" kind of a question.
In fact she was deeply caring for me in asking me how I am.
The answer that came immediately to my mind was:
I was really blessed by her question, and it was certainly timely. This particular time of the year brings about thoughts of a life, created from love that would have been, could have been, but never was meant to be--
a one year old.
Following the many days of grieving and growing, hurting
and healing that I lived the last year I am now one year distanced
from that time period of profound sadness. At the time I knew not how to
move forward, but forward movement was what I chose. I wanted so badly to hurry past and through the pain of losing our baby. I desperately wanted to see what God had planned for us, I was in a rush to see His revelation.
So here, one year later I daily hold (probably too tightly at times) a bouncing 6 month old. Naomi is so full of life at this age. Smiley and communicative. Beautiful and adored. It would be dishonest to say that her birth hasn't helped the healing process.
In many ways.
I feel it every time I watch Naomi reach another milestone.
But, (isn't there always a but?) as I take stock of the last year and a half, I still feel a kind of void. There's still a yearning. I imagine what my life would be with a one year old daughter right now, and if her eyes would have been green like mine. I'm sure they would have been green. I imagine her taking her first steps and running around the back of church with the big kids. I daydream about reaching Heaven's door and seeing her, holding her as if she had never been lost. These are the feelings I keep, and that is OK. For me, (and I know others will differ) losing a baby isn't something that I can take a been there, done that type of attitude about. Yes, it is a part of my past, but also my present and future.
Grief isn't a task I want to check off my to-do list. It is part of me, it is part of almost anyone who has lost a dear loved one.
I realized recently that I tried to run so fast from that painful time, and now-- strange as it may seem-- I kind of long for it. I don't wish for pain, for that seems silly. What I mean is, I miss the amazing closeness with family, community, and God that I experienced during those days.
I'm not sure if that answers my friend's question, but I sure am glad she asked. Anything that gives me the opportunity to think on April, is blessing to me. That is how I feel connected to a baby I grew and held but never had the chance to raise. My grief isn't the same as it once was, and that is good. My grieving takes new forms and different roads, and that is good too.