This year nothing is as it should be. I keep reminding myself that perhaps next year will be better, perhaps not so bitter, a little sweeter. For myself, and for many this time of year brings pain, and such an emptiness that only death can cement. After removing myself from facebook for almost a month, I decided that perhaps I was strong enough to get on, and bear the baby photos and expectant moms. I logged on to find an email from a friend, who had just recently suffered the loss of her baby. I can hardly explain how I felt as I read those sad words…completely broken and powerless, and so connected to her. I’ve had two friends this month say goodbye to all of their hopes and dreams…their babies joining my Ella in heaven. It doesn’t get easier, it get’s more sorrowful and sometimes more confusing. It’s like being captured and tortured…in a room–and you are just hoping you don’t see someone you love and care about open that door, and walk through. My heart is so broken this Christmas..broken for the moms and dads who will never get to hold their children again. Broken for my friends, broken for strangers, broken for the parents of the massacred children of Sandy Hook. I know that God is proofing me in this pain. He is carrying me, even though I’ve yet to hear a single word since she left. Change with pain is inevitable..I am a different person now then I was 2 months ago. I cry more. I let myself imagine others pain more. I am more compassionate, more caring, and less self-consumed. This pain has given me unimaginable freedom from my selfishness..it has cured me from thinking that the world revolves around me. I will never ever be the same, and I don’t want to be.
My Grandma and my mom passed on a really helpful book called “Grief: the Beginner’s guide.” The author encouraged me to not think of pain as a bad thing, as something to be avoided, or hurried over. Rather pain is something to revel in. Pain is the only thing that can truly change us to be more like Christ…His love is not the only thing that transforms-His pain and His burdens make us like Jesus more than anything else can.
So where do we all go from here? An incredible anxiety sets in when I think of the coming months…the count down for me is still on until Ella’s due date February 11th. Every day until then I will think of her shower, her crib, her room, her arrival…I still get those email updates from every single baby web-site on the internet…so if I forget they remind me. I am afraid of the day after Christmas, because when the twinkle lights come down, and ornaments are packed away there might be a bleak nothingness.