A year ago

“Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him.  For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years ….”   Deuteronomy 30:19

One year ago….what is it about a year that makes the pain return so violently when it comes full circle.  We mark so much of our lives by dates and anniversaries….particularly that first year.  I guess we want something to complete a process and say “I have survived a year and am still standing.”  Whether it is marriage, sobriety, birthdays, or death, there is something significant about the first year.

We lost our precious Bradford a year ago and I find myself sad and weepy again.  Delivering her still seems so surreal.  Did it all really happen?  I deep downed had hoped(and actually believed) I would be pregnant again by now or at least have jump started my period after a 14 year hiatus.   Neither has happened.  It seems my body just went right back to its weird state of being and has only added to the memory of our loss.  I am still grieving the loss of a dream….of a little girl…of bows…of dolls…of proms…of boyfirends…of long talks. I love my own mother so much.  I am beyond thankful for the relationship we have.  She is a remarkable woman and though I made life tough for her at times she has continued to love me and I cherish her so much.  I never realized how much I longed for that relationship with my own daughter until we lost Bradford. I know everyone has a dream they have lost.  I have learned I must grieve the loss of that dream as well as the child we have lost. 

Now as I sit a year later I am struck with what to do with that lost dream.  I am not proud of the decisions I made this past year when I saw pregnant women or newborn babies.  If anyone out there thought they saw me…my dark hair blowing behind me as I ran away…it probably was me.  I have to confess to Dena Pope(if she even reads this) I saw you one day at a store and couldn’t face you.  I am embarassed by my childishness and inability to respond to situations but  just couldn’t seem to emotionally do it.   I feel like after a year of survival I can now not run away.  I am praying this means I am healing more each day.  I actually thought God might spare me  on April 30th(her actual delivery date).  However, as I was looking at Walmart that day a young woman holding two dresses said “excuse me, which do you think would look better on me?  You see I am going clubbing tonight and I want to hide my belly..I am 7 monthspregant.”  I am sure she thought I had to have some mental problem as I just stared at her and blinked. I finally was able to mutter out…”the pink one”.  Okay so what I wanted to say was far more colorful but in that moment I realized this is life and I must choose how I respond to it.  I cannot keep trying to avoid the hurt.  I must face the challenges this life brings.   I must begin again to make the choice to love others in spite of how I feel.  The choice has always been there.  I just didn’t have the strength to fight.  There is something about a year that makes me feel like even though the pain still radiates I will survive another and another…..

Comments

Hey Judith,

I’m the friend of Hal and Betty’s from Macon who had a full term still born son 22 years ago this May. I just wanted to stop by and encourage you to keep holding on to Christ with everything in you. You are so right about anniversary dates. Everyone I know who has walked this road experiences much of the same thing. I also want to encourage you and tell you that many people see significant improvement at the end of the second year of grief, and then they continue to move forward more quickly after that. I wish I could tell you that one day all the sadness and grief will be gone, but more truthfully, you just learn how to assimilate it into your life. Just the other day, someone mentioned May 25th in my presence, and just the mention of the date put a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. But then I thought about how precious it was of God to give parents such a deep, deep love for their children–that we carry them that close in our hearts. Here’s what I want you to remember….One day you will feel like yourself again. Every circumstance will not be viewed through the lens of a lost child. I can’t tell you when that will be–each person’s grief is so different, but one day it will come. God has placed many people with similar circumstances in our lives since our loss, and I can tell you that when properly grieved with dependence upon the grace and mercy of our Good and Loving God, you will one day feel “normal” again. It will be a “new normal,” but it will feel ok. I thought it would never happen–perhaps sometimes I really didn’t want it to happen, but it finally came, and it’s OK to not always feel that deep level of grief. Keep your focus on Christ, grieve for your child and continue to dwell on the Goodness and Sovereignty of God. God will see you through this–and He will not waste one ounce of all you are learning and dealing with. Just keep holding onto His hope. Saying a prayer for you now.
Deidre

Just checking in on you and just read your post. Again, such a beautifully written post. Your honesty just speaks to my heart. I did exactly what you did for a long time….ran away from babies and pregnant bellies and baby showers. Even from my dearest friends. It was just too painful. I understand completely! I’d love love love to hear from you soon!

THank you for sharing your beautiful heart. WE continue to pray for you and the desires of your precious heart and for healing of the wounds of your treasured heart.

The year mark is hard. I wanted to use it to celebrate the fact that I had been through so much heartbreak and I STILL believed – I hadn’t lost my faith. But it didn’t turn out like that. Instead it was a hard day – a hard few weeks, actually. Everything was fresh again – like it just happened. Fresh wounds and fresh heartbreak. Thank you for sharing this.

I am writing to ask for your permission to include your posts on AdoptionExperiences.com.and include a link to your blog in our
directory. We would
include a link back to your blog fully crediting you for your work
along with a profile about you listed on AdoptionExperiences.com .
Please let us
know as soon as possible.

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Mike Thomas
Editor-in-Chief
AdoptionExperiences.com

hi judith,
amberly deavours gave me your website and said you did homestudies for adoptions. i came over here to ask you to contact me about that (we’re starting the process right now), but first, i just have to say–I TOTALLY GET IT. while we do have a biological daughter the road to getting pregnant is so very hard (i had ovarian cancer as a teen which left me with just half of one ovary) and i’ve miscarried myself. during our infertility struggle i found myself questioning the “fairness” of it all–like, why after all i had gone through could _______ get pregnant and i couldn’t? or my husband and i are stable people with two jobs and a nice house who could provide for a child but why couldn’t get pregnant? it wasn’t fair! all i’ve ever wanted to be is a mother–it’s not fair!
i still find that “fairness ghost” rearing its head every once in awhile, but it is true–time heals wounds. there will be a scar–i have a huge one across my heart from infertility–but the pain and sadness does slowly fade. i promise.

I was directed to your blog by my grief counselor. My husband and I lost our first child, Ethan Matthew, on April 21st of this year. Wow! What a road we have been on. His due date is September 5th, yet to come, but is also our nephew’s birthday and a friend’s due date. It is going to be rough. I know that. I love my baby, I love my husband, I love God. Thank you for sharing your real grief and hurt with us.

 

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