Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Not alone

This journey is a lonely one. It just is. Even when I am not alone I struggle with feeling isolated in my pain, untouchable almost, impossible to relate to. I am not the same woman I was before my daughters' deaths. And my perspective on life has drastically changed. The death of my girls was a paradigm shift of indescribable magnitude. How do I navigate this new terrain? When I feel that I have lost my barrings I can only pray for Christ to show me the way.

And He does.

I can't even count the hours I have sat alone crying, praying, contemplating, and wrestling with the loss of my girls. I don't purposefully hide my grief, anyone that knows me knows that my pain is not a secret I am keeping. After all, this blog is my way of sharing it with the world. But my pain is internal, I battle on the inside. I can't very well spend my days wearing a t-shirt that says "my babies died" on it (don't worry, I don't really have one of those, but sometimes I wish I did) to involve the world in my pain. It wouldn't help anyway. I need understanding from those who know, those who have walked in my shoes. I need the fellowship of other mothers with babies in heaven.

It is in the quiet times and alone times that my pain grips me the most. The tears sneak up on me in the shower or while washing dishes. I cry sometimes when I walk past my girl's room or into the garage and see their empty crib, high chair, strollers, and car seats. I cry a lot while driving. Especially when certain songs come on the radio. Daily I stop suddenly, as if taken aback, as the tears hit me, and put my hands over my face as I take a few seconds to breathe and recompose myself. My day is a constant ebb and flow of sorrow and peace, pain and relief, suffering and joy.

Does anyone else understand?

More than imaginable. I am not alone.

I find great comfort in the stories of other moms who are on journeys similar to mine. Although I would give us all back our babies if I had the power and spare us this common thread. One of my favorites is the story of Audrey Caroline. You can read her mother Angie's blog at http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com/. My heart resonates completely with Angie's words. Her honesty is powerful and her testimony even more so. Her blog is truly lovely.

I also love a website called http://www.namesinthesand.net/. All the way in Australia a mother honors the memories of babies who have died by writing their names in the sand at sunset and taking a picture of it and posting it for the world to see, just as she did for her own son, Christian. Names in the sand is Christian's legacy, and it is a beautiful one. I was scrolling through all the names (and there are thousands) that have been written in the sand and was in tears. I truly am not alone. How breathtaking, how touching, how sad. I even saw Audrey Caroline's name. Soon I hope to see my girls' names in the sand.

I am daily reminded that I am not alone. Jesus has been so faithful to connect me in miraculous ways to other moms with babies in heaven for my own comfort, and I hope for theirs. Elizabeth...Arianna is waiting for you! Chelsea...you will be with them all someday! My Aunt Donna...who joined her daughter Mary in heaven last October after more than thirty five years of missing her. And there are more, so many more...

2 Corinthians 1:7
And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

2 comments:

  1. God works in mysterious ways. I know we don't know what the reason was yet for your loss and it might not be clear for a long time, but I truely believe this is all part of his plan for us. I continue to pray for you and your loss. I can only hope that you don't have to wait for morning much longer Rachel. I know the sorrow and loss is awful, its still something I think about and its been over a year for me. If you ever need to talk let me know. ~Mel

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  2. "The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?" Khalil Gibran

    I'm a friend of Melissa Ahlem's. She showed me this site and I want you to know I will say a prayer for you. I read a great book also called Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope by Joan Chittister that really helped me through a dark patch. I love the way you are working through your loss and grief. What courage...

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