I missed a period a few months ago, took more pregnancy tests than I could count for several weeks till, finally, I ended up with a positive test.
This was our fourth pregnancy, and it was a shock.
Not what we were expecting, to put it mildly. But, a few days later, I started to bleed, and a few doctor’s visits and some blood work confirmed that we had miscarried, most likely in the first month.
This, too, was a shock...and what do you tell people? How do you explain that there was life, and now it’s gone? I got home from one doctor’s appointment, lay on my bed, bleeding, and wondered at the irony of it--the body that had conceived, grown, birthed, and nursed three babies was now erasing all evidence of a fourth.
It was so early into the pregnancy, we didn’t even get to find out the gender.
People react to the news differently. Some share their own miscarriage stories, and sometimes I find that comforting, and sometimes I find it unsettling. Some people seem to avoid the subject altogether, and I have mixed feelings about that, too. Mostly, I keep it to myself, because it feels very raw, and I don’t want anybody to accidentally hurt me.
A few things I’ve learned:
Grief sneaks out during the tired moments.
Everyone’s experience of loss is different.
Everyone’s experience of loss is the same.
Today, I saw a girl about my age with a tiny newborn, screaming his little lungs out, and I thought, “that might have been me in six months.” My heart ached suddenly with the loss of the life that could have been.
I want to plant a tree to celebrate that fleeting life.
A tender, living shoot that will grow up towards heaven, branches lifted in praise. It seems fitting. But what if we move? I thought of adding a charm to the necklace I wear with my kids’ initials, but I might have to explain the extra initial. “I actually have four children….”
Mostly, I’m staring down the muzzle at how little we know about life, souls, death, and heaven. My mind tumbles over and over--why?
And I don’t know. I don’t know why. I don’t know why God does what he does. The longer I live, the more I realize I must learn to be at home in that unknown.
What I do know:
God is good.
God is just.
God sees the whole picture.
Nobody’s experience is the same, nobody’s grief is the same, but that we all feel the tragedy of death is what ties us together. And in fact, is what ties us to Jesus. So here I am, at some point in the grief cycle, a little older, a little wiser...a little more ready for home.