Dear Friend who asked me how I am doing - I sincerely apologize for not having an answer. It's a question I do not know HOW to answer because I am entering the In-Between. I am okay or great or devastated depending on when you ask (as in it changes hour to hour). Dear Sweet Friend - THANK YOU for asking. It means the world to me, it really does.
Today is Dean's 7th Birthday. A very good day celebrating the source of so much joy! All 3 of my sons' birthdays are in February. Today I grieved from the knowledge that Oliver will never celebrate a birthday on earth as his brothers do. So even in the happiest of moments, sadness can creep in.
In an instant it hits - the in-between. The place where you are neither fully happy nor completely sad. It was a wonderful family weekend - I am reminded why I love being a mom so much. It is in this moment I realize the "honeymoon" is almost over. Kinda like the Sunday night blues (anyone know what I mean?).
I had this exceptionally long week preceeded by a heartbreaking weekend. One amazing thing to come out of losing Oliver is the outpouring of love and support from others. I've taken the week off from most of our appointments and obligations. Another thing that has been wonderful is having Dan home from work this week. Tomorrow Real Life begins. Routine. Okay, it's just a few therapy appointments and a Bible Study I love attending, but it involves an alarm clock and wearing a bra.
While I welcome the distraction and do NOT want to wallow in pain or live in The Dark Place, it IS difficult to end the "honeymoon." That first week after a loss people show so much love and support that the following weeks feel somewhat empty. Dan going back to work feels lonely. Going to appointments and acting like a normal person is an epic challenge. The whole world keeps moving while I still feel like my whole world has ended. (Not every second of every day - but parts of each day.)
Not that I am not grateful for all I DO have - there are not words for how blessed I know I am. But there is a deep, lasting sorrow that remains far past the first 7 days after the loss. Oh, and then comes The Telling. For those people that do not already know I am no longer pregnant it will eventually come up. And The Telling is the biggest trigger of all - I either sound closed off (because I am trying to save the tears for a more appropriate time and setting) or I sob uncontrollably in a place I should not.
The kids are reacting appropriately (for the most part - mixing autism with feelings of grief and loss can be a challenge) and coping well. This is our new reality. We don't want it to be but it's important I help us all accept this truth.
It took almost 3 days for me to talk to God again after Oliver was born. Even then, it was only to tell Him I was struggling with prayer right now and needed Him to carry me. To draw me near and don't let go - because I wasn't capable of seeking after Him in these painful moments. As the In-Between approaches I realize I now need Him more than ever. The strength to push through in the coming weeks will come ONLY from God. Going to His word is what will sustain and comfort me.
In church today I found myself unable to sing the worship songs. I was so angry with myself for feeling so angry with and abandoned by God. I think anger is the wrong word - but certainly a hurt. He's a big God, He can take it. He forgives me. He meets me right where I am at. I was reminded of this Psalm of David:
Even David, who also lost an infant son BTW, had times where he grieved so deeply he questioned God's presence in his life. But David still rejoiced in the Lord. I too will sing His praises - even in my darkest moments.