Four years ago…

I was sure that I could never come to a place where I would wear the shirt I wore in Jedidiah’s nilmdts maternity photo shoot. I had bought the shirt for that purpose; it still had creases from where we folded it to show off my Jedidiah belly. On Easter, three days ago, I wore the shirt for the first time in more than four years. I had left the shirt hanging on its hanger, moved when we moved. No one knew what the shirt meant. It is just a shirt, after all. But, to me, it was so much more.
Four years and a day ago I would not have put that shirt on. At no time in the last four years could I have brought myself to do so. Am I a freak? No, I am grieving. “But, Kim,” you say, “it has been four years today. Surely, you are beyond that by now.”
Four years and a day ago I may have thought the same thing. The reality is that for 36+ years, I walked through life not knowing the grief process. Oh, I could list the stages of grief and I could sympathize with someone, but I did not KNOW the grief process. And, the truth is, the grief process is a life-long process. As many have said and as I recently read in an article about Keanu Reeves, “All you can do is hope that grief will be transformed.”
Grief is transformed when I receive a hug from my “love letter from God” and his big brothers. Grief is transformed when I look at Jedidiah’s precious pictures and smile. Grief is transformed when I speak of his impact. Grief is transformed when I choose not to speak. Grief is transformed when I trust (but possibly not always feel) that Jedidiah’s life and his death were God’s plan, His plan A. Grief is transformed when I receive the outpouring of love that so many of you, my friends and family, have expressed.
I am transformed for having held my son, weathered the dark months of nightmares and pain, coming out the other side to KNOW that there is a God and He loves me, loved me enough to trust with me with one of his precious ones.
So far, today has been Jedidiah’s hardest birthday for me. I don’t know why. Maybe because I don’t have specific plans because so much of everyday life could not be altered. Maybe because what I had wanted to do to commemorate his life this year was not able to happen. Maybe it is simply one of those days where God is holding me tight as I relive the loss so that as we walk into a time of ministering to others, I am better equipped to meet their needs. Whatever the reason… THANK YOU to those of you who have prayed and who continue to pray for me. I could not make it through without your prayers. God, please give my baby a hug from me.

2 Comments to “Four years ago…”

  1. I can not begin to imagine the grief you’e had to go through, Kim and Jim. I do know that I have seen God carry you and your family in a way the surpasses all understanding. I have seen HIS strength, grace and love magnified though you. I don’t understand, along side you, why Jedidiah only had a few hours here on earth but I do know he was loved. You gave him that gift and I do know your reunion in Heaven will be oh so sweet. I love you, Kim, and all your boys. Thank you for sharing your life and pain. You are lifted up to the Lord on High. May HE heal and give grace as you continue this journey of grief. You are loved and remembered today, my dear sister.

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