Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

August 2, 2018

Beyond Grief

As the world watches J35 grieve the loss of her sweet baby whale, I marvel at the universal sense of loss this whale brings to humanity. She moves me to tears, thinking of the deep breathes she must take in her time of panic and fear when her baby’s lifeless body slips from her control and she prepares herself to dive deep to get her baby back, a deep fall into the abyss. When will the mama let go?

That’s a question that only she can answer.

She is “beyond grief.” She won’t eat as far as the researchers can tell. All she does is try to save her already dead baby. She is on a “tour of grief” as one researcher called it. Just like J35 the whale, a human hurting mama will do things that make no sense. She will go to any depth to try to fix what has broken, while her human logic puts up the wall of knowing that she cannot fix her lost child, yet she may continue to do so at the sacrifice of all else. She will tell a complete stranger odd details or collapse into tears, or anger, at the drop of a pin.

As for J35, those from the outside want to help, but they can’t. Any interference could cause the whale to never recover, and her species cannot handle outside influence at this time of decline. A human mama cannot accept or handle outside influence often either. She cannot be open to everyone; there will be few that she can speak to without knowing that she has failed them or that they just cannot understand. Or, she will draw inside herself to avoid the pity, those looks of pity…

Yet, at the same time, it is the whale’s pod, her family, that is making all the difference today, day 9. Instead of just allowing her to fall behind or forcing her away from her dead baby’s body, her pod family is surrounding her, keeping close and being available if they are needed.

Friends, that is what a grieving parent needs! She (and he… dads, too!) needs to know that she isn’t crazy; that it is ok to be consumed by the darkness and the crazy thoughts for this brief period of intense mourning. She needs to know that if she wants to talk, you will let her. If she wants to ignore the pain for a time, you will let her.

((A side note: BEYOND GRIEF One of the researchers interviewed was correct… we need a word for this crushing period of unexplainable, fully excusable, excruciating agony. Mourning and grieving are useful terms in the early weeks (mourning) and in describing the life-long journey of loss (grief); yet, what word could somehow come close to encapsulating the original torment description? There isn’t one. Likewise, a grieving widow or widower used to be able to wear black for as long as they felt they were in the season of mourning – that time when pain and heartache fill their waking thoughts as well as their painful dreams – alerting those around them, but what can a grieving parent do? What do any grieving folks do now? There is nothing, and it causes society to fall further and further away from compassion, hope, and understanding.))

What can we do for a grieving parent? Don’t fall away. Be available, but not in her face. Don’t judge her ‘beyond grief’ period, her mourning, or her grief process. Don’t tell her what she must do. Invite her, call her, reach out, and wait. Mostly, though, pray. Pray faithfully as you never have before. You may never get to share a conversation with the grieving parent, even that you have been praying. But, you can fall at the feet of our Lord to lift up and surround the grieving parent, even from the outskirts of the group of those closer to her. Remember, for many grieving parents, there comes a point when they cannot pray. No matter how much or how deeply they have prayed before, the words, the feelings, and the thoughts of prayer will fail them. While they do not feel it at the time, God is still holding them and YOU can be one of the ‘family’ who is VITAL. Please pray.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/grieving-mother-orca-falling-behind-family-as-she-carries-dead-calf-for-a-seventh-day/

https://abcnews.go.com/US/researchers-found-orca-whale-holding-dead-calf-days/story?id=56965753

October 4, 2017

Solace in suffering

My prayer for this month – Pregnancy and Infancy Loss Awareness month – is that we can each share our grief journey openly and honestly, helping those who are just entering into their grief journeys or helping those who have denied that they even have a journey of grief that they are on.

Yesterday, I saw a new friend post on Facebook a picture of her baby’s nursery, mentioning how, after the loss of her daughter, she would go into that room and have a bit of solace in her peaceful, simple room. I began thinking about the fact that we never set up a room, or even a space in our room, for Jedidiah because we knew that we wouldn’t have him for long – if we got a chance to bring him home at all.

The grief journey is so different for each person. I once could not imagine finding solace in a room, but then again, I could not imagine finding solace at graveyard either. However, I had many friends who talked about how they had peace, thought more clearly, and remembered their loved one better at the gravesite. I, still – six and a half years later, do not know where Jedidiah’s ashes are. I know that’s a heavy burden to put on my husband, but I haven’t come to a place where I can address that tiny amount of ashes in the blue velvet bag. If you think a baby’s coffin is small, can you imagine my dismay at seeing that tiny bag? I receive solace knowing that my husband is protecting me and my heart.

For those of you who have not lost a child, it may seem frustrating to you to even imagine those feelings, or you may desire for those of us who have lived it to just stop posting about it, but I hope this month helps you to see that we are honoring the lives of our little ones. We are not trying to make your lives sadder but trying to share our grief. How can you bring solace to a hurting heart today? In community we are all stronger, kinder, and more compassionate.

Thank you for being part of my community, and thank you for reading my ramblings. I pray that you will reach out to others to share your story, whatever it may, so that you can strengthen them and grow closer together.

July 4, 2017

What she may be going through…

A sweet mama who helped minister to me and mine when we lost Jedidiah just lost her baby today. She and I haven’t seen one another in a while, but my heart breaks for her all the same. Some of you are thinking, “I cannot fathom what she is going through.”
I can. I wish I couldn’t. I wish she was not part of this club in which we kissed the shell of our sweet babies and said a forced, undesired goodbye. Hopes, dreams, expectations… all ripped away in an instant. Now begins awkward moments with others trying to bring comfort where there is none. Now, words and actions that bring the most venomous response we have ever felt or expressed, often toward the ones we love the most. Now, a feeling of desire to be the best parent ever to our remaining children but failing miserably time after time. Now, a need to be held the closest by our husband as he grieves differently and it royally ticks us off. Now, moments of rage at a stop light and then the juxtaposition of singing praise and glory to the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords–the one who allowed my baby to die. Now, the guilt, the shame, the nightmares, the desire to make all the pain go away.
Pray for my friend, please. This is the beginning of a very dark time, but pray God reveals Himself in every whisper, in every hug, in every moment, so that when she looks back over this valley, she will see Him and all that He is capable of, even in the midst of her sorrow.
April 5, 2016

Another mama’s loss

A long ago friend has lost his little baby. His wife, whom I have never met, posted on facebook. I just want to wrap her in my arm’s and let her scream, rail, sit, cry… whatever she needs. The walk isn’t easy, though more mamas than we realize have been through it. They have two children waiting for them in heaven, yet this loss won’t be any easier simply because they have lost before.

Dear friends, please pray for, please love on, please minister to those who need you now. A card, a meal, or a simple use of Baby’s name at the right moment will mean the world to those around you who have suffered the loss of their little one.

May the God of all peace surround them.

December 8, 2015

The Object of Anticipation

Anticipation… hope, excitement, expectancy, planning, joy. Anticipation denotatively means “the feeling of looking forward, usually excitedly or eagerly, to something that is going to happen.” Just like the Japanese art of kintsugi, the object of desire—the object of anticipation—is shattered, seemingly irreparable. Perhaps the damage was done knowingly—purposefully. Often, however, it appears to completely chance, completely random and meaningless.

Kintsugi sake cup broken
As the object of anticipation is in pieces, we have a choice. Do we throw it away? Do we give it up—the hope, the symbolism, the joy? Or, do we begin the process of reforming it? The pieces must be assessed. The pieces may be jagged and cracking. They be slivered and scattered. Some may need to be smoothed. Some may not be reusable; once assessed, they may need to left out of the renewal project. Each piece is painstakingly touched, restored, or lovingly removed. Yet, in the hands of a Master, in the heart of the Creator, something beautiful is designed.

Kintsugi sake cup repaired center
The pieces will not, ever, fit back together exactly as they once did. Something has been lost, fragments of dust even, but a loss has occurred. The Master recognizes this loss, acknowledges this loss, and must gently and painstakingly make a filling that is specific and unique to the missing fragment or space. The object of anticipation is not, will never be, the same again. But, the beauty in the acknowledgment. The beauty in the change of anticipation. The beauty in the process of recreating. They are all so valuable to the Master and to the piece now recreated.
Anyone who has the opportunity to touch this piece knows that they hold something thoroughly and meticulously touched by the Master who thought of every line, every edge, every angle, and every depth of filling, every width of space… He has touched and detailed it all.

Kintsugi sake cup repaired inside

As time moves on, it may appear that more and more is repaired, yet, the reality is that the pain, the grief, the missing pieces, will be missing forever. The perspective or aspect might change, but the loss never will, and, thankfully, neither will the love the Creator!

Five years ago today my object of anticipation—the expectation of a sweet new life in our family—also included many “negative” anticipations… fear, dread, concern. We had lost Savannah Grace, nothing seemed to be going right in our ministry, jobs, or home, and my pregnancy just felt “off.” On December 8, 2010, we found out why. I have always wanted to be used by God and for God, but I never wanted to feel the pain of the shattering, the pain of loss and removal. I can say with certainty that God loved me enough to piece me back together; I am golden because He has pieced me back together and created beauty from my pain.

 

NOTE: These pictures were copied from Lakeside Pottery. I do not have an endorsement or anything of the like from them. I use these pictures with respect for your craft. However, if you wish for me to remove them, I will do so. Thank you for the beauty you create. It is such a gift.

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