February 25, 2004

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I don't think of her every moment of every day..

Fifteen days ago, October 15, was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I, along with many others, promoted the cause on Facebook and elsewhere, hoping to break the silence and to remember our sweet babies. I thought about posting on this blog then, but I didn't get to it. However, as so often happens, something triggers more memories than normal and I can't return to focused life until I pour out my thoughts.

 Recently, a friend mentioned her little girl who died the same year as Mollie. She was talking about the thoughts and memories flooding her. She mentioned how she wonders what her sweet babe may have wanted to be for Halloween this year. And of course I think of my sweet babe. 

It has been 9 1/2 years since I held her last. She was a mere 33 days old when she took her last breathe. We were thousands of miles from our family and long time friends. Walking away from the NICU on that last night was the hardest thing I have ever done. 

I chose to bring this up because I think that people think that grief has an end, especially in the case of an infant. After all, the child barely spent any time, if any, on this earth right? I have heard some very hurtful comments which I won't repeat. I used to think that it was because people are mean and rude. I used to think it was because they just didn't care. Over the years I have come to realize that they really just don't know what to say or how to say it and they don't understand grief. As a sweet friend told me, people don't usually set out to be rude. This, along with the healing power of God and His comfort, has helped me to work through the frustration and pain of those hurtful comments. 

One of the most common thoughts on grief is that there is an end. You walk a few months, or years, in it and then it is gone, never to interfere with life again. I can tell you that there isn't an end. Grief is not a destination, it is a journey. It changes and the intensity lessons, but it does not end. You start on the journey of grief because someone you loved is gone from your life. You will not have another moment with them. A piece of you is now missing. In the case of an child, the life you dreamed for them at the moment you learned of them, will never be.

I will grieve my sweet Mollie until the day we are reunited in Heaven. It won't look the same as it first did. In the beginning there were a lot of tears, even more anger, and a deep deep pain that could not be comforted. After 9 1/2 years, it is more like a slow sadness or a small cloud that covers everything. There is a missing piece in my family. I see it every time we take a family picture, I see it every Christmas when we hang the stockings, I see it every birthday when we celebrate the birthday boy or girl. I see it when I see pictures of little girls who are the age she would be. Mollie is not here. In that sense, I will grieve her always. I grieve the life she won't have. I don't think of her every moment of every day, but every day I think of her for a moment.

Within that grief is the glorious hope of being reunited. I know that my sweet babe is in Heaven. She is praising Jesus next to her daddy and many other people in our family who have joined her. Because of my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior, I have been redeemed and I will spend eternity in Heaven. I will see her again. Heaven is a much sweeter place because of my sweet Mollie. I do not grieve without hope. The Lord has been faithful to comfort and heal, and I am so thankful for that.

Humbly I ask those of you who know someone grieving an infant, put yourself in their shoes. If you don't know what else to say, just say, "I'm sorry." And, if they trust you enough to open up a little, listen.

*disclaimer, this post is my personal story and thoughts. It is by no means exhaustive account of all grief. I do understand there are other forms of grief. It is also not a remedy for grief.