Friday, February 13, 2009

A dreaded day redeemed.

(For some background on the topic of this post, you can read this, this, and this, if you are so inclined.)

As time passes, the intensity of the grief from a miscarriage subsides, but the feeling and knowledge of the loss of your child never goes away. It's inevitable, and I know every other mother or father who has lost a child, due to miscarriage or any other tragedy, can verify this. I realize it's hard for people who have not experienced this to understand, and I don't expect them to, but it is a very difficult thing to go through.

I've been reading "A Grief Observed" by C.S. Lewis. It's the journal he kept after the loss of his wife. Lewis has an incredible way of putting into words feelings and experiences.

Here, he explains so eloquently the process of grief:
"Sorrow turns out to be not a state but a process. It needs not a map but a history...There is something new to be chronicled every day. Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape. As I've already noted, not every bend does. Sometimes the surprise is the opposite one; you are presented with exactly the same sort of country you thought you had left behind miles ago. That is when you wonder whether the valley isn't a circular trench. But it isn't. There are partial recurrences, but the sequence doesn't repeat."

While I don't question God's actions in a way that judges them to be right or wrong, (as if a slug could even begin to understand why humans do what they do, how could I expect to understand why God, the creator of the universe, does the things he does) I do wonder why he allows certain things to happen and question in a respectful way. He graciously reveals aspects of Himself to us, but I don't believe that we have the capacity, in this life, to experience the full glory and mind of God.

Here, Lewis does an amazing job of putting into words the question we hear so often of, "Why would a good God permit suffering."
"The more we believe that God hurts only to heal, the less we can believe that there is any use in begging for tenderness. A cruel man might be bribed-might grow tired of his vile sport-might have a temporary fit of mercy, as alcoholics have fits of sobriety. But suppose that what you are up against is a surgeon whose intentions are wholly good. The kinder and more conscientious he is, the more inexorably he will go on cutting. If he yielded to your entreaties, if he stopped before the operation was complete, all the pain up to that point would have been useless. But is it credible that such extremities of torture should be necessary for us? Well, take your choice. The tortures occur. If they are unnecessary, then there is no God or a bad one. If there is a good God, then these tortures are necessary. For no even moderately good Being could possibly inflict or permit them if they weren't."

For the past 6 months I've been dreading yesterday: February 12th. The date has been rolling around in my head, wishing I could somehow just sleep through the day entirely. February 12th was my due date. The possible (though unlikely, I realize, since most people don't deliver on their due date) birthday of our first child.

I had visions of it being a horrible day when nothing else would matter and I'd be on the verge of tears all day. I woke up yesterday, and I had a thought, I know it was placed in my head by my loving and gracious Heavenly Father, because it's not something I would come up with by myself.

I thought, "Why can't today be a celebration?" Most birthdays are days of parties and fun and thankfulness for a person's life. Our child was alive, though for a short time, but he (or she) was still a part of our lives, and for that I am thankful. I'm also thankful for the fact that I know he is in heaven enjoying nothing but pure joy. I'm thankful that he never has to experience any pain or heartache that comes with living life on this earth. I'm thankful for the assured hope we have that we will get to meet our child one day.

So to celebrate we had banana splits. It was the best banana split I had ever had. We shared this celebration with a family here who has become like our own family. It was great.

No longer will I look forward to February 12th with dread, but with the same anticipation as you would look forward to any birthday. And if you'd like to join us for banana splits next year, we'd love to celebrate our child's life with you, the one he had here and the one he is enjoying in heaven!


Valerie said...

I'm there.

Anna- the mother and author said...

This post is so full of love! Amazing, wise, and unconditional love.

Grief is like the rain cloud. Dark and bleak at first. Yet once the rain is over, a brilliant rainbow can emerge.

I am so thankful you have found peace, that you've reached the rainbow.