Thursday, November 1, 2012

(Bitter)Sweet November

How in the world has it almost been a YEAR?

Last year was focused on November as we faced Thomas's birth with excitement, hope, and fear.
This year I've been focusing on November, but with dread instead of excitement.

I think my biggest fear of November is the unknown.  I don't know how I'm going to feel.  I may be a basketcase or I may be fine.   Probably a little mix of both, fluctuating without warning. (I have a tendency to be "fragile," if you ask my husband!) I have come so far from those dark early days and weeks of grief.  I'm scared to "go there" again, because it really, really hurts.  Obviously some days will be harder than others.   So far the days leading up to a big day have been worse than the actual day, and I hope that holds true as we face the first anniversary of our two weeks with Thomas.

While I am nervous for myself  for November, I can say that I am at peace with Thomas's part in the story of our lives.  That sweet baby was the biggest blessing I have ever received in my life.  Even though I am a bit of a wreck now because of it all, it is ok.  November will always be a special month to me.

So for now, I would appreciate your prayers for me, and your patience with me.
Please pray for peace for our hearts and for continued healing.
Please be patient with me as we face this hard time of year.  I may be a wreck.  I may not return calls or emails in a timely manner.  I may update the blog, and I may not.  I'll probably be a bad friend.  I may want to talk about it, and I may not.  I'm not making any plans for November because the thought of anything extra (besides work) makes me feel overwhelmed and panicky. I'm going to need time to be by myself.

I love this passage from Lament for a Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff:

"'Put your hand into my wounds,' said the risen Jesus to Thomas, 'and you will know who I am.' The wounds of Christ are his identity. They tell us who he is. He did not lose them. They went down into the grave with him and they came up with him- visible, tangible, palpable.  Rising did not remove them.  He, who broke the bonds of death kept his wounds.

To believe in Christ's rising from the grave is to accept it as a sign of our own rising from our graves.  If for each of us it was our destiny to be obliterated, and for all of us together it was our destiny to fade away without a trace, then not Christ's rising but my dear son's early dying would be the logo of our fate.

Slowly I begin to see that there is something more as well.  To believe in Christ's rising and death's dying is also to live with the power and the challenge to rise up now from all our dark graves of suffering love.  If sympathy for the world's wounds is not enlarged by our anguish, if love for those around us is not expanded, if gratitude for what is good does not flame up, if insight is not deepened, if commitment to what is important is not strengthened, if aching for a new day is not intensified, if hope is weakened and faith diminished, if from the experience of death comes nothing good, then death has won.  Then death, be proud.

So I shall struggle to live the reality of Christ's rising and death's dying.  In my living, my son's dying will not be the last word.  But as I rise up, I bear the wounds of his death.  My rising does not remove them. They mark me. If you want to know who I am, put your hand in."

Thank you all for grieving with me, and for not being afraid to "put your hands in."


  1. beautifully written. praying for you!!

  2. I've been thinking about you as Thomas's birthday approaches. Yesterday I submitted my application to train as a bereavement doula through stillbirthday. You and Thomas have played a huge part in my decision to take on what will probably be an honorably miserable role. :)

    Take care,

  3. Love you sweet friend. And now I can say that for realz since we hung out in person :-) thank you for sharing your heart and being such a beautiful example of Christ. Seriously :-)

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  5. Beautiful. I know this is going to be a rough month. Praying for you and TJ. Love you.

  6. I don't know how I came across your blog months ago, but I did. Your simple, honest words have guided me through my suffering in infertility and 2 miscarriages. Thank you for sharing your journey of grief and healing.

  7. a tough month indeed. been thinking of you all through these past few weeks.. i am truly grieving with you. i know what this is like - to anticipate that first birthday. love to you both. big big hugs.....

  8. Thinking of you and praying for you and T.J. during this time. We are here for you if you need anything at all. Love, Kim

  9. How hard this must be for you, I really do not know.
    To not be able to watch your little boy grow.

    But know that he's in heaven, basking in God's beautiful light,
    Whispering quietly to you, Mama, I'm alright.

    I know how you love me and how much you miss me,
    And I do truly miss how you would kiss me.

    But God has me now and I am able to dance in His arms
    and smile up at Him, with all of my charm.

    I know that I'll be with you again some day,
    but until that time, may life bring you joy in every way.