Archive | March, 2013

learning to walk

29 Mar

“I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and willingness to remain vulnerable. But there is no simple formula, or swift way out, no comfort or easy acceptance of suffering.” –Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Grief is like an amputation. At first it is impossible to believe the leg is gone. You see the empty bed and get a glimpse as they change the bandages, but it is all an unreal nightmare that will soon be over. There are phantom pains that make it feel as if the leg were still there, but it is not there, and will never be there again. When you start to try and walk again, the comfort of denial is no longer there and you know the leg is gone. That is when the frustration and hurt and anger and disappointment and rage and feelings too deep to describe overwhelm you.

I am trying to walk again.

Grief is like an onion. A sack full of onions contains no two that are exactly the same. Some are larger than others. Some have bruises that show. Some are bruised beneath the skin and look much better than they are. It seems like there is no end to the layers in grief’s onion. Grief is the same. Each grieving experience is unique unto itself.

I am trying to heal my bruises.

Arturo and I recently were asked to chaperone a youth event. We accompanied a group of nine youth to Acquire the Fire in Minneapolis. I have chaperoned several youth events in the past and have always enjoyed doing this. I felt a real passion for youth ministry at one point in my life. I have to admit, though, that passion is gone. I just don’t feel that I am in a place in my life where I can be a mentor to other people’s kids. I want to be a mentor to my own kids. I want to raise my own kids. I want to pour everything I have and everything I am into raising my own family. Where I used to really enjoy giving advice and being a listening ear to struggling youth, I now am resentful that they aren’t learning these lessons at home and that I am not able to pass my wisdom on to my own kids. I found these kids to be selfish, ungrateful, and manipulative. I felt the weekend was mostly a waste of my time except for one thing.

I spent most of the weekend in an attitude of prayer. I continually kept telling God that whatever His will is for Arturo and I as parents that I want to submit myself to this plan. I asked Him to make my desires line up with His will. I asked Him to give me patience and a peace about whatever our future holds. At one point during the event, I looked over and noticed Arturo was praying. Later I asked him what he had been talking to God about and much to my surprise, he had been praying about the exact same thing that I had been praying about all weekend. He asked God to help him to not be angry if He does not intend for us to have any more children.

This has proven to be the most difficult battle of my life. The battle to not be angry…not be jealous…to not give up hope. The battle to continue trusting a God who gives and takes away…a God whose ways are so hard to understand…a God who has saved me from death only for me to watch my son die. The battle to continue believing that God has a purpose for my life when I feel so broken, so helpless.

I had really hoped to have a support group going by now. I am surprised that there does not seem to be a need for this in town. I have only been contacted by one other grieving mom who would have a desire to form a group. I was hoping for at least three or four to be able to get a group going. I think it would do me so much good to have face to face interaction with moms and dads who understand my pain, who deal with the same struggles. I am beginning to see that if I am unable to get a group formed very soon, it is time for me to seek out some individual counseling. I am not doing as well as I would have hoped to be doing. I need to work through these feelings.

We moved past the six month mark this week. Angel was born and died on September 27th. I had a rough morning on March 27th. I thought about crawling in a hole and hiding from the world. I came to work and for the first hour or so I felt on the verge of tears. I pushed through though and as always ended up being grateful for the distraction of my work. I had hoped to get some comfort from Arturo when I got home, though. He didn’t really say anything at all. So, instead of telling him what I needed from him, I grew angry because he couldn’t read my mind. I ended up telling him that he makes me feel very alone in my grief to which he replied I feel that way because I want to feel that way. He says I am the one who is pushing him away. Ouch. That is probably true. And, I didn’t want to argue it, or admit it, so I just changed the subject. I realize I need to face this within myself, though. I cannot continue to push him away because if I do it long enough, he will leave.

So, as I struggle with my amputated leg, I am finding that today, I don’t even want to try and walk. I just want to lie in bed and not move. I know I have to walk, but I just can’t make myself. Today, I feel utterly miserable. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

 

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trying

13 Mar

Try-ing

Adjective

Difficult or annoying; hard to endure: “It has been a very trying day.”

Synonyms

Difficult-hard-tiresome-heavy-laborious

I have been thinking a lot about what the word TRYING means.  People frequently ask me things like, “Are you trying to have another baby?” or “Are you trying yet?”  At first, I didn’t really know how to respond to those questions.  To the asker, it probably seems like a pretty simple question that would have a pretty simple response…yes or no.  But for me, the answerer, it is anything but simple.

Yes, I am trying.  I am trying to work through my grief.  I am trying to smile every day.  I am trying to be grateful for all of God’s blessings including the three hours that I got to love Angel on this earth.  I am trying to get out of bed every day.  I am trying not to be a basket case. I am trying not to blame myself for Angel’s death.  I am trying not to be insecure and afraid that my husband will stop loving me if we can’t have a baby.  I am trying to not be a raging bitch…pardon my French.  I am trying to be calm, patient, and relaxed.  This is all very difficult, annoying, hard, tiresome….exactly like the definition says.

But, am I TRYING to have a baby?  Well, that is a lot more complicated to answer.  Looking at the definition…yes, it is a difficult process that is hard to endure.  I think back to when we were TRYING to get pregnant with Angel, and how emotionally exhausting those months were.  I spent so much time doubting myself, disappointed, feeling heartbroken, terrified, and generally unsure of God’s plan.  So, do I want to go through that again every month?  Absolutely not.  I cannot stand the pain.  But, do I want to have another baby?  Of course I do.  So, what is the answer?  How do we achieve the result without going through all the pain of the process?

Well, we can’t.  There is always going to be pain in life.  God doesn’t promise us a life without pain.  He promises us that He will walk through that pain with us.

So, to answer the question, “Are you trying to have a baby?”  I just don’t think it is as simple as try to have a baby and you have one.  After all we went through with Angel, I realize now more than ever that there is nothing I can control about having a baby.  If God wants us to have more children, He will give them to us.  Even if we went to ten Doctors who said that we could never have any more children, if God wants us to have more, He will make a way.  Nothing is impossible for God.  I also realize that if God doesn’t intend for us to have children, there is no amount of TRYING we can do to make this happen.  Also, there is nothing I can do to prevent tragedy.  I could not prevent what happened to Angel.  I will not be able to protect any future children that God may give us from any other tragedies.  I will not be in control of their lives.

So, I am instead praying to be submitted to God’s will and for Him to reveal Himself to me.  Only then, can I be at peace.  Ultimately, I think that is important for me in all areas of my life.

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