Heart of Esther

"And who knows but that you have come to this position for such a time as this?" –Esther 4:14

Picking up the pieces December 15, 2011

I feel sometimes like a vortex.  A big black hole inside of me is sucking all of me into oblivion.

But, I see so clearly two roads before me…  

The first is heavy with the ugliness of grief-animosity, anger, anxiety and depression. This road makes us bitter and hard and unable to really be filled with faith, have peace, or love deeply.

The other still has the burden of sadness but is heading down a path of healing and hope.  This one is harder.  It makes us vulnerable.  But it softens us, helps us appreciate life and the blessings we have, and makes us better friends, parents, people.  It gives us perspective into another’s struggles.  It gives us compassion, mercy. 

Grace.

I know in my heart that I can choose to surrender to the entrapment of grief  or rise above and accept His peace.  Jesus talks of a becoming like a child to enter the kingdom of heaven.  A little child doesn’t always understand but fully trusts his parents.  I guess I need to fully rest in His grace.  I know I can trust my pulverized heart in His hands.  I never imagined going through the unthinkable of losing a child and having my very heart ripped from my chest and being able to somehow still breathe, still carry on.  Though I’m not quite sure what carrying on looks like yet.  In Him, lies my only hope.  I know I can only do this with Him.  I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have Him to bring hope to my despair and healing to this deep and intense pain.

There is such vulnerability in grief.  There is such liability in vulnerability.  And yet there is power in vulnerability.  

In knowing that I am not too hard-hearted to let love wash over me.  That in this weakness, strength will be there.  Not my strength.  But my dependence on Him and His strength.  I want to make it through this to the other side.  I want to finish the race set before me.  I don’t want life and pain to conquer me.  I want to beat this.  

I want to be a survivor.

So here I am, picking up the pieces…

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inside out December 13, 2011

So I braved a party this weekend.  I decided the only way to overcome this anxiousness is to slowly face it.  So, even though it sent me into a panic attack the night before, I went.

And, for the most part, it turned out alright.  I only broke down once.  Not bad, right?  More importantly, I faced my fears and survived.  

I didn’t feel like everyone was ignoring what happened.  I felt comfortable enough bringing it up if I wanted to.  I also didn’t feel pressure to talk about it if I didn’t want to.  The hard thing, though, was hearing how “good” I look.  Like because I somehow don’t look “bad” I must feel fine?  What exactly do people expect?  Should I be bursting into tears every five minutes?  Just because I’m not a blubbering mess doesn’t mean I’m not hurting beyond words inside.  I’m not walking around in sackcloth and ashes so I must not be desperate and depressed inside?  Most of the time I feel desperate and there’s no one who understands and no help out there for me.  I have to somehow make it through my days.  Of course I smile and talk politely.  What else can I do?  Our loss is too sacred to share with just anyone and if we walked around with our heart on our sleeves it would just make them uncomfortable.    

I don’t know, maybe it makes them feel better to think I’m doing well…

 

Today December 8, 2011

8 weeks ago today…

Heartsick and missing you, Andrew, my love!

 

A few words about him December 6, 2011

He’s the strong, silent type.

He doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve, but I always know where he stands.

He’s calm and reassuring, even when the storm shakes him to his core.

He takes care of me-not just physically, but my heart, too.

He allows me to talk when I feel like talking, but he holds me in the silence when there are no words.

He makes decisions and takes care of things I cannot handle.

He lovingly has met all my needs to the best of his ability.

He is my buffer, and my guard.

He keeps me grounded in our faith.

He has brought me anything he thought might ease my pain and not judged me for it.

He has never demanded I move on or told me how or when to heal but has allowed me to work through my own heart.

His strength has carried me through and allowed me to be vulnerable.  

Even though he is in pain, he has not let it overtake him so that he can be there for me.

He has allowed me to grieve the way I do and I’ve allowed him to grieve how he does.  And its strengthened our bond.  Because no one knows the depth and dynamics of our loss but us.

I’m thankful for his strong arms and enveloping hugs that make me feel secure.  

For his quiet way of sacrificial living and loving and supporting and giving.

I could not have made it this far without him-my husband, my soul-mate, my friend.

 

green with envy… December 3, 2011

Last night I dreamed of a memorial service for our son and my husband and I left early and couldn’t speak.  There were no words.  We did not have a service.  At least not a public one.  My health was too bad (I couldn’t get out of bed for a week and a half) and to be honest, we just wanted to grieve privately.  We were just so raw and vulnerable and hurting.  I couldn’t even talk really for days.  There were no words to echo what I felt.  The words attempting to describe my heart came later.  And still they do not come close to revealing the depths of my sufferings.  I thought we might regret not having a service, but we don’t.  I think next year, on his birthday, I may be able to handle that. 

Facebook is a painful place lately…

I can count about five of my friends off-hand that were all due a few weeks after me and lately FB has been filled with ultrasound pictures and gender announcements.  It’s not that I am not happy for them, it’s just so hard to handle right now when we lost our little boy.  It feels so unfair.  It’s turning me into a jealous green monster!  It’s truly hard to describe the pain in my heart.  I know in my head it’s not right to feel this or even be jealous.  I would not want them to suffer what I went through and deep within me I am happy for their blessings.  It’s just the contrast is bringing out my deep loss…

So FB will not be seeing me for a long while….

As hard as this has been, I cannot imagine how I will feel when our baby’s due date passes and everyone else’s babies are being born…

I suppose that’s another battle for another day.


 

THIS AND THAT… December 1, 2011

Warning:  this blog is a little of this and a little of that.  I’m not sure how it flows, but this is me right now, so please bear with me!

So a friend suggested I start a project or something to help me to have something to focus on.  It was a very good idea!  It has helped me to stop wallowing in grief all day and night.  So I started a family closet.  Which led to re-organizing the clothes, toys, and garage.  You know how when you move something, it leads to another and another?  Crazy of me, I know.  I haven’t been able to stop the last few days.  I’m completely exhausted and making myself feel sick but I keep going.  I know if I stop, I’ll break down.  So I keep going.  Not such a “healthy” way of dealing with things-running from grief.  From pain.  I don’t want to deal with all the tears and feelings today.  So I am running from them.  

Until I cannot run anymore…

I have had so much anxiety. People are too much for me right now. Any stress seems too much to bear.  I don’t want to leave the house much. It seems overwhelming to me. I am really embarrassed by this for some reason. Maybe because I am normally such a people person-and fearless at that-and this feeling of being actually anxious around others is new to me. I am usually quite capable but I feel so very out of control of everything right now-especially my emotions. Is it because I’m on edge of what they will say?  Because I will feel too depressed or too guilty for not being too depressed?  Because I’m afraid of breaking down and crying in front of them?

I’m not sure…

I still touch my stomach, as if he’s still there.  It’s so hard to one day be filled with another life and be the home and the only thing Andrew knew-where his life began and ended and now to be so empty.  Which brings on other feelings of guilt and failure as a mother.  A mother’s instinct is to protect and I was powerless to help my baby.  

And so the emptiness of my womb echoes the emptiness of my heart…



 

life all around me November 29, 2011

Another dark day, I think.

Sometimes its hard to hear of all the life going on around us right now. Our lives have stopped. Don’t you know we can’t go on as always, as if nothing every happened??

It’s these days that its hard for the day to start before it has begun.  The tasks of the day ahead seem insurmountable. I feel listless and tired. I’m sad and heavy-hearted. It’s as if my strength is gone.

And, yet, I know that checking out of life and not being thankful for what He has so graciously given me is what the enemy wants. Sometimes its as if He’s asking in His quiet way “will you still serve Me when everything goes wrong?”

And so on I go-sometimes in a numb kind of way, going through the motions or choking back the tears that too easily come.  

“There is a sacredness in tears.
They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.
They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.
They are messengers of overwhelming grief….and unspeakable love.”
Washington Irving

 

 
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