The pain, the suffering. The in-between agony of waiting for a promise fulfilled. And even the hope, the joy that comes in its wake.
It all eludes me in a way I cannot even pen nor did I even think about until two years ago.
But then something happened.
A story was written that would change everything. It is a story I have held onto with clenched, white knuckles. One that only a few know intimately…
It is the story of the baby I lost before this one.
The whole story.
The joy. The pain. The death.
And even the life that was resurrected.
I wish I could explain why I’ve held it so tightly.
Maybe it is because in many ways, it is the only tangible memory I have of my sweet babe. Maybe there is an unencumbered maternal need to protect a child only you have known. Or maybe it is because I’ve feared it could expose a piece of me that might be considered unlovely.
But it is April, the month my little one would have turned two.
And another story is being written, one that means more if you know what came as a broken prelude. For joy and pain are inextricably linked. One magnifies the other in a wretched, passionate and maddening tango. Pushing and pulling, appearing to battle each other until it becomes clear that the greater the joy, the deeper the pain. And the deeper the pain, the greater the joy.
Because in the words of C.S. Lewis, that’s the deal.
So in these next few weeks, I will tell you the story that began my own push-pull of joy and pain, the story of the baby that came before this one.
The coming chapters were written only weeks after I lost my baby. I was drugged and weak and recovering but I knew these were memories I needed to hold in my heart. So I wrote and wrote and wrote…
Sometimes, the story is lucid. Other times, it’s scattered. And even others, it just is.
But this month, it’s yours.
Even in all its messed-up, scattered glory.
May it answer some of those sweet questions of what came before today. May it open a window into a loss that is often misunderstood for those loving someone through its darkness. And may it even offer another facing a similar loss the knowledge that she is not alone.
For her, I would tell a thousand stories.
No matter the cost.
So much so, that I wish my words could bind her wounds and salve her heart and protect her from everything that is gutting in this journey. I wish I could take even an ounce of her pain and carry it for her, even if only for a little while. Oh, for her, there are a great many things I wish and pray.
But today, I have the chance to say, if only for a moment, “I carry the pain with you.”
So that is why the story starts here and begins tomorrow with tears and a toilet seat.
With me laying it before you and asking for God’s grace to cover every comma and every hyphen.
Be it in the pain, the suffering, the in-between agony of waiting for a promise fulfilled or even the hope, the joy that comes in its wake.
Because no matter the pain, the fear, the ugliness, a story is written so a story can be given, meant to be used and shared and not simply collecting dust on a shelf.
So today, I’ll be pulling it down from the “safe” places of my heart, dusting it off and listening to a familiar refrain. Reminding myself every moment that hurt, fire and pain will come. But they are never wasted.
Until tomorrow, sweet friends…