We are having one of Klara's classmates stay with us in the mornings for the next week. A fact that I forgot to mention to Klara, so when he showed up at our doorstep this morning she looked at him and said, "Hey, what are YOU doing here? You don't belong here!" .I directed her to instead greet her friend and say, "Hello. Please come in."
As I was thinking on this small moment later in the morning I thought how nice it would be if life came with a manual or with someone standing next to you whispering what to do and how you should react. As a believer in Christ I do believe that the Holy Spirit does this for us at times. There are other times though where there is no guidance, no direction, and the silence is deafening. In those moments it would be nice to have a manual. Something like this:
Chapter 5: Loss of a child
In the event of losing a child expect the pain to last X amount of days.
It is okay to feel X emotions and express them X way.
All there is though is that damned silence. So, we edge forth doing the best we can.
I have friends who are grieving the loss of their sweet baby right now. I am grieving with them. I remember when I miscarried a couple of years ago, I can't say that comes close to what they are going through right now, but I grieved the loss of that baby deeply. I remember feeling so alone and empty. Hurting so much and thinking the pain would never go away. I would lock myself in the bathroom and sob for hours allowing myself to fully experience the sorrow I had for the baby I would never get to hold. I knew that others had been through it, but it didn't lessen my pain. I don't think it matters how many children you have, don't have, or will have. The love for that child is specific. It is not transferred or forgotten when other children come. I think we as a society try to shove grief under the rug. We try to push it away from us, because grief hurts. It hurts to see it and it hurts to feel it.
It is during this pushing away process that we say things we shouldn't. Things such as: "Well, you can always have more." or in my case, "At least you already have children.", or my personal least favorite of all, "God doesn't give us more than we can handle." As well intentioned as those statements may be, they hurt. They don't leave room for or give validity to the life that was lost. And I am sorry, but God does allow us to go through things that we can't handle. I think a more true statement would be to say that God doesn't give us more than HE can handle. I know for me, I am fragile and it is only through God's love and grace that I am handling life.
In 1 Thesselonians Chapter 4 verse 13 it says,"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. " Notice that he is not telling them to stop grieving. Yes, we as Christians have a hope. A hope that we will get to see our loved ones in heaven again some day, but we are also allowed to grieve for not having them with us on earth anymore.
I guess what I am saying is that when grief comes to your door let it in. Like Klara didn't expect to see her school mate, we never expect to see grief at our front door. Many of us look at grief dumfoundedly and ask why it is here and try to shoo it away. I think God would tell us to welcome grief in for however long it needs to stay.
*If you are reading this Kirsten and James know that I love you. I am praying for you. I hurt for you. I don't understand why God does what He does. It isn't fair. There is nothing good or right about it even if good can come from it. I ache for the emptiness I know you are feeling. The only thing I can say is to let yourselves have time to feel and embrace the grief. It is okay. It is okay to be happy again when happiness comes as well. The hole in your hearts that Ewan left will never be filled, but the pain that surrounds and fills it will change.*