I’m thankful that I do not know what it’s like to lose a parent or sibling, a 5 or 25-year-old child. I just know what it feels like to lose a baby. To lose my babies. I know that everyone deals with grief differently, I also know that everybody who grieves needs to be loved. There were so many people who have come alongside us the last few months and lifted us up.
I disappointed myself the other day. I’ve always struggled to know what to say when I see someone who I know is dealing with grief or heartbreak…and everyone else I know seems to have it down…they know exactly what to say and everything they say is eloquent and just what the other person needs to hear. We’ve had our share of grief these past months and you would think that the things people said and did would have prepared me to know just what to say to someone else. But nope, I saw someone who had just lost a loved one and of course while I wanted to relay my sympathy, what came out was a jumbled mess, hoping I didn’t say the wrong thing. It’s like I was scared to mention their loved one by name…scared I would make things worse for them or harder somehow.
I’m so thankful people weren’t so scared of doing the wrong thing that they did nothing at all. They sent cards, flowers, texts, Facebook messages. We had people bring us meals, watch our kids, fold our laundry and wash our floors. Family took lots of pictures for us…that’s something I may not have thought of on my own, but I am so thankful for every picture I have from those days. I have a hard time remembering some of the details. I remember being in the hospital, I remember how long the night was, I remember hearing Brandon tell me it was a boy, and I remember being handed a tiny baby. From there it’s just tiny bits and pieces of memories that come back to me at random times. But I am so thankful for the pictures others took of Enoch and of us holding him. I look at them over and over and the memories come back. We had a burial service for Enoch the day after he was born and that’s the same story. I can’t remember what it was like. I feel like I was in a haze, because the details are gone…but I have pictures and videos and they comfort me like nothing else. I don’t care how sad they are, because they help me know what happened. Because of them I know that my husband put Enoch’s tiny box in the ground, that my dad knelt next to me while he buried it. I know who was there, where they stood, what they said. Just a few months later we were burying the baby we lost at twelve weeks. I’m so thankful for the pics we have of that precious baby, the memories we have because of them. I may not have known what to ask for, but those around me knew just what to do.
More than anything I want you to ask me about my babies. I know people are worried about making me sad or reminding me about what happened. The thing is, I never stop thinking about them. I see someone else’s baby and I could tell you exactly how much older or younger Enoch would be than them. I see a pregnant mama and know just how far along I would be if I hadn’t miscarried. I can tell you that Enoch looked like his big brother Benaiah and that we couldn’t believe how big his feet were. I can tell you how perfect our fourth baby was…every finger and toe perfectly formed, every facial feature precious. That doesn’t mean that I’m miserable or constantly on the verge of tears. It means that the two babies we lost are just as much a part of our lives and our family as the two babies we tuck in every night. I love to tell stories about Bez and Benaiah. I love to brag about them, to show people pictures. I am so proud to be their mommy. I feel the same about my other babies. Asking me about them won’t remind me of what I’ve lost, it will remind me what I’ve gained. It’ll give me the chance to talk about what it’s like to be a mommy to four. A chance to talk about why the thought of Heaven is sweeter than ever before. You won’t remind me of what we’ve lost, you’ll remind me of what we’ve gained. That doesn’t mean I’ll never tear up when I talk about them, but they’re not hopeless tears.
Asking me about my baby will give me a chance to talk about how death has been defeated. That I have more hope now than I ever have before. It’ll give me a chance to tell you how I know that He never left me for a second…how in the biggest storm I’ve ever faced I could feel peace and know that He still cared for me. It’ll remind me how He has a plan to redeem every situation and how His plan for my boys is so much bigger and better than any plan I’ve ever had for them. It’ll give me a chance to tell you of the certainty I have that I will see them again. I’ll be able to tell you that this may have seemed like the end of their story, but really it is just beginning.
Please…Ask me about my baby.